Sambasha Primary School is a 45 minute hike uphill from Emaoi, where we live, so we leave at 6.45am to arrive by 7.30am. The kids are already there, doing their various jobs. Some sweep the yards and paths with branches of soft leaves, others water the garden and others clean the classrooms. These get really dusty as there is no glass in the windows. At about 07.50 they’re called to inspection. Any who are dirtier than the rest, whose hair isn’t shaved shortly enough or who arrive late stand to one side and get caned after everyone’s sung the national anthem, then they head for class. Sometimes they don’t get caned but have to squat down and kind of goose step to class … ideas of discipline seem quite brutal here, but then life in general is incredibly tough and only those who work really hard have a chance of getting anywhere. ‘Survival of the fittest’ often has very real meaning here.
I joined Anthony and Aurelien on a visit to Haruma Orphanage where Mak and Sam, two Mondo volunteers, are based. Not far from Arusha, Haruma has about 20 orphans ranging in age from around 3 to 20. The kids are a far cry from the heartrending images sent around the Western world in a bid for donations. The y look well-fed and have a lot of love and affection for everyone. Although there’s undoubtedly sadness and tragedy behind those smiles, it’s yet another example of how the people I’ve met in Tanzania get on with the business of each day.