The road to Endoji
11 people and many beehives in one Toyota Landcruiser climbing higher and higher along the pot hole filled track. One of the things that struck me the most was how far away from anywhere Endoji was.
As we unfurled cramped legs and rather inelegantly fell out of the car, we were met by singing and dancing. There is a glimpse of it here. I probably watch this 2 or 3 times a day, it is enormously joyous.
We were taken to a gazebo made of blue tarpaulin and decorated with lace and silk flowers. Dancing and singing continued, it was overwhelming and surreal and so very emotional. I had to bite my lip to stop the tears. I would hate for you to think i spent the entire time there crying, i spent far more time in fits of giggles, but it wouldn't be appropriate to blog about those bits. Also many of the tears were sheer relief that i wouldn't have to build anymore beehives.
We presented the beehives, and a beekeeping suit, boots and smoker, and the ladies danced with them. I think the photograph of the lady and the smoker is my favourite of the whole trip.
Then the beehives and the bee team were blessed by the village elder and his grass.
and the local politician gave a speech. He was passionate in his thanks to FarmAfrica, and also in his appeal for Tanzania's carbon credit.
and there was a meal in the village hall, spiced rice, offal and fruit.
The welcome and gratitude was so heartfelt, it was aimed at us, but was meant for the hives and the continued work that FarmAfrica will do with the village.
but the best part of the day was just meeting the villagers, watching the children play with the balloons, and tennis balls, and jumping frogs we had taken, and just standing back and seeing and photographing all the colours. We had to be dragged away, i didn't want to leave, the villagers of Endoji have so very little in terms of material goods or opportunity but their optimism and serenity was so striking and comforting.
Tomorrow i shall bring you news of a Christmas wreath flower school we are holding in aid of FarmAfrica. December the 4th 6.30 at Browns hospital, Stamford.