Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Saba Saba

July 7th , “Saba Saba” is a national Tanzanian holiday which celebrates the founding of the Tanzanian political party, Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) in 1954. Being a national holiday, school is out for the day so we decided to do something special…

we brought the great American summertime tradition of slip-n-slide all the way to Fikiria Kwanza Academy!

Meghann inspired this brilliant idea and Adelaide and I went off to the main market in Arusha Town to see what supplies we could throw together for a home made slip-n-slide. We managed to discover thick, black plastic sheet that was at least 10 meters long. The vendor's insisted that we stretch the plastic out to its entirety throughout the bustling market scene to inspect its quality – once again making us the crazy wazungu! We made our purchases of the plastic sheet and laundry soap and took off to Fikiria Kwanza.

More than fifty very confused and hesitant little faces looked onwards as we found the hose, spread out the plastic sheet, and started soaping up the surface. Lali managed to explain the concept of slip-n-slide but they still needed some serious encouragement. I selected Mandu from the crowd and egged him on. As soon as he took off down the plastic sheet, the other kids were quickly stripping down and racing over to the top of the slide for their turn.

The grounds of Fikiria Kwanza lack the ideal hill spot for a slip-n-slide so it was absolutely hysterical to watch each child make their way down the sheet.

A few decided to run only to find out they will hit the ground fast, and hard, with all the soapy suds; others would bellyflop; some found army crawls to be their favorite; and the littlest ones would lay flat on there stomachs with arms and legs outstretched patiently waiting for someone to give them a big push down the sheet. Even after most of the kids were having the time of their life, we had a few like Rosie and Namayani who were lingering on the sidelines. We didn’t take no for an answer, knowing that they just needed a bit more encouragement to join in on the fun, and had almost everyone slipping and sliding.

I was surprised at how organized we managed to keep the children although there were a few times that chaos took over and every single child piled onto the slip-n-slide and each other, squirming and wriggling about. I think it’s safe to say that slip-n-slide was hugely popular and will be warmly welcomed every time we break out the supplies from the trunk of our trusty Subaru.

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