The Next Journey Begins

Play360 Construction Manager | Jason Mackenzie


by Jason Mackenzie | Play360 Construction Manager

Headed to the airport in a few hours to begin the journey to Tanzania as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange award. Flying from Indianapo
lis to Chicago to Zurich where I will spend a couple days before I fly to Dar es Salaam. If I recall correctly it’s like 2 hours to Chicago, 10 hours to Zurich and 12 hours to Dar.

Still need to pack some clothes for the 3 weeks I will be away. Let’s see, what does one pack for a Swiss and then a Tanzanian winter…? I’m guessing one big jacket and a lot of t-shirts.

And pack the tools…. our intention is to leave 3 or 4 toolkits in Tanzania. These will likely include a drill, drill bits, extension cord, transformer (Tanzania runs on 220 volts, certain to smoke a drill), a hacksaw, a converter (Tanzania plugs are different from ours), a tape measure, a utility knife and a few extra things.

20170207_085926Because most of our playground builds are done over the span of just a few days, we often travel with a lot of tools, including battery-powered ones. This is necessary because we have to be able to build fast with a lot of hands. This time, we are trying to pare down all the tools, build a little more slowly and leave a few of them behind so our trainees can build more playgrounds.

I’m headed to meet up with Janet and Walter. They work with the Friends of Children with Cancer We will be building a “prototype” playground at one of their sites all the while training their staff and others how to build these playgrounds as well as teach the curriculum associated with the playground. Luckily, we got the curriculum translated to Swahili!

The site is sort of like a Ronald McDonald house. These are facilities designed for the family members who are visiting their children who are receiving medical treatment at the hospital. I’m really excited about the work! I have a feeling it is going to be quite impactful and emotional.