By Adele

Early Monday morning we left on our journey to Mufindi, the town where the children’s village is. It was a long day of traveling on public buses and a very crowded Dala Dala.

The next three days we dove into homestays in the village of Mufindi. During our respective homestays, we were able to practice our Swahili as well as teach our families some more English. Most of us also helped with chores or farming or just cooking. It was a nice, relaxing break from our group life.

We didn’t get to celebrate Halloween fully (although we all appreciated Matt and Michelle dressing up as M&Ms and visiting us all with lollipops) but we hope everyone at home had wonderful Halloweens!

From our homestays, we jumped back into some more structured days at the Mufindi Children’s village. On Thursday we moved into our house for the next week or so and met Lucy, an extended Peace Corps volunteer from Virginia, who gave us a tour of the NGO which includes six houses, a clinic, and a Montessori pre-school and kindergarten.

Friday was our first day of work here. We all woke up at 4:30 am (yes, it was that early) to help the primary school students here get ready for school and get on the bus. Then we continued to help the babies and toddlers to wake up and get all ready for pre-school and kindergarten.

For the rest of the morning, we split into two groups: Yina, Mali, and Lily helped in the garden while Finn, Ella, Karolina and I helped in the pre-school classrooms. The rest of our group has been feeling sick recently so they stayed home to rest.

In the afternoon people rested while a couple of us spent the afternoon taking care of the babies.

Saturday, part of our group hiked to a couple of dams and had a picnic while everyone else rested and recovered from sickness. On the hike we were able to meet Mr. Fox—a British man who owns all of the land the NGO is on—tour his home and learn about his journey to where he is today. Sunday has been a rest day once more which we all greatly appreciate while anticipating the upcoming week of more 4:30 am wake-ups. This week our group has gotten into the podcast Serial—thanks, Mali—and we gave Matt’s notoriously curly hair a makeover.

Our sick members are recovering nicely so there is no need to worry. We all love and miss our families a lot. We’re looking forward to this next week full of more kids and work before our safari!! Of course, we also have to give a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the one and only Ella!! We love you so much!

Love,
Adele

P.S. here’s a nice joke we found all the way back in Entebbe for a scavenger hunt:
Yesterday I went to a zoo. There was only one dog.
It was a shit-zu.