1st trip to Africa

January 2012

On the way to Africa


Good evening,
Today, Alexandra left to investigate the situation in Tanzania.
Since she is travelling alone and the circumstances on site are not clear, she will probably not be able to send daily news. I will let you know when there are interesting news.


Alexandra arrived well in the hotel and has sent a first SMS on Friday afternoon.

Best regards,

News from Tanzania

During the last few days I was in contact with Alexandra by SMS and Skype calls. She is fine and sends greetings to all. After first investigations in Dar-es-Salam Alexandra went to an orphanage with 135 girls and donated school and teaching material, medicine and school uniforms. She just took a public service bus and drove in seven hours to Iringa (rather a torture than a tour). This is an inland location, the town is marked on the map. Unfortunately, Alexandra found so far no internet access to send pictures, maybe in the next days there will be a possibility...

Best regards, Frank

Back to Dar es Salam

Hello everybody, Alexandra sends you greetings from Tansania! After an adventurous ride to the interior of the country she has safely arrived back in Dar es Salam. She is quite satisfied with what she achieved. Unfortunately there is no possibility to send pictures and e-mails. Wednesday evening she will fly back to Germany and arrive in Frankfort on Thursday morning. After her return we will see the pictures and get to know more about this exciting stay. I am hopeful that everything goes well. Today she told me about a sunburn due to the intense solar radiation there, and here we have -8°C – what a crazy world :-)

Best regards, Frank

Report of first trip to Africa - Tanzania

On January 19, Alexandra travels for the first time to Africa. Her travel destination is Tanzania, one of the second poorest African country. In countries that are economically so badly off political unrest or civil wars are common which makes it impossible for us to give support for the time being.

During the first days after her arrival in Dar Es Salaam many things are new to Alexandra though the Indian, Arabic and European influence makes many things appear also familiar. People are friendly but reserved. Nature here is unique, a jewel on this earth.
Contrary to Indian big cities there is no smog in this only really big city of Tanzania (the country being almost three times as large as Germany with a population of ca. 41 Mio). The city is lined and surrounded by palm trees and trees with fragrant yellow, red and pink blossoms
There is no constant honking of overtaking cars like in India. Even in crowded areas everything is much more relaxed compared to the busy hustle and bustle of Indian market places.
The first two days, Alexandra explores the vicinity and tries to get in contact with people.
She learns some important facts about the Tanzanian flora and fauna and that Ugali (corn porridge) and beans is the staple diet of the locals, also that "karibu" means „welcome“ in the local language which is answered by ""asante"", meaning „thank you“.
Ca. 35 to 40 percent of the population are Moslems, 45 to 50 percent Christians. The rest is adhering to traditional beliefs like ancestor worship and different ritual actions with ritual objects related to the farmland. There are also small communities of Hindus and Sikhs. Accordingly, the face of the city Dar Es Salaam and Sansibar, the isle belonging to the country is shaped by churches, mosques and temples.
The isle of Sansibar with its original and oriental appearance is an attraction for tourists, in addition to the national parks on the mainland, the Kilimanjaro and the Lake Victoria. Tourism is a growing source of income for this country.
Still the main pillar of the Tanzanian economy is the agriculture. About 2/3 of all working Tanzanians work as farmers. The mining industry with gold-mining is another economic sector of Tanzania which is Africa’s fourth largest state.
During this travel, the Friendcircle Worldhelp gave support to two children’s homes by providing them with school material, medicine, food and mosquito-nets that are practically the sole prophylactic measure against the widespread malaria. Besides Aids malaria is one of the main causes of death. This is certainly also a reason for the low average age of the population which is 14 years!

To the delight of the eight teachers working there, we also supported a very poor school with 259 children near Iringa, further inland. We bought school material for them: class books, notebooks, pens, erasers... simply everything was lacking!! We also bought 80 cups for the children for lack of which they had been eating their breakfast straight from their hands. The breakfast consists of porridge, prepared daily by the teachers: corn porridge! They finally needed three big pots for cooking and two 100 liter containers for the water that the children bring to school in small portions from a far away well. The teachers as well as the children were very happy.
Also the villagers close to the school were happy to receive foodstuff like corn, beans, sugar and oil for cooking as well as soap to wash themselves and their clothes.

We thank all the friends who have made this trip possible!!
In the gallery you will find some pictures of the actions.
Below some key figures comparing Germany, Tanzania and India (source: Wikipedia):

229 inhabitants / km2, area 357.022 km2, population 82 Mio
39 inhabitants / km2, area 945.087 km2, population 41 Mio
365 inhabitants / km2, area 3.287.590 km2, population 1,2 Billions

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