Thursday, January 4, 2024

Day 6: Village visits and unexpected trouble

Today's plans consisted of visiting the villages Lukani and Kidabaga. At Lukani we viewed the water systems of the village designed by previous students. At the next village, Kidabaga, we went to the borehole drilling site, which was being dug with a mud rotary drill. 

Today's plans consisted of visiting the villages Lukani and Kidabaga. With lots of driving ahead of us, breakfast started bright and early at 7 a.m. to get us on the bus by 8 a.m. The drive took us into the hills of Tanzania with beautiful views of the rolling hills and rock formations. 

Nearing Lukani the toughest of all road conditions approached as a muddy and wet hill was inevitable. We took off at the hill with great speed to conquer the hill but unfortunately it was not enough. Halfway up the hill the mud put a stop to the coaster, as we tried to back down the hill this led to further slipping off to the side of the road. At this point we were fully stuck in the mud with nowhere to go. Efforts to get the bus unstuck included; digging out the tires, placing sticks in front of the tires, and pushing the bus from behind.

Locals from the town up ahead came with hoes to help us dig trenches for the tires, while the rest of us walked our way to Lukani. At Lukani we were greeted with smiling faces and welcoming greetings. At the beautiful church of Lukani, we introduced ourselves and song and dance was shared. 

To view the water systems of this village designed by previous students a huge hill needed to be conquered on foot. After the long walk, a meal prepared by the kindest of people waited for us. Chicken, chapati, boiled eggs, and tea were enjoyed with good company.

Upon reaching the next village, we exited the bus and were warmly welcomed by locals singing in the traditional Hehe songs and dancing that was heavily focused on tapping forcefully on the ground. The experience felt like no other, this made visiting the villages so special. 

The village gifted Matt, Ken, Carolyn, and Susan with gifts. These gifts consisted of small intricately crafted gift baskets. The music was created through tapping the floor with traditional bells tied around their ankles as well as making the use of whistles. We were then invited to have lunch where the menu consisted of beans, rice, bananas, this really tasty cabbage dish, and ugali. 

The reason we visited this village was to see the borehole drilling site, which was being dug with a mud rotary drill. Ken explained the intricacies of the drill, this gave our group a good sense of what our project may turn into.

We arrived back in Iringa around 7:20 p.m. with a meal ready for us made by the Lutheran center. For the next three days we will be traveling to and residing in our assigned villages. During this time there will not be any blogs posted due to the lack of accessibility to the internet. 

—Blog post by Andrew and Insia