Saturday, 28 October 2017


Well it's fair to say on our last day at Gendi Primary School, it got a bit emotional. After our final hearty breakfast of porridge and milo, site foreman Ben set us at work on the finishing touches to the toilets. With Ben's motivational words and Harriet keeping everyone happy and healthy as our medic, we powered through, either adding a final cost of paint to the girls toilets or completing the final stages of brick laying.

 Unfortunately there was no time for chapatis or mandaszis as we were too busy preparing for the leaving celebrations. A team of 6 helped prepare the meal we were to have with the community which involved the likes of Sean vs Garlic (Sean won with the help of some salt), and dancing around the fire with some Gendi students. 

Meanwhile, the rest of us tidied up our communal area and rooms which was busy, hectic dusty...and Mr Cox helped as well. We were then treated to the community lunch consisting of chicken, stew, rice, beans, plantain, and watermelon; quite a feast for our last day. 

After lunch the celebrations began with a dance from the local dance group after which Christina the Headmistress, representatives of the government and other important members of the community thanked us for our work. 

Following a farewell song from the students of Gendi which made many of us very emotional, it was our turn to thank everyone. 

Isla, Bea and Simon thanked Yohanna, Helena, the Fundis, the school and the entire community for making us feel so welcome and at home, its fair to say that that made us emotional too. 

Julian from LTT then made a poignant speech about the importance of our work, including the importance of our work, including having disabled access to the toilets, having an incinerator to help girls deal with their menstral hygiene and the importance of educating girls, boys and teachers about menstrual hygiene. 

By our surprise and gratitude the group were then presented with gifts including a handmade bag out of Tanzanian cloth, a necklaces, tchengis for the girls and blankets for the boys and a certificate of our time here. 

We then concluded the celebrations with an intensive period of dancing and jumping up and down, the water works turned on. 

Jack said he'd never seem quite a reaction when volunteers were leaving, in other words, there were a lot of tears from both the students of Gendi and us. But, as Luke rightly put it, you cry when you know there are good times to come, and that is most certainly true. With the end of our time at Gendi School, we look forward to a lifelong relationship with LTT, never forgetting the special memories and bonds which we've made here.


  1. Oh wow! This is so incredibly heart-warming! It is hard to believe that you are already leaving—in some ways, it seems as though you have just arrived. I am sure that you will have many, many stories and experiences to share with us (and we are eager to hear about them!) ...And, the pictures are wonderful!! Hopefully there will be a whole bunch more to see when you return.
    Have a wonderful time on the safari!!!
    (Samuel, any battery left on your camera for the safari? Not sure how many more posts we will have before you return so while I can, just to let you know that I will be at St Dunstan’s on Tuesday morning to collect you. Maybe around 9?? Lots of love and see you soon, Mom)
    From your Dad: “It looks like a great job on the building! I am sure that we can find a similar job for you to do at home. Have a safe journey home.” Love, Dad

  2. Well done you guys. Something to remember all your lives. Enjoy your 4am wake up call and have a great safari. Looking forward to having you back, Isla, on Tuesday morning.
    Porridge will be on the stove.
    Love Dad

  3. Hi Bea. Reading that and looking at the wonderful photos I'm feeling pretty emotional myself! What an impact you have all had. Enjoy the safari and safe journey home. Mum xxxxx

  4. Hi isla and friends. What a wonderful send off. And the pictures are fantastic. Thank you for showing us the people you have spent so much time with. I am puttting in a request for copies. Not much happening here. Jake is in new cross and dad and I spent the evening in the Vanbrugh people watching. The place was all done up for Halloween and lots of people turned up with fairly amazing make up. There were lots of zombies. So same old. Have a wonderful time on safari. I hope you see lots of wildlife. Please give our thanks to everyone there for taking such good care of you all. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Love mum

  5. People always say, once you've been to Africa, you will always go back ! So don't be too sad, great work all of you and safe journey home, love you Aimee Mum Dad Max & Tilly

  6. Hello Fin, looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday! Enjoy the safari. Cam says he likes your hedgehog hair by the way.
    I've enjoyed reading your blog guys, well done for all the hard work!

  7. Hi Sean, you have lived a unique adventure which will stay with you for ever. You have learned a lot from these people who are poor in money but rich in love , generosity, friendliness and faith. Treasure these memories in your heart. Enjoy the safari . Love you lots xxx

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  9. Parting is always sad but you can all leave knowing you have made a difference to the lives of those you leave behind. Be proud of your achievement - the response of the community says volumes. What an experience! It's great to see the photos of all the team - you guys and the Gendhi community and especially the children. Enjoy your well earned time left on Safari. Hope you get to see plenty of elephants and more, and hope you get some great photos. Have a safe journey home we're looking forward to having you home, Simon. K&S + B&Z

  10. Fabulous photos - I particularly like the second one of the boys. You look like you've just been signed up by Simon Cowell on X Factor.
    It sounds like you have had an amazing time. Well done for all your hard work and I look forward to hearing all the stories. Enjoy your much earned safari.
    Sam I will come to school to pick you up at 9am on Tuesday. The fridge is packed with all your favourites and Rushy and I can't wait to see you. Lots of love Mum xx

  11. Hi Ben and all - what a wonderful send off you have all had. Fabulous photos - yes Ben I did shed a tear! you should all be so proud of what you have achieved and we can't wait to hear all your stories - we hope you took some photos. Enjoy your safari and safe journey home. Love mum and dad xx

  12. An experience of a life time. Well done to you all - hard work that's so rewarding.
    Have fun on safari. Look forward to seeing you home Dylan. We've missed you - Russell has taken to sleeping in your bed! Love mum.