We’ve been unable to post for a couple of days due to power cuts at the hospital. The hospital has it’s own back up generator but our residence doesn’t. Also had no water for a long time so we were almost ready to head for Moshi early but finally water came back on line. We’re now in Moshi at the end of the trip at the Leopard Hotel and writing at an internet cafe. So we’ll be unable to post any photos unfortunately. Here goes on a lengthy post.
To pick up where we left off, on Monday we took the daladala to Lombeta Secondary School, which is a private school, where Richardi has enrolled. He didn’t earn a high enough grade for government high school. The only other option was to put him into an apprenticeship in a wood or metal shop. Richardi is still a little boy of 14 so this didn’t seem the appropriate step at this time for him. We were greeted very warmly by the Headmaster and sat down to arrange the fees payment for Richardi. We are buying his uniform and school supplies separately. While chatting to the Head Master we learned that it is almost a 2 hour walk to school for Richardi and this is a problem in the rainy season. Boarding at the school seems to be the right option in terms of his health, and better learning potential, so we made the decision to add about $400 to the $255 tuition costs so that he could board at the school. This will also lessen the pressure on his family, which is a large one, for food. Now we have to arrange for purchase of a mattress and blanket and trunk for him. I’ve just sourced them out in Moshi for around $50.
On Tuesday we took the daladala to Marangu and walked further to Samanga Vocational Training Centre where Scola is enrolled in a two year program to learn tailoring. She soon learned we were on campus and approached us with a big smile in her school uniform. She wanted to show us her classroom where she learns sewing and we followed her where we took photos of her behind her sewing machine. She seems very happy at the school, and is excited at the possibility of one day making the uniforms for our children! We met with the Headmaster and signed the contract, as at Lombeta S.S. to pay the fees for her at the school’s bank account in Moshi.
On Wednesday we visited St. Anna Maria Kindergarten School nearby the hospital where we paid for the school fees and lunch for little Veronica, a new addition to ABCD: Art Building Children’s Dreams. The 50 or 60 little ones in their classroom were so lovely and so friendly to us with a song to sing and rhyming off their newly learned English greetings. I, (Frank) then left with Peter and George for a hike to find the Mbuya family around the other side of a large hill near the hospital. Peter had built a table for Anna and I was happy to have him to carry it (very heavy Eucalyptus wood). George was along because he and his wife Carol have generously agreed to sponsor a new addition to ABCD: Art Building Children’s Dreams, Josephat, we found at the home of aged and crippled Godfrey. Josephat is 14, has no parents and came from Kenya to live with Godfrey and his wife who are in their 60’s and also have little Monica to care for (also added to the project). There is also a daughter with two infants living with Godfrey and his wife….a compelling situation.
So I thought I knew the way to these homes without Joseph and did fine with a little help from locals. We dropped off the table at the Mbuya boma (house) and I have to say that Peter was stunned by the poverty evident inside the home where we left the table for security reasons because no one was home at the time we arrived. At Godfrey’s home, we got the information we needed from Josephat about his schooling in Kenya to try to arrange for his grades to be sent to Kisuluni Secondary School where we are hoping he will be enrolled. George was very happy to meet him as his sponsor.
Now in Moshi we have had a busy day at banks lining up to pay school tuition fees and paying the shopkeeper where we bought about $1,200 worth of school supplies for our children. Joseph will dispense the materials from his home with Lynn because she is staying over in Tanzania an extra few days. This will also be the system with the school uniforms. It’s much hotter in Moshi than up in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro at Kilema. Tomorrow we plan to wrap up our purchases and banking. Frank will head for the airport in the evening.