January 22 — After our usual morning exercises we hiked for about 1.5 hours from our hotel in Marangu West to Kilema ward. The terrain is beautifully forested and we passed by lovely scenes of hills, waterfalls, gorges and towering eucalyptus trees (imported from Australia way back and now an environmental problem here).
Arriving at Kisuluni Secondary School, we were welcomed by the staff and had contracts signed for the school fees of Anna and Yudatade. We got photos of Anna in class but Yudatade was absent today. We will visit him and his mom at their home soon.
Then up the hill we went to visit Kisuluni Primary School where we had a good discussion with Mr. Lyaruu, the Headmaster, about his students need in terms of food. They get their lunch but often come to school hungry. So we are thinking about the feasibility of starting a breakfast program if we can find sufficient funding. The young children (watoto) were all excited to see us and were swarming all around Robyn as she took photos! We paid for the lunches of Airini, Monica, and Yasinta, contracts signed, hands shaken and off we went.
We took a break for lunch at the new canteen at nearby Kilema Hospital and walked through the sprawling grounds where Lynn and I had stayed on our first 3 trips to Tanzania. It was good to be back there again. This took us to Kichilioni Primary School where we found Christina and Emanueli, shot their happy smiles, got the contract signed and paid for the school lunches (chakula).
Final stop Kilema Primary School where Abeli attends. He was very happy to see us and posed very well in his classroom with all of his friends looking on. So his lunch was paid for the year and we left for our long hike home under threatening skies. Luckily we didn’t get rained on and it was a good thing for my friends as I was the only one who had brought his raincoat!