Friday, 27 July 2018

All checked in

Dear all,

Just a note to let you all know the team have all checked in at Kilimanjaro airport. Alex, Steve, and Amanda, the Inspire leaders have had a great time with the team, and praised their hard work and ability to pull together 

Many thanks for your support through the weeks!

Josh and all at Inspire Worldwide 

Final day in Tanzania

Today very sadly marked our last day in Tanzania. We woke up and said goodbye to various students across the school and various staff; especially Jospehine, who seemed heartbroken that we would no longer be wolfing down her meals! The six hour journey began with two hours of being thrown in every direction from a very generous African massage. Eventually, we reached tarmac and left the bus for lunch looking like we had all had the worst fake tan from the huge amounts of dust we had managed to gather! After filling up, we finished our journey led by DJ Ted (including controversial amounts of Will.iam. and Katy Perry) outside Arusha at the most luxurious place we had seen for weeks; there were sit down toilets and showers with hot water in the same place!!!! Now we just wat for the flight and to leave the hotel at 3:30… Harry.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Final day at Radley

The last day at Gehandu ... and what a day it was. After a slightly hurried cramming of lines for sketches and songs, we promptly started half an hour late for the last cultural assembly. A four and a half hour epic full of incredible singing, dancing and acting from the Gehandu students, and less so from the Radley boys… but who performed valiantly, including “Three Lions”, “Seek ye First”,  “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, declamations and sketches. Highlights included, Gehandu 6th form girls, the first 6th from students at Gehandu, singing a self-composed and personalized song. Form 4 and 3’s large repertoire of songs and dances and John Peers’ declamation and a slightly shoddy speech from George E-W in Swahili to the school
A representative of the District Council was the guest of honor and gave one of the many speeches thanking Radley for the strong partnership that the two schools have. After lunch in the newly constructed dining hall we had lunch with Form 5, our pen pals and the Gehandu teachers. Significantly weighed down, the Radley boys headed out for one the biggest contests of the year; Radley (and the best Gehandu Dons) Vs the Gehandu 1st XI. A tense game ended in a 2-2 draw going to pens.. Radley clinching it at the last moment. A large press conference followed; many photos were taken of both teams, Red Army and supporters.
We were honored to each have our own tree to plant, celebrating a very successful trip and the first time Radley have stayed at Gehandu. After an amazing dinner with the Gehandu teachers we headed off for our last prep session with the students.
Will is still recovering from his wrestle with a squatting toilet. He refused to comment but likened it to a Chocolate Yazoo. No more needed to be said…
Thanks for following our Trip, see you soon
George and George

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

The kiln is fired!

Luckily enough today we were allowed a lie-in. So the wake-up call came round at 7’o’clock! Business resumed as usual. We taught our final lessons, and by all reports they were a success. All the classes seemed to be delightfully engaged, and enjoyed all our antics (such as John dramatically dying 4 times for the purpose of an exercise on journalism (confusing I know…)). Following these exciting final lessons, we had library and computer lessons with some of the students. This is a great chance to have study sessions in very small groups, with some pupils who have never used a computer before, and it allows them students to talk with us Radleians to improve their English.
Following our lunch, in the afternoon we conducted rehearsals for the much anticipated Cultural Assembly tomorrow. We have prepared 3 sketches, 3 songs and 1 declamation. Hopefully we won’t be too shown up by the incredibly impressive Gehandu students.
We also visited both boarding houses, which gave us an insight into the daily lives of the pupils. The girls’ boarding house consists of rooms of two bunk beds, and one of which had the added bonus of a beehive! Meanwhile the boys boarding consists of two rooms: 29 sleep in one, and 42 sleep in the other! There are plans in the works for a new boarding house to be erected soon. This was a humbling experience for all of us as we realised the luxury in which we live.
For the remainder of the day we have been spending a lot of time informally with the students. It is a pleasure to get to meet them all, and they certainly enjoy the opportunity to talk to us. Equally it is great for us to be able to bathe in the sun while chatting to a few pupils.
The day concluded with a bonfire, conducted by Mr Ryder, for the purpose of firing the clay pots and crocodiles that the students have made during the week. It has been incredible to watch their talents flourish, and they are really capitalising on this opportunity to have a go at pottery.
Go to go, poo’s on fire… Marcus and John x

