Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bid Farewell

It rained again all night and into the morning. Mohammed gave  me a ride early in the morning to the secondary school to say goodbye to the superintendent and promised to return for tea at ten to bid a farewell to the teachers and school matron.

After lunch we went to the other school for health campaigns. We were well received. Edward translated and was very animated to engage the students.

It is sad to bid farewell.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Clinic

I headed out to early this morning to meet edward at the Primary school before 7.30 to explain to the students why washing hands with soap and water is important. I presented the poster. It went well and the students were great.

After breakfast I went to the clinic a  meet with the doctor. There were two inpatient who were feeling better. Both had been admitted the day before. He also showed me around the outpatient clinic and lab. It is difficult with the lack of electricity and the limited supply of medications. They keep the vaccines cold with a gas powered refrigerator. I was impressed with the cleanliness and organization. We saw about 6 patients together and then 2 dental cases. I watched him do an extraction with just Novocain and a couple fillings he prepared from powders. He can not perform root canals here without electricity at present but he does them on Saturdays in iringa.

After lunch the rain started and continued all afternoon. So I stayed at the mission house. By the time it cleared up it at 5 everything was muddy and I did not care. Edward informed that the other  primary school felt slighted and would really like us to present to their students . so we decided we would do it the following day. I got started making a poster and I finally got one made.

Mohammed made it back safely from dar and reported. The evening fire was warm and welcoming.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Work as Usual

This morning I headed out as usual to work with matron but we were done by8.00am and the clouds were becoming ominous so I returned home to meet with Edward.  We had planed to visit the primary school before tea time to coordinate with the teachers about washing hands with soap. The down pour thwarted our plans, but when it cleared up we set out and repaired several tippy tappys  - a clever wooden device that holds soap and water that pours out when you step on the lever. There are a couple near the primary bathroom and one at the secondary school.

The exams are proceeding well without drama. Edward and I met the primary school superintendent and agreed to return before lunch with buckets of water and soap to wash all the students hands and return tomorrow morning to explain why it is so important.

Over four hundred students gathered, although it seemed impossible at first, we soon saw the end of line. The kids were all cooperative and Edward translated into Swahili my poster outline and I worked on it in the afternoon.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hand Washing

Morning started with sun shining again.  I headed to secondary school as usual motion and I efficiently cured for the students with colds and diarrhea then took down the decorations used to celebrate a teachers wedding the day before.  We did some exercises together pushups, sit ups, leg raises, lunge squats and burpies before getting ready for tea. 

It was fun.  The students were busy with final exams-We set up a hand washing station for the teachers and washing station for the teachers and I helped with some listing of grades.

After lunch I helped in the office a while and talked to some teachers. I headed home before the Afternoon torrential rain began-

Edward returned from Iringa without problem and we chatted for while before dinner.

Tonight I worked on a poster. About worms for the primary school students.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lovely Day

Another sunny morning despite rain overnight.

Flavian joined me for breakfast and escorted me to the Catholic Church. African time prevails: the 7:45 meet for breakfast occurred after 8:00, the 8:30 mass began at 9. The church was almost full and the choir was composed of secondary school students. There are no mass or song books but some people bring their bible to follow along. Flavian hung out with me the rest of the day on the porch. It was a beautiful day, the weather was particularly nice. In the afternoon I took the kites I had brought out to the children and we watched as they ran around trying to get them to fly. The Lutheran pastor came by around dinner and visited a while. I enjoyed hearing about his community projects. He is also tackling sustainability aspects.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Slept In

I slept in until seven thirty this morning and was happy to see the sun shining -  it had rained overnight. Mama Tony made a special breakfast for me today: French toast and these fried egg/dough/greens round balls.

Later morning I met with Mjuni and another pastor and about thirty girls who believe they are possessed by demons. Some of them have fits when overwhelmed and only the pastors intense prayers over them get them out of it. Some have nightmares and all struggle with studies and exams. I explained how their brains allow this to happen and how they can regain control with practice over time. I shared some relaxation techniques and I think it will help. The pastors were pleased and asked me to return tonight to speak with all the students before the Sat. evening prayers.

Edward showed me their garden this afternoon and then I visited with his wife and daughter. He showed me a video of Baswanian song and dance which was fun too.

