Day 1

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The morning of this fine August day in Moshi started at 8 am with a breakfast with all volunteers while waiting for the truck to arrive. Generally the spirtis, especially those of the project leaders, was quite similar to those awaiting a moon landing, not the arrival of an old dump truck. Gasiano, Robert and both Malage Center students Jackson and Joseph arrived at 9 am driving what would basically be our motorized home for the weeks to come, initiating the first meeting between all participants of the project. To our surprise, the Security Guards not only showed up, but they were also on time by Tanzanian standards with only ...

Day 2

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Mr. Mamuya, vice principal of the school, greets us in the morning and brings Felix and Hanna to his oldest students, who have been divided into two classrooms so they can each hold the prepared presentation simultaneously and converse with students aged 16-17 about environmental pollution. We thank our first host of the Walk and make our way back to the main road to get an early start collecting. Hanna returns via pikipiki (motorcycle) an hour later to hold another presentation for the staff and to discuss the possibility of they themselves starting a collection bin on campus. Generally they seem to agree that it would be a simple measure ...

Day 3

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The third day begins with an ample breakfast at the private home of the very hospitable and generous Fathers Ronald and Victor, who both show interest in our project and cause. As we leave, somewhat reluctantly one might add, they bid us farewell with an invitation to visit again. We spend the day collecting in the sunshine, then driving a short distance with high spirits to Mwanga, where we stop for lunch. The city itself seems relatively clean with the exception of a few unofficial dump sites hidden away from the view of the road. From here we walk towards Kisangara on foot, where we get caught in the rain, ...

Day 4

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The group gathers energy at breakfast for a full day of hiking up the nearby Kindoroko Mountain. Hanna stays back at the Malage Center to take care of customizing the water filter and bucket system specifically for our truck and to oversee the finishing touches be done on the waste press, which should compress especially plastic bottles to optimize available cargo space. Unfortunately she must admit after much tinkering and denial that the waste press requires more effort than it can offer in effectiveness; the heavy weight and necessary strength to man the press did not lead to a noticeable reduction in space to justify the transport of this construct ...

Day 5

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Gasiano gives us a tour of Malage Workshop & VTC, from which we head into the town of Mwanga. Hanna visits Mwanga High School with a few volunteers to thank the administration for allowing us to rent their truck and to explain the project to the students, who have gathered around the flagpole for this occasion. At the same time the other volunteers are busy emptying the ATM machine in order to pay for the rent. This is Africa, though, and the ATMs reserves are exhausted fairly quickly. In town we purchase single-use gloves to hand out to children of One World Secondary and Msafiri English Schools, who will be ...

Day 6

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The day begins early with a presentation held by Felix, Hanna and Marko, who in turn each answer the questions of about 60 very informed and by all means interested students, most of whom are prefects and/or excel academically and were chosen by their teachers for these reasons. We discuss the possibilities of starting a collection point on campus grounds with teachers and before noon we have left 98kg of plastic waste in a skeletal building complex which at one point was to become a classroom before funding ran out. Marko, Thomas and Felix D. leave for Kenia to work on a solar project at Pemaca Educational Center, which is ...

Day 7

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Since we have no sure way of knowing if someone is aware of our presence, we set our alarm clocks early in order to be ready in case we need to be. It would not be a great first impression if students were to discover a bunch of white people in pajamas crawling out of tents set up on their soccer field first thing Monday morning. This proves to be a good tactic as we are greeted bright and early by a head teacher awaiting our presentations. For the Swahili version, Grace exchanges ideas with students in one classroom while Hanna discusses the topic in English with the staff. Apparently ...

Days 8 – 10

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In Same everyone takes care of necessary, or, in many cases of Kangas being bought, very unnecessary purchases since this is the last large town known to us before Dar es Salaam. Our attempt to get the presentation printed and laminated in Swahili is in vain due to the vast incompetence of multiple employees of the minimalistic equipped copy shop. This ordeal cost too much time to allow another attempt at a different shop and so we must admit defeat or let the Range Rover drive to Gonja without us. Clearly, we have no interest whatsoever in this event occurring since the following days are to be free of waste ...

Day 20

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Free. Free to do as one pleases. After 19 days of playing garbage collectors, pretending to have some sort of idea what we are actually doing in this grand pilot project, talking to all sorts of students, teachers and on a less voluntary level, also speaking with authorities, today since the start of the Walk we are truly free to do whatever the geographical and financial possibilities allow. Half of the group stays at our current campground home on campus making use of the precious resource water in this land of surplus while the other half takes advantage of the nearby salt water reserve in the shape of the Indian ...

Day 33

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From the viewpoint of a Waste Walker, the day could not have a better start than the galaxy of calories in various forms of African dishes arrayed on the table under the shade of a massive Baobab tree, which offers shelter from the glaring morning heat promising to become a searing day. Satiated beyond satisfaction, we make our way to the principal’s office where we are to perform the celebratory signing of the awed guest book, which seems to be a vital component in Tanzanian offices. A teacher dedicated to education, as is hard as it is pleasing to find globally, introduces us and the project to his students. They ...
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