We are all covered in dust, dirt and grim, we are all shattered from a long day in the hot sun building toilets for the local school. However, when I look around the group all I see are massive beaming smiles. This trip has been nothing other than totally awesome and totally humbling.
Tanzania is a beautiful country, the wildlife in parts is stunning, the trees huge, larger than most I have seen in the UK, the butterflies plentiful and diverse. At night I lie in a basic bed listening to a chorus of insects, football and loud music that creates the pulse of Msitu wa Tembo.
A group of six multinational people from UK that had never met before, set out for an adventure with an initial aim to volunteer their time to help the local community. However the trip has turned out to be so much more than just a humanitarian journey.
This is solely due to the welcoming and acceptance of the people and children of Msitu wa Tembo. Looking from outside with a Western hat on, my initial thoughts would be that the people of this community lacked so much of what we would have considered basic requirements. Things such as a flushing toilet, running water, electricity and an indoor kitchen with all the appliances.
How naive and arrogant we all were! The people of Msitu wa Tembo may not be materially rich as in the Western world. These wonderful people made us all reassess our lives and values, and reconsider what actually is important to us all, to be content and happy no matter our circumstances.
The values that I intend to take home with me, back to the UK that the people of Msitu wa Tembo have reminded me of the importance of inclusion, acceptance, engagement and humility.
I would be honoured to return to this community and help further my development and understanding as well as the community work being undertaken here. This is thanks to the charity Volunteer Medics that have facilitated the opportunity to experience this life changing journey.