Today we had the distinct pleasure of visiting Amani Children’s Home in Moshi. We were really excited about today – Nick hosted a pub crawl in June to raise money for Amani, and Brad and I easily convinced our coworkers to donate all kinds of goods for us to take to the school. See earlier post- we had huge bags of things, including markers, puzzles, hair clippers (which we got to see in action – it was haircut day!), thermometers, soccer balls…it was unreal. Nick’s mom does great work with the school and introduced us all to what Amani does and helped set up the visit. Before we headed out to Amani, our wonderful Jacaranda innkeeper made us an amazing breakfast. The eggs here are divine – so fresh and cooked perfectly. We had a yummy homemade juice, fruits, toast, coffee, tea…you name it. They were absolutely wonderful.
Our taxi arrived and drove us to Amani. What a neat building – we entered the gates and were greeted very warmly right away. The building is really bright and colorful and makes you feel welcomed right away. Plus the giant elephant painting that says Karibu helps! (That means welcome).
We met with the staff and they showed us a great Amani video and took us on a tour of the facility. We saw classrooms with teachers in action, the lunch room, the futbol field, the in-progress carpentry center, basketball hoops, and swingset. The dorms were adorable – bright, with mosquito nets and futbol themed. We fell in love with it right away.
Amani does really great things for the street children of TZ. I stole this from their website because they describe it better than I could, and linked out the website below. I encourage you to check it out. After being there in person, it’s an absolutely amazing place with wonderful people. Hearing about their upcoming projects was inspiring as well – many awesome things in the pipeline!
For over 10 years, Amani Children’s Home has been dedicated to the protection of Tanzania’s most vulnerable population: street children. Amani, which means “peace” in Swahili, was founded by Tanzanians, and over the course of the past decade has rescued hundreds of children from the perils of life on the streets, where they face numerous dangers including malnutrition and abuse. Amani provides healthy food, education, counseling and medical care for every street child who turns to us for help. When possible, children are reunified with (extended) families. http://www.amanikids.org/
Our task for the day was painting a wall in the carpentry center. We grabbed our paintbrushes and started to work. Luckily for Brad and I, Nick is an expert painter and quite tall, so he got the hard parts! We took a break for tea time with the kids, then back to work before lunch. We finished up the wall around 1:20, just in time for lunch, and headed in to meet more of the kids.
Lunch was yummy, and the kids were so wonderful! They waited their turn, washed their hands, washed their plates after lunch, and then dove over to the playground to get some playing in before class started again! Amani does a great job of teaching the kids various skills – washing dishes, doing their own laundry – and that was evidenced at lunch time. After lunch, time for Brad and Nick to warm up the ole soccer skills. We’ll post a video later, but it’s pretty hilarious. I started to play too, but one of the Amani kids politely told me to sit on the sidelines. I don’t blame him 🙂 It was a rousing match, and I’m still not sure who won (I believe Nick is disputing a closely called goal) but then the bell rang and back to class. Once class was over for the day, we played frisbee and more soccer, during which time I warmed up my 23 year old goalie skills and blocked a shot from Brad! Muah hah hah. Let’s just say our kids won’t be soccer stars. We hung out with a few kids practicing their acrobatic skills too!
During this whole time, the kids were so friendly and warm and we loved hanging out with the staff and learning more about what Amani does. This was absolutely, 100% my second favorite day of the trip (summiting Kili and getting engaged is pretty much impossible to beat, though this came very close!). We had an amazing time and really did not want to leave. Thank you Amani for being so welcoming and for doing what you do! Followers, I encourage you again to check out their website.
Time to head to Arusha…
Are you taller than a giraffe? Brad’s not!
Acrobatic skills! Brad tried this. It didn’t work out.
Our wall, in progress.
Us in front of the laundry center and lunch room
Front of the home