Unexpected gifts in return for work

Shukuru Munro, of Broad Bay, is collecting school supplies, such as stationery, to send to a school in East Africa. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Packing for a long-haul flight from East Africa to Dunedin is challenging when you’re given a last-minute gift of a live goat and chicken, an Otago Peninsula woman says.

Shukuru Munro, of Broad Bay, said she led a project to get a new toilet block built at her former school in the village of Kelema in Tanzania.

The project was finished shortly before she had to board a bus for a 10-hour journey to catch a plane to make her way to Dunedin.

Before boarding the bus, People in the village gave her a live chicken and a goat to say thanks.

She was able to give the goat back after the driver explained a charge for excess baggage, but the chicken was put in a box and made the overnight trip on her lap.

“That’s Africa, man, you just have to laugh . . . the bus was full but I would have felt rude if I didn’t take the chicken,” she said, laughing.

At her destination, she gave the chicken to a family member and they ate it for Christmas dinner.

She stayed in Kelema for a month to project-manage the build and returned to Dunedin on December 10.

The new block of 18 toilets – made from brick, tin and wood – was gratefully received by the about 1000 pupils, aged from 7 to 15, at the school.

“They are very happy.”

The block replaces six long drops, which were about to collapse.

Fundraising for the the block project included “Taste of Tanzania” dinners last year, held at Macandrew Bay in June and Portobello in September, with the help of the Dunedin East Rotary Club.

Shukuru Munro at a new toilet block she (and fundraising by Dunedin East Rotary Club) helped build at a school in the Tanzanian village of Kelema. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Both events raised nearly $13,000 and the club gave another $3000.

The money was used for building the block and to buy an empty shipping container in Dunedin.

Flash flush . A tank for pupils to collect water to flush the toilets of a new toilet block in Tanzania. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

She had started collecting school goods, such as books, pens, pencils and backpacks, desks to fill the container and ship to the village this year.

When she gave a pupil a pencil, they were “really grateful” so to be given something like a new or used backpack would be huge, she said.

People wanting to give goods in the container could email shukuru.nz@gmail.com.

If anyone had a spare container to give away, she and the club would consider filling both to ship to the village.