I went for an hour long walk/run up the north end of town which I had not visited yet. This town has lots of hills and I am out of shape but it felt good..

In the evening Mujuni picked me up for the 7:30 singing and prayer with the secondary school students. They do this every Saturday night and really  look forward to it. Initially they all sing together and they sound phenomenal, better than Hugh Maskella. They could sell CDs.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Heather and Mohamed were up before the crack of down and by 6 AM had the car parked and ready. Edward and Mama Tony and I wished them well on their long journey to Dar es salaam.

After attending to the students with matron I was taken to the Catholic Church compound to get on the internet. Since the generators weren’t on yet Edward showed me around the large compound including a large kindergarten, a huge nursery of seedlings, a medical clinic. We met a brother and three Italian women who told us about their work on the agricultural school.

I returned to school to teach with Wingled and in the afternoon met with a group of students to tell them about common infections causes of diarrhea and the importance of hand washing and clean water. I think telling them about the meter long guinea worm will get a few more hand washers.

 I met up with Eliot around five and we headed out for a walk which ended up being a 90 min trek! It felt good.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekend Safari

I’m off to meet matron by 7:30 to attend students before classes. It is Friday but no body seems particularly enthused the weekend is here. We had a lot of students with colds and stomach pain, a cough who were referred the teachers (a) morning break and it was great to see them and address hearth concerns. I assisted Wingled with a class on nutrition and then accepted a side home from Mjuni on his motor cycle it had been raining all morning and ground was muddy. Heather Muhamed and Edward had just started lunch, heather had taught standard five and six loves working with the children.

We were excused from afternoon lessons for our weekend journey to safari (a) Ruaha national park, we met Paris our drivers after lunch and headed out to Iringa and then hilltop lodge just 18km outside of Ruaha the lodge was very welcoming with tama ran juice and worm most towels to refresh us on arrival from the dust ride. Our rooms were located in bungalows on the hilltop with a beautiful view and deck for lodging. We were delighted to have our own bath rooms with mizungu toilets and warm showers. They also have solar powered lights from 7pm-10pm this is slow season for the lodge and there were only three other groups there we loved the safari the following day heading out (a) 8am breakfast and returning about six we sported several lions and their cubs elephants, zebra, giraffes and lots of  impalas they were all beautiful we also saw many birds, a snake, warthog, mongoose, hyrax, a lizard, foxes, kudos, jukes and hippopotamus our driver Titus was phenomenal a sporting the animals but despite his efforts the leopards and cheetahs remained hidden it was awesome to watch on lion feeding on giraffe carcass that had been killed a few days before by a group of a lions.

On Sunday we were allowed a more relaxed morning gating breakfast (a) we enjoyed lodging and listening to the animal chorus surrounding us.

Paris drove us home safely by way of Iringa town where we met Edward and go to use the Neema cafe bathroom despite the shop being closed what a relief


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Full Day of Work

Today we split up in the morning I left early to meet Regina the secondary school matron. I observed as she attended to about ten students with com diarrhea. She efficiently assessed and dispensed medication. We later discussed working together to better sort out how to evaluate and educate re prevention. Edward met with us and facilitated our communication. The matron is very caring and loves her work with the students. After a while check the dorms finding several students skipping class but respectfully returning with matrons urging. She troubled they don’t understand the importance of their studies.

During morning break we attended another dozen or so students, some with more serious problems we referred to village clinic. Just before noon I returned to the mission house to find heather who had observed class that morning and then discovered the rest of the day was free since it was clothes washing day for the elementary student we enjoyed lunch together with Mohamed and then headed back to secondary school to meet Mr. Wingled the biology teacher. I observed two classes and we planned to teach together the following day. We’ll meet before class to coordinate. I was happy to see Heather and Edward in the school square with some teacher speaking Kiswahili. Edward took us around town to visit and I checked the local pharmacy with limited supplies we visited his home and saw his family and saw his neigh hood the student and teachers were engaged in soccer and volley ball game the field and we watched for a while before heading home just in time before the evening shower we had a nice dinner together with a whole team and decided to start sharing journal in the evenings since our schedules don’t coincide in the morning any more. We enjoyed playing uno with Mohamed after dinner for funs again by the fire keeping as warm.

