So today marks two weeks since I arrived in Arusha and I think it is safe to say that I am getting the hang of things. I have registered to volunteer with International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ), an organisation based in New Zealand that has partnered with Tanzania Volunteer Experience (TVE), and they placed in Charity English Medium School for the time that I will be here. Charity School was started by Mr Moses (26) and Mr Charlie (32), two educators who felt a calling to be a part of the movement to close the gap of lack of education in Arusha. They started off with 5 students in 2011 and now they have over 100 students attending from pre-primary to grade 5. The school provide breakfast, porridge, and lunch, samp, for the learners everyday; Over and above this they try to provide as much as possible for the students who cannot afford the fees, which are currently between $150 and 200 a year excluding uniforms. The school is running from rented property not far from the Central Business District of Arusha and currently has 6 teachers, 1 student teacher and a lady who cooks. The staff do as much as they can with the resources they have; They do arts and crafts on Wednesday as well as have sports/tracksuit day on Fridays and, from what I have seen, the learners enjoy the learning environment.
In Tanzania, the IVHQ program fees do not include transport to and from placement and as a result we are taught how to use the public transport on our first day of placement. Charity school is about an hour away from where I am staying when taking public transport. I walk about 5 minutes to the main road where I catch my first daladala, which is like a mini-bus taxi. I get off just before the dala turns to go into town, Mianzini, and catch my second dala to Sanawari. I then have a 15 minute walk from the main road to school. Since it is rainy season now it sometimes takes me a little longer to get there as the roads are very muddy and slippery. Other than that, and the fact that often people think I speak Swahili and try to have conversation with me on the dala, getting around is possible and costs me about R9.50, under $1, a day for a round trip. [I have attached a 4-minute video that shows my journey. Due to the theft warnings that I have received from various people (and the fact that one of my roommates got mugged on our first work day) I often had to hide my phone during the journey so some parts are not clear but it is possible to get the just of my trip].