The entry sign said “Kindness is a Language…”

We eagerly stepped in. Dazzling strings of beads arched the entryway to the shaded courtyard in Arusha.


Emmanuel stepped forward to greet us and to show us around Shanga, whose mission is to recycle materials into beautiful craft objects. It had all started with beads.

Emmanuel walked us through the process.


Start with glass for recycling. 


The glass is put through a clever machine made with a bicycle wheel and an electric motor to pulverize old glass into tiny bits.


The tiny bits of glass are melted down and poured into little clay molds.


Beads, the product of recycled glass.

Shanga’s artisans use glass in many ways. We especially liked these little lantern and votive candle-holders.


It may have started with glass, but we loved the other cycled crafts as well – including little elephant pillows, hand-painted plaques, furniture, and woven mats.



Shanga’s mission, “Be Kind and Recycle” took a twist we hadn’t expected. Many of their workers are disabled. One wall of the workshop was painted with “Kindness is a language which blind people see and which deaf people hear.”

NOTE: We had stopped here on our way to the airport in Arusha after our safari. It’s definitely worth a visit to the workshop and café. Can’t go yourself? You can always take a virtual visit to the shop. 

June 2014

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Around-the World - 2013-14, Tanzania and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The entry sign said “Kindness is a Language…”

  1. I wish I had read this post before going to Arusha but I will definitely visit it on my return.

  2. dawn says:

    this is one of my favorite places ON EARTH! we visited in 2010 (emmanuel gave us the tour, too!), and my son (17) was there again two weeks ago. it wasn’t on the agenda due to timing, but at the last minute there was a change and his face lit up when his gramma said they were going! he was amazed at how much it has grown… and how amazing it continues to be. he brought me a few souvenirs, but someday… someday i am going back. thank you for sharing this most beautiful place!

  3. That’s really interresting ! It’s good we can do something with it

  4. jackhonderd says:

    So glad you captured this little artisan center, Beth and Joe. Beautifully done!

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