Thursday 19 May 2011

African Adventure Day 4

Last night's talent show was a great success. We saw a real range of different talents, from headstands to singing, playing the piano to impressions of lions, and even a stand up comedy routine with a dubious Scottish accent.

After a great deal of laughter and a Winnie the Pooh story, the children went up to bed for their last night in the Hall. Tomorrow, we will be moving out to the village to spend the night in the huts.

The children have solved many of the problems faced by the villagers, but one key issue remains - that of transporting clean water to the village. We began today by hearing the story of Wecelina, who had to travel 3 miles every day to reach a well, from which she could collect water. After a return journey, carrying buckets of water, she was then able to provide her children with water to drink and wash with. However, the water was unfiltered and not very clean, which caused disease to be rife.

To experience the hardship of a 3 mile walk, the children set off along the beach towards Thorpeness. We walked just 1.5 miles, before stopping for a beach-combing activity. The total journey, including the return to Sizewell was only half the distance that Wecelina travelled daily, and without heavy buckets of water to carry. Yet, the children were quite tired by the time they reached the grounds of the Hall.

On our return, the children competed to fill a container with water, by carrying the buckets on their head across the field. They then learnt about how to siphon water and why water flows.

After lunch, the children set off to the village to help return the water supply. They worked in teams, using the knowledge they had gained about water flow to erect a pipeline into the village through which the water could travel.

Finally, their teamwork and communication skills were tested with a Massai Herding game, in which the children were blindfolded, and guided around an obstacle course by their chosen leader, who could only use prearranged sounds, but no words.

Tonight, we will gather around the campfire for stories, songs and games before spending the night in the African Huts.

We have nearly completed our mission here. Our last task tomorrow is to solve the problem of cleaning the water that supplies the village. Until then, farewell.


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