It has been a very long time since I last wrote a blog post.

After my exams, I did a two-week work placement at the Kentish Express, then I sat my final two NCTJ exams and straight after that I went to Tanzania for a month to volunteer in a children’s home that my friend set up a few years ago. So I’ve been a little busy.

At the moment, I am building a new website for the charity, Upendo Children’s Home. I’ll post a link here when it’s completed. In the meantime, you can see photos from my visit on my Picasa photography page.

I’ve been back in the UK for over a week now and I think the real reason why I haven’t written about my time in Tanzania is because I find it so hard to describe just how amazing it was. It’s certainly hard to get my family and friends to understand what my time there was like.

I miss Tanzania. I miss the baking sunshine and refreshing light breezes. I miss lying on the rock in the garden at night and staring up at all the stars in the incredibly clear sky. I miss sleeping under a mosquito net, wearing long-sleeved pyjamas and socks to bed and still waking up with bites. I miss cold showers. I miss going to bed to the sounds of dogs howling and being woken up at 6am by the cockerel in the garden. I miss getting hot and sweaty on crowded dala-dalas and bombing down dirt-track roads on the back of a piki-piki. I miss the blaring music from Corner Bar. I miss walking to Buswelu Corner to buy fresh fruit and vegetables each day and waving to Christina in her shop. I miss Stoney Tangawizi. I miss all the children and the sounds of them running into the house at 4.30pm every day. I miss Mariya and the way she won’t let you see her work or drawings until she’s completely finished. I miss Mussa and Masalu and their comedy double act. I miss Edward and how he can’t help handballing during football games. I miss Edina and her dramatics and dancing when she’s in goal. I miss Joshua and the way he runs absolutely everywhere. I miss Ema and the way he likes to lead and protect the other children. I miss Joice and her incredible sass. I miss Nuru and his inquisitive mind. I miss cooking with Joice and Prisca in the kitchen hut at Baba’s House. I miss Eric and the way he laughs at the dramatic bits in action films. I miss walking around Mwanza and the shouts of ‘Msungu’. I miss power cuts. I miss watching episodes of The Office with James. I miss the view of Lake Victoria from Hotel Tilapia. I miss watching football games in Corner Bar. I miss not having street lights. I miss haggling prices with market sellers only to give in. I miss jam with dozens of different E-numbers. I miss geckos scaling the walls and checking the long drop for cockroaches, armed with a baseball bat. I miss having dirty feet. I miss not wearing make up and not looking in a mirror for days on end. I miss buying chapatis and rice and beans from Martina at Buswelu Corner. I miss getting shocks from the electric cooker when making dinner. I miss the two-hour round trip into town just to check emails. I miss speaking Swahili. I miss Tanzania. 

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