Lodging with local people

The coming week a group of our customers, after their safari, will be staying at a guesthouse in a local people’s home in a village on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro . The village is called Mdawi and is situated about 12 km from Moshi . The guesthouse has been built with donor funds from the Children of Kilimanjaro Foundation ( www.childrenofkilimanjaro.nl ) on the grounds of one of the pastors in the village, Pastor Lekey . There are two bedrooms , a living room and a bathroom with toilet and hot shower . If you are staying in the guesthouse, you can see how the Chagga (the largest tribe in the Kilimanjaro Region ) are living. In the village, you can see that especially the older residents still live in mud huts and live subsistently from their own shamba ( plot of land ) where they grow maize and bananas . The green of the banana trees and other vegetation forms a nice contrast with the red soil of the roads and open spaces . Also, there are beautiful views from the village on Mount Kilimanjaro, the Masai steppe down and on Moshi . The inhabitants of Mdawi will receive you with open arms .

The first time I came in Tanzania in 2006, I spent the first two weeks in Mdawi . Living there made a huge impression on me . The hospitality of the people, the nature, local food , many children , going to church on Sunday and of course poverty . And yet everyone has a big smile on his face . I then volunteered in the village in one of the projects of the Children of Kilimanjaro Foundation. Since that time, I have been involved in Mdawi and every time I go there it feels like coming home. In the village there are many projects, especially for the children to improve their lives. Several donors from different countries have contributed to that . There is a dispensary, a tailoring school , a staff house for the doctor, a nursery school , several other schools and assistance to the local churches. Pastor Lekey has played a major role in all these projects .

Last week was one of the projects I ‘ve worked closed after several years. It was a special event. Water was a problem since many years in Mdawi . There was a water pipe built by the government, but not everyone had water, especially in the lower areas of the village . Since 2008, people have worked to improve the system and since the end of 2013 , finally everyone has water . This is made ​​possible by the Foundation for Children of Kilimanjaro and the Protestant Churches of Renkum / Heelsum . They donated money to improve the water system. On their behalf, I attended a ceremony of thanks with my mother. There were many speeches by the village leaders , the pastors of the churches , water users, women and the local water committee . Donors were thanked through us. There was also a lot of singing . It was very special and especially nice to see how happy the villagers were that there was water now . The water project is fully supported by the people , and they have made it possible with each other that everyone has water now . A great achievement .

I really like to bring to our customers to Mdawi. A stay at the guesthouse with Pastor Lekey is an experience in itself where you can enjoy local culture mixed with nature . Karibu sana ( welcome )!

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