Location: Buigiri, Tanzania
Date: December 27th, 2017
I wake up as the sun rises and I catch up on my games before work gets underway
Nyemo pays a visit to ask for a school uniform and shoes
Meet my partner Dawei
We head out to see one of the leaders of the community. His son, Abdul (on the right) used to play at my house as a toddler
Mariam has been trying to meet me for a long time. She heard I was back in the country, so she made the journey from her village. She was looking for help with a chicken business. I helped her buy half a dozen, which she can breed and sell for meat.
At the back is my sister Imogen. The other chap is Omari, the father of Abdul. When i first met him he was a young teacher. Now he is a leader incharge of all disbaled people in central Tanzania. He is a very useful person to work with.
We passed this woman's house and stopped for a chat. I met her the previous day. Her foot is twisted completely over, so her sole points skywards.
This is Ester. She had a small business making snacks which were sold locally. Last year I provided the capital for her to establish a small cafe and kitchen. This is a big step up for her and she is doing really well.
My breakfast. Chicken soup and chapati
Ester employs a few women. Here a chapati is being made.
Dawei is still polishing off his breakfast. I love how the cooks here wear traditional white hats - yet there are flies and dirt everywhere.
We bump into Kenneth. I haven't seen him in almost 10 years. I did a Day in My Life on behalf of a young girl in 2008 and he is her Dad.
A villager has this board outside his house where he writes witty and often anti-government messages. I don't know what this says though.
We pass the tailor and I pop in to say hello. She has been working hard making me dozens of uniforms.
Our next visit is to the regional branch of the Tanzanian League for the Blind. They do a lot of work on behalf of the blind and I've been friendly with them for a long time. John Peter is on the left and Masaka on the right. Masaka's son is a famous witch doctor.
After our meeting, we head to where our 600kg of maize has been delivered.
We help divide it up. The use of buckets as measuring devices is ingenious in its simplicity. It is rare to find scales, but buckets are a uniform size. One heaped bucket is approximately 20kg and we are providing one of these to 30 families.
Distributing the maize is a team effort
Here are the 30 recipients. They are all either elderly or disabled. They were selected by the village leaders to recieve the assistance.
When we head off, we meet our favourite 3-legged Dog. Her name is Mama Shida, which translates to Mother of Problems. She is very skittish around humans, for good reason. We befriended her in 2015. When we returned this trip, she clearly remembered us as she came straight up for a stroke.
Chilled drinks are most welcome. The soda is Mirinda which is a fizzy blackcurrant drink.
We usually don't have breakfast, and so we weren't overly hungry at lunch. We opted for a plate of chips to share
Gaston had a plate all to himself.
Well, the plan was to only have chips. Then I spotted there was Mishkaki on sale. These are marinated pieces of beef or goat and are delicious. We order half a dozen to share.
Our next destination is a couple of KM away so we travel by motorbike taxi
My mum saw a pic of me on a bike without a helmet and freaked out. They only pootle along at 20km/h so even if you fell off, its probably not going to do much harm.
As we wait for the guys to gather, we play with the kids. They attach bucket lids to sticks and run around spinning the lids on the ground. As a kid, we used to put playing cards in the spokes of our bikes and they sounded like motorbikes, these guys do a similar modification and they sound very realistic.
More maize distribution. Here 12 families all recieve 2 buckets each.
Job done. That should keep their families fed for a while.
I spotted this sign on the well. "I will give the springs of water of life without charge" - but as it turns out, outsiders need to pay around 3p (5cents) per bucket.
Chilling with Gaston
Teck is on the right. We always spend lots of time with one another, but this trip he has been extremely ill. He has typhoid, malaria and a UTI. When we arrived, he was delirious, feverish and may well have died. Several hospital visits later, plus two courses of intravenous fluids, and he has some life back in him.
Mamma Shida is their family dog, so we spend some time giving it more fusses
As I head back to my house, I pass the playground of the blind school. An Irish church recently installed this climbing frame
There is a welcoming committee at my house
We then have an impromtu dance competiton
Anna turns up with tonight's dinner. We employ her as our cook and she is fantastic at it. Tonight is slightly different though - the Tanzanian League for the Blind had arranged for her to prepare a feast as a thank you for the work we do.
Fortunately there is some time to chill before other people turn up
The boy on the right is Abubakir. He graduated from the blind primary school two years ago and is hoping to start Secondary School this year. He lost his vision when he was poisoned by a family member. Recently, some sight has returned though. They have come to drop off some drinks for this evening.
Nom nom. We have rice, roasted goat, chicken, tomato sauce, chilli salad and fruit
The sodas and water which Abubakir dropped off earlier
These 4 are all involved with the Tanzanian League for the Blind and are also teachers at the school.
My plate - it may not look too appealing, but it was delicious.