Zaurie had another early morning. She went off to work with the school matron. She said there were many students who weren’t feeling well today. After her time with the matron she taught biology class with Mr wingled. She said her students were engaged in the lesson.

I taught them some American songs and we did some activities before their exercises. When I corrected the first graders papers I drew smile face on all of their papers and they got kick out of it giggled.

 Mohamed come to pick me up in the jeep because it was raining quit hard and the passes were slippery. I met Laurie and Edward when I returned Laurie and I set by the fire Edward mad and stay warm.

After dinner Edward gave us an informative lesson on Tanzanian history. Laurie and I read for a little while before packing for the weekend.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Going to the Schools

We started this morning with breakfast and then some exercises and activities about our goals of the trips and the what want we want to accomplish as a group. We then headed to secondary school to meet the secondary headmaster, who shared with us much information about the school and the students. We joined the teacher for their meeting and we had the opportunity to introduce our services and the teachers introduced themselves as well.

               The second headmaster gave us a tour of the school campus. We went into one of the class which had at list 50 students and that was the school’s smallest classes. We went to the kitchen where two chefs where preparing food for the students: one was miscuing the cornmeal and water over a fire and there was cutting lots of cabbage.

                 After the secondary school, we went to the primary school where we where welcomed by the headmaster. We spent some time speaking with them and then we walked back to lunch.

                   Went back to the secondary school after lunch and met with school matron who she will be working with every morning for an hour before teaching biology.

Mohammed walked with me to the primary school where the headmaster gave me a time table for my English lessons.

             We met us with and Edward at the mission house .later in the afternoon, mohammed gave us Hehe and Kiswahili lesson.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Early Wake Up

We slept well @The hostel and woke to the Muslim calling to prayer @4AM –Returning to sleep was no problem and in the morning we were greeted by the singing of many birds –we showered  parked and met up with Edward for breakfast at the hostel in a community dining room where the university instructors also  ate –Mohammed and  Nessia met us there also after heather reviver the weekends journal entry .We went over the plans for the day and then headed out to meet the General secretary of the Lutheran host organization .He was warm and welcoming facially recognizing our presence  and role –We then had a tour  of the organization by the communications director who introduced us to the education secretary and several others.  It was noted that several of the pastors were absent as Monday is usually their  day off –he showed us their radio station in action.

Mohamed then took us to Iringa town where we begged for a price break from the safari company since the price of gas has made transportation so expressive we bought craft made at shop staffed by deal people. Then walked over to series of outdoor kiosques craft by the masai we experienced the bustling tour and saw the open market and multiple shops where Edward and Nessia brought provisions for our stay. The driver to pommern seemed surprisingly short despite the dirt road.

             The mission house is a large welcoming building surrounding central lawn tree. We met Moses who showed us around town centers and an ongoing soccer game with plenty of men around watching.

We came home to a delicious mizungu dinner prepared by mama Toni. We had brand new solar power lighting and a blazing fire for a comfortable evening.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Meeting the Group

Saturday was our first day together as a group. It is a small group, two wages Volunteers. We all had dinner together at the Slipway Hotel restaurant and we started to get to know each other .Edward our leader introduced himself first .Then zaurs.  introduced himself . She is a doctor who spend part of her adolescence . I wing in Portugal. Mohammed introduced himself after I did. we had a lovely dinner next to the Indian ocean .I was thrilled to use the Indian ocean for the first time .

After dinner we talked about our assignments in Pommern . zauri  will put her medical back ground to use with the school nurse and at the clinic a well as working with  a teacher in the secondary school. I wll be working at the primary school .we napped up and headed up to our room .I was a sleep quite easily. The travel  tired me out.

Sunday morning zauis  and I got up easily and went to church. The mass was in Swahili so we weren’t  sure what the homily was about ,but we could basically follow the service. After church, we ate a quick breakfast  and then got on the road for the 9 his drives. The driver was beautiful. we got to the much of the country.

One of the highlights was during trough the Mikumi national park. We saw elephants, bacons ,zebras, wildelence and  giraffes. Zauris and I never so leycited. I was also very fascinated in the Masai people and  selling them tending to their hands.

The mountain landscape was also beautiful. It was a wonderful drives, but I was happy to get to our hostel so I could  stretch my legs for a while.

We freshened up and them had a delicious dinner. It was a goat day and Look forward  to more adventures tomorrow.