We are taken to visit three of the many tribes that live in the village. The first is the Mukonde Tribe, who are originally from Mozambique. Surprisingly they speak Portuguese as this is the language of their homeland. They are also skilled wood carvers. The works we saw was so beautiful and intricate it was hard to pass up. We bought a wonderful carved mask and regretfully left behind a gorgeous carved bowl that would be too heavy to carry.
We were invited to visit their home. It was as expected very poor and constructed of mud and had a roof made from banana leaves. The people were smiling and welcoming and unlike many homes like this, tipping is not allowed. Our fee we paid to the guide is used to benefit the community. Their extreme poverty left us speechless. I thought of all the things we have at home, could have helped. Three old but obviously cherished pairs of shoes were hung on the wall. One small room for the girls another for the boys. I think maybe one change of clothes were all they owned.
Next we move on to the Village of the Chagga Tribe. These people are originally from Kilimanjaro. Here we roamed through the banana groves. They grow about 25 different varieties. Some are used for eating and cooking and even beer making. These people are in fact known for their beer. The beer is made and consumed all in the same day. It looked like a pinkish color. We took a sniff but passed on a sampling. Leftover beer is then given to the cows.
The last group we met in Tanzania’s is the largest tribe the Sukuma . They come from Lake Victoria area. They are the keepers of the animals, which are both cows and goats. The guide tells us they often have a hard time protecting their cattle from theft. The Maasai believe they own all cows and keep trying to take what they feel are rightfully theirs. It was heartbreaking to see the condition of these starving animals during the terrible time of drought and we wondered how many would survive.
We end our visit with a stop at the school. Here we meet a very polite and well-spoken teacher. He tells us the small one room school teaches 80 children of various ages. We can’t imagine how he copes. Wishing we had more products to give. We were able to buy a bag of candy for the children.
The short visit we made to this village gave us a chance to learn about the people and how they strive so desperately just to live in this area. Although it is tempting to open our bank accounts and try to help, we know often money falls in to the wrong hands. We vow to do our research on how best to help through legitimate charity organizations. We won’t forget these people ever.