I have found that all the little things that I've needed to buy to make my trip more comfortable and convenient all add up to an awful lot of money, and I'm considerably poorer today than I had expected to be. I do now have a wind-up lantern though, so I should save money on kerosene once out there.
This stricken poverty (yes, I see the irony) has done little to dampen my spirits, however, and I look forward to living with no running water or electricity in a village in Songea while I offer my services for free to The Hoja Project. Lucy from COCO (who are behind an awful lot of important things to do with Hoja, not to mention most of our money) rang me for a chat this morning about what I'll be doing out there, and now I'm more excited than ever.
For those of you wondering what I'll be doing, you can get general information about Hoja here, and I will basically be doing this:
* Helping with the primary school tuition
* Working with the secondary school and Vocational Training Centre (VTC) and discussing what is the best way to continue helping them
* Helping organise the sports leagues (or, if you talk to Oswin, it sounds rather like I'm taking charge of them completely)
* Filming lots and lots and lots of things, so we can make a documentary, including people we've helped in the past, so we can get lots of good and bad (hopefully not so much the bad, but there must be things that could be improved) feedback about things we've already done.
I'm really excited. Vende will be meeting me at Dar airport on Monday afternoon, then on Wednesday morning I'll bus to Iringa to say hello to the SPW lot, and then on to Songea on Friday to join Oswin so we can get stuck into Hoja.
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It's now 2 days, 7 hours, 55 minutes...