Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 5, 2009

“Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” –submitted by Ben

Ben and I both awoke at 6 am and were packed by 7 am to leave at 8 am…Mzungu time. Momma Tony came in to get our mattresses. Then we went for breakfast. All we wanted was mzungu porridge – oatmeal. Three of the Form 3 girls came in and gave me pictures they drew and said goodbye. It was very sweet and heart warming. As we went outside to take photos all the Form 1 and Form 2 students came up the road from the classrooms. They sang me songs. Ben took photos of me with them and I videotaped some of the songs and the primary students having their morning run. It was a wonderful goodbye and send off on my safari/journey home.

As we headed down the mountain pass of Ipalamwa we waved goodbye and said kwa kheri to everyone. We picked up the headmaster of the primary school just before nearing Mr Hs house where he joined us for the safari/journey to Iringa. The ride was beautiful. Ben and I were quiet as Momma Tony, Mr. H, Ebrania, and the primary school headmaster talked in Kiswahili. Once in a while they would say what they were talking about but I was content with my own thoughts…

Upon arriving in Iringa we made a quick stop at the Lutheran church hostel where we left our things in our locked rooms. Mohammad then dropped Ben, Advent and I off to go to the bank and wander Iringa for a while. Advent was a great tour guide showing us around. We stopped at Hasty Tasty for Fantas and then said goodbye to Advent. Mohammad took us to the Lutheran hostel where Ben and I retired to our rooms to write in our journals, shower and just settle in for the night. It was a good thing because it started pouring down rain.

It was a good first day’s journey! –Pam

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 4, 2009

“God helps those who helps themselves and others.” –submitted by Pam

It is our last day in Ipalamwa or I should say my last day. Ben, Mohammad, Momma Tony, and Harran will return on Monday with four new volunteers. Ben and I have organized our things so we can be packed up and ready tomorrow at 7 am. We’ll have a quick breakfast to be on the road by 8 am. Well that’s Mohammad’s plan. I have mixed feelings about leaving this time. There is no much support needed here and I know I’ve made a difference. I hope I can continue to be of support from home and help them obtain the necessary funding and means for funding. They can’t always rely on volunteers for donations. Everyone is so thankful for all of our support and many here have said they don’t want me to leave and they miss Rich and Cheryl. They are excited for Ben’s return with the new volunteers.

Ben continued working at the student dorms with Ebrania. They finished the window stopped installation. But the window locks were black instead of gold, so at first Ebrania did not want to install them. He gave in and they spent the morning installing on all windows.

I held my last math class with the Form 1s. I could not have done it without the textbook which I had to clean the office to find. The students learn very quickly and we were able to complete all the chapters on algebra.

I spent the rest of the morning taking ‘pichas’ of the primary students, headmaster, Mr. H and some local preschoolers. The primary students then asked for the numbers and ABC cards. So I got the flashcards and played one last time before giving them to headmaster for the Form 1s which was the request of Pastor Alexander.

Ben was back at the student dorms with Ebrania installing the window locks. I being out with them for about an hour taking pictures and talking. The entire school seemed so deserted. The Form 2s were in exams. Form 3s left early to walk to a village 20 kilometers away to get maize and beans. So all that was around were Form 1s. I talked with some teachers for a while and discussed Ben’s and my plan to get world maps for the classrooms. They recommended getting them in Dar so it would be cheaper. Ben and I then played scrabble until the students came to sing. They are all wonderful and Pastor Alexander said very kind words regarding my work teaching. He spoke of my love for “my students’ and it made me realize how much my actions really did match how I feel inside. I wish I had millions of dollars to donate to fix all the problems and worries of the school. I said my goodbyes and they sang me one last song. Then as they dispersed to go to dinner, head girl and a few others came to hug me goodbye. Our final dinner was with Mamma Tony and Mohammad. We had rice, kuku we received from Tom, home-made rolls and pineapple. It was great. I must find Tom in Iringa and thank him before I leave. The rest of the evening was spent by Ben and I finalizing packing to we can be ready at 7 am.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3, 2009

“Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life.”
-Herbert Henry Asquith, submitted by Pam

Harran is in Iringa now. We received a gift from him this afternoon: doorstops, locks and hot chocolate mix. We’ll no longer have to ration our cocoa.
In the moring Pam taught and I worked with Ebrania as usual. Around noon, however, Pam and I got the chance to see the Form 2s start their history exam. Headmaster Titus also shared with us a copy of the math exam that the students took yesterday. Pam was excited because a few of the questions were very similar to ones she went over in class. I hope they were all listening.

Just before dinner a large fire raged across a mountainside below us. I can’t remember if any of my teammates have mentioned them, but I feel I should do here anyway as they have become a commonplace occurrence. Started to either clear land for cultivation or chase game to places where hunters and their dogs can make a kill, these fires dot the mountains and there is rarely a day or night where you can’t spot the flames or smoke of one. To use them for hunting is illegal but farmers will regularly use them to help prepare land, especially so now in the months before the rainy season.

Muhammad thinks the one that caught our eye was started for the latter reason and got out of control. It was by far one of the biggest we’d seen. We watched the flames spread and dance until Momma Tony called us in for dinner.