Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Family's Service Adventure in Tanzania

The Ford Family of Great Falls, Montana (all nine of them) served together in Pommern in June 2013.  This is their journal of their Adventure in Service.

8/6/13 - Lovely seaside dinner with Edward. The food is delicious and the view of the water amazing, but we realize this is the tourist “Disneyland” part of Tanzania and we’ll start the REAL journey tomorrow when we drive ten hours to Iringa.

Overall the trip has been splendid and peaceful. We love Edward’s grace and
Mohammed’s quiet, sweet patience with all our language struggles and
dorky American ways.  Oh, and in case I forget…
- Jamie

Leaving With Lifetime Memories


“The pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow. For every challenge encountered there is opportunity for growth.” –unknown

Thursday was our last full day in Pommern. We spent the morning at the primary school and the clinic. The clinic was pretty busy because of the CTC. We said our final goodbyes to all the staff at the clinic. It has been really enjoyable spending the past three weeks with them! After lunch we made our way to Iringa. We made another visit to Neema Craft, a store that employs disabled people. Carrie and I both bought a few things. We spent the night at the Lutheran Center again. Our stay there was quite pleasant! It was very nice to have hot water again. We left Iringa bright and early this morning to head to Dar es Salaam. We stopped for lunch at the Arc Hotel in Morogoro. It was delicious! We made our way to Slipway despite the heavy traffic! We had our final dinner with Edward this evening. I cannot believe this trip is coming to an end. It truly is a bittersweet ending. I will cherish these memories forever!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Volunteering in Tanzania - June 5

“People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
– Steve Jobs

A sad day today – it is our last full day in Pommern. I can’t believe the time went so fast. We did something different today. We went to the Roman Catholic Church where they have a center for disabled children. We spent the morning there. After the children had their clothes changed and had their breakfast we were able to help with stretching and exercising. It is a very nice facility with lots of toys and things for the children and three nice ladies who worked with them. Two or three of the kids probably have cerebral palsy and needed serious stretching exercises – the rest just needed some special attention and love – and we had so much fun playing with balls kicking and catching and stacking blocks. 

After a delicious "Mama Toni pizza" for lunch, we went to the primary school to continue our hand washing education. After three weeks here, the class finally knew our names and didn’t try to call Taylor and I “mzungu”. After that we went to the secondary school to drop some donations off for the matron – Regina. It was just a few things like bandaids, gauze, and ibuprofen but I know she will put them to good use. Now we are organizing and packing our things and getting ready to say our goodbyes tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Volunteering in Tanzania - June 4

“The only thing that stands between you and your dream is the will to try and the belief that it is actually possible.” –Joel Brown

Today we started our morning by making more posters about hand washing for the primary school. We went to the clinic a little after 9:30am. It was a very quiet day at the clinic, and Elton was heading to Kilolo to drop off the monthly paperwork, so Carrie and I decided to go for a walk in the village. 

We stopped by the church to listen to the choir sing, but we were soon spotted by the kindergarteners. We went and played with them and both Carrie and I became human jungle gyms. Those little human beings are so adorable! We went back to the mission house for lunch and then went to the primary school in the afternoon. 

We taught a standard 1 class about hand washing and hung a poster in their classroom. Before dinner, Carrie and I went back to the church to listen to the choir. We are so impressed with their singing! We were invited to sing, but we both declined the offer due to our poor singing abilities!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tanzania Volunteer Vacation - June 3, 2013

“20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain

Today we spent most of the morning with Patricia at the clinic. We saw several patients including a 10 year old boy who tested positive for HIV. We also learned how to do a finger stick and draw blood for the MRDT – malaria rapid detection test. Thankfully all the patients we tested for malaria were negative. This afternoon, the work project was very different.  We painted the trim in one room of the mission house and the fireplace black.