Lessons and life lessons

Chores were the first order of the day. We were split between sweeping the road and watering plants. Ted stated that watering plants was both “satisfactory” and “fulfilling”… we’re all confused too. 
We taught more lessons today, a mixture of Bio, geography and English. Although challenging, we feel they were successful and the students enjoyed them. After pancakes with honey, we split into two groups of four and went to see the homes of some of the Gehandu students. The first home that we visited had a wonderful view and plenty of livestock milling around. The core of the house had one living room and two bedrooms, with a kitchen and toilet area in separate huts. The second home was very different and was a real eye-opener for us. The home consisted of one hut with one bed. The kitchen was in the same room and livestock also lived in this space. Shockingly this hut supported a 4 month old baby, a teenager and their mother. Their father had recently passed away. These two houses were on opposite ends of the scale and highlighted the breadth of wealth within Gehandu itself.
After this we had lunch with the Gehandu students and ate Makandi, which is 3 types of beans and other ingredients.  Rather tasteless but definitely filled us up. After lunch, two of us cooked for the students (John and Will) and two cooked for the Radley boys and staff (Harry and Marcus) which I hear involved the cutting up of still warm chickens. Whilst the boys did this, the rest of us attempted to teach some of the students touch rugby which will go down as unsuccessful. The boys couldn’t understand that they weren’t allowed to pass the ball forwards but they loved to kick and chase. 
After this we had some down time when some of the boys played football with the Gehandu students, and Mr Ryder made even more clay models. Dinner was again fantastic which brought an end to another great day at Gehandu.

Card games!

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Morning chores and acrobatics

Today marked the beginning of a slightly earlier start at Gehandu as we woke up to help the pupils with their chores around the school, such as sweeping the roads. To be honest, it was not appreciated at first in bed at 6am but as we began it became increasingly rewarding helping everyone help as a community before we began the day. This was quickly followed by a short walk to the local primary school, where we were thrown into various classes and demanded to teach! However, this wasn’t so hard as all of the children were so hyper that basically anything you would say or do resulted in waves of laughter and giggling, which is a lot easier to teach than forty teenagers!! We tried to catch onto a bit of this energy in the volleyball against various 8-10 year olds, but were very embarrassingly thrashed in front of the whole school….  We arrived back at Gehandu for lunch and taught our second English lessons, which were hopefully an improved version of (we hope) the successful pioneer lessons. Finally, we finished the school day by sitting down with various classes in the lovely weather and debating various ideas, such as; ‘Are you against international aid for Tanzania?’, which sparked an amazing debate, especially due to the level of English that the pupils amazed us with. Gehandu continued to surprise us as we thought our day had finished until some students started a competition with us about who could do the longest hand stand or trying to get Harry and George E-W to catch them after being run and jumped at…. and then to raise them above them as they spread out into a star shape!!!
Harry and George.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Sunday's blog... Church!

Today, being a Sunday, was a more relaxed affair. Starting with a lie in, which was much needed I might add, we wolfed down a delicious breakfast at 8, 8ish for some. We set off with spirits high amongst the troops to a most intriguing service at the local cathedral. It was something to behold. In sharp contrast to the somewhat minimalist surroundings emerged a purple spectacle. With spires reaching to the heavens and a modern design that in many respects echoed the architectural brilliance of the Radley coffee shop, we entered in awe. Although long and completely in Swahili we were hooked to the drama that was unfolding before our eyes. A sensual experience is how most described it. After our first Tanzanian church service we visited the seminary for a quick meal. We were greeted by an immense man, Father John, and an enormous meal, brunch.

When we arrived back at Gehandu we were presented with a second lunch which after our first lunch may have seemed a tad excessive but again found a safe home all the same. Our plan for the afternoon was to visit the Mbulu Market. The initial shock on arrival at the market was simply the scale of it. It covered a considerably large field and was packed full of stalls selling everything from tyre flip-flops to live goats. With music blaring and a whole plethora of colours and smells on display we walked through the market in groups of four. Highlights included Harry rather too heavily petting a goat, being offered some rather special, we were told, “medicinal herbs” and George E-W being hexed by a witch doctor only to stand his ground and hex him right back in his face.. We were all a bit exhausted after our day and week so our afternoon consisted mostly of games of Bananagrams and reading which was definitely needed before an eventful week ahead.
Signing off Will R-C, Edited (reluctantly) by the Edge.