Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Hello World! I hope this finds everyone back home in the USA or wherever you are enjoying the warm summer weather. For those of you in Tanzania I hope you are enjoying the beautiful days of winter!
Things are moving a long nicely. We started our little classroom of eight 4 & 5 year old students. We are teaching them their ABC’s and 123’s as well as doing some exercising and learning new words like “running, jumping, walking! I must admit I love hearing them run into our yard…when the gate opens @ 8:30 they all run in and each one gets a passion fruit from our tree to start their day. They are all excited to play with blocks, puzzles and other toys. They are also learning their colors…Everyday we go over, Red, Blue, Yellow, Pink, Purple. Sometimes they get confused, but with our hard work they will be proficient in no time!
When they come in and sit down on the mat, in unison they all say “Good Morning Teacher”. I warms my heart…It gives me a reason to jump out of bed!
Our students are: Jackie, Esther, Sharon, Givon, Samson, Jonny, Mosses & Eshra.
Their first day in school they all went home with new clothes thanks to the generosity of many of you. They really appreciate it and they wear them just about every day.
All good things at our Little School of St. Nicholas. Hopefully one day we will move out of my living room and into a proper building…But we need your help!
My mornings are now busy, they children come Monday – Friday 8:30 – 11:30. It is like having a full time job again…My afternoons are now busy running around town getting some things done. Our painters are doing a wonderful job. We have made some custom ornaments for our friends at the Moivaro Lodge. I have to pick up some others for the Tarangire Lodge and deliver them tomorrow.
I continue to try to open a bank account here in Tanzania for our little organization. It is so complicated . I visited with Barclays on Saturday and walked out with a list of 10 things I need. Some are easy…some are more difficult and some requests are outright expensive! It is an atrocity really. Can you believe you have to hire an attorney to write an introduction letter for both myself and the NGO to open an account. It is expensive too! Tsh 100,000 per letter! To be honest everything here is really expensive: food, gas and toilet paper! The necessities. I walk around the supermarket and walk out with nothing.
There is also a butter shortage here due to draught conditions in Somalia/Kenya. If you can find butter, it costs $10.00 for 1 pound. I will do without while I am here.
I try to enjoy my weekends, there is no class on Saturday or Sunday so I try to take a day trip. On Sunday, two friends took me to visit the Bushman at Lake Eyasi…WOW! I loved it. Woke up before dawn and drove 3.5 hours to go on a morning hunt with them. Got to practice by archery skills and went on a long walk through the bush. I wasn’t actually hunting, they were and I was with them. When they reached a certain point the fired their arrows and down came a vervet monkey! Two arrows…one dead monkey. The started a fire with some wood and donkey dung – no matches, they built it up a bit and threw the monkey as is (without the tail) right on top, skin and all. I was mesmerized by the whole thing. They cut it up with their knives and ate breakfast. I offered it to me once and I replied no thank you. Ten minutes later they offered it to me again and I tasted it, all I can say is not for me…I spit it out and gave the rest back to them.
They also killed three mouse birds and tucked them under their belt…saving them for lunch I suppose. On the walk back to their camp they spotted a snake, within seconds one of their arrows went right through it…great shot!!! It was some sort of venomous and deadly snake…I am thinking this is a good day…much better than a game drive. We were walking and participating. I love it.
There are some other tribes nearby where the bushmen live, they have goats, cows, sheep, dogs and even a cat. We were walking by a cat at one point, when two dogs starting chasing it…the dogs won and started eating the poor cat alive. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! I never saw a dog eat a cat before! By 10:00am I witnessed the death of: 1 monkey, 3 mousebirds, 1 snake and 1 cat and I tasted monkey for breakfast!
Near by the Bushmen there is a lovely Tented Camp: Kisima Ngeda Tent Camp. An Argentinian woman runs it with her German husband; it is lovely…I recommend staying there. I just visited and had a lovely chat with her.
On the way home we raised some funding with some of our old vendors. They are helping us fight poverty with our Christmas ornaments. It was good to see them again.
By the time we approached Monduli I was tired and covered in dust. It was an eventful and exciting day and I knew that my kids would be coming the following morning and I had a lot of things to plan. The traffic was moving really well…it was Sunday so many don’t go into town. We passed the coffee fields and were approaching the Cultural Heritage Center when all of a sudden this man walks in the street without looking onto the oncoming traffic and gets hit by a truck!! Hit by a truck right in front of us. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…We were the first car going in the opposite direction to pass his lifeless body. Needless to say I started freaking out a little bit…I wanted to stop and call the police, we were witnesses. But my driver advised me that that would not be a good idea. Mobs of people would be gathering and I would be a target of theft and other not so good things…so we moved on.
Today I went to town and saw a funeral going by, I only could imagine that it was that of that young man.
There is so much more to tell…This Saturday I am heading to Lake Natron to be a “mystery guest” for a tented camp…can’t tell you which one. I have to write up a report on their hospitality, service, food etc. Should be fun and I get a free night at Lake Natron!
Wishing you peace,