Without doubt, one of the most welcoming families I know in Tanzania and I am so unbelievably proud that they consider me family. As usual my first homestay in Tanzania was a return to Ano's family home and a chance to be reunited with one of my Tanzanian families. As soon as we arrived I taken over by excitement and ran to see one of Ano's mums. She instantly embraced me with a Tanzanian welcome and I was soon all hugged out from his sisters and his children. We had a brief snack of popcorn, some fried mandazi and a soda before we went to visit his other mum, who is currently living in her family home to care for her mother. She has been sick in recent weeks and her health is deteriorating and Ano was desperate for me to meet her as she is also named Rebecca. It was such a wonderful experience to meet her and she was so overwhelmed she and her daughters sang to welcome us to her home, it was very emotional.
When we returned to his home we ate an amazing Tanzanian meal prepared by Ano's mum, just the fuel we needed for the evening we were about to have. We gave our gifts to the family and played for the rest of the night, I was predominately excited to be reunited with my girls, especially the gorgeous Shakira, my beautiful little sister. I found it particularly touching as they had prepared a wedding gift for me and their English son-in-law.
Trying to recreate our 2008 picture.
Our First Tanzanian Homestay
After finishing the walk from Kaparogwe Falls myself, Yasmin and Becca Crowther headed to Ano's. I definitely couldn't have asked for a better family to stay with! We first met Ano's mum, sisters and baby brother, Ezra, who were all lovely. After a short walk, we were at Ano's great-grandmother's. We were warmly welcomed there also by his great-grandmother, grandmother and other mum. Once we returned to Ano's home it was time for tea! We were greeted by big bowls full of gorgeous food, cooked by Ano's mum. The only downfall was that I struggled to eat an orange so it slipped out of my hand onto Ano's plate, safe to say I was embarrassed about my inability to eat fruit. We then gathered the family and gave them their gifts, they were all so grateful and pleased! It was lovely to see this. As they opened the presents they sang a beautiful song. I then made what felt like a billion loom bands with the girls but Ano seemed to struggle more than them! I loved my time with Ano's family, they're all just like him- very happy and kind.
After talking to Ano for around one year over Facebook, I couldn't wait to meet him. When he invited myself along with Becca and Jess to his home to meet him family, I felt really grateful and so excited. Upon arriving at his home, we met some of his family and they gave us some snacks (FYI fried mandazi is amazing). We walked the 10 minute journey to Ano's great grandmother's home, where again we were welcomed so warmly, and greeted with sodas. It was lovely to see his family and talk with them (which Ano translated for us). I was shocked to know that his grandmother did not speak any Swahili, only Nyakyusa, which is their tribe language. When we got home Ano's mama cooked us the most amazing meal, and Ano cooked us eggnuts, which Becca totally recommended. The next morning we woke up to chicken and chips, along with yams, leftover eggnuts and chai tea, followed by a trip to Ano's local church with the rest of the Link. Asante sana to Ano and his family for their ever so kind welcome and their great hospitality.
Yasmin Hailes J