Never have I been to town!

Not that I’m complaining because this is part of the job I love the most . . . running to town to shop with Mary for uniform sweaters, blouses, socks, a trunk (for her and Robinson) . . . about Robinson, who, by the way, is Raymond’s eighteen year old brother.  His English is excellent, almost as good as big brother’s but not quite.  He has the same demeanor also . . . cheerful, smiling, kind and gentle and this morning he strolled alongside me while I made my a.m. inspection of the yard (we’re reeducating on what is acceptable and what is not with respect to neatness around here), and asked if one day he could join me in town, as, in his eighteen years of life he had never left his village except to come to Tumaini House last week and he has never seen a big city.
I said of course he could join us and he leapt into the truck.  Now, imagine living one’s entire life within a 5 km. circumference of home.  Until this past week when we invited Robinson to join his brother at Makumira Secondary School, that 5 km. has been his world.  To say that he was awestruck would be a bit of an understatement.  We ran errands all over town and he had to sub in as “security” in the marketplaces of Arusha as thieves would pause at nothing to snatch our purchases from the back of the pickup.
We purchased new mattresses for our boarding students, and metal trunks as there are neither closets nor dressers at school.  Mosquito nets and pillows were on the list also.  Robinson must wait until next month to find out if he passed his national exam but is confident he will be proceeding on to Form V, his second last year of secondary school and Mary is excited AND nervous to head to school.  She is opening just like a flower . . . smiling, laughing, and playing around with the rest of us.
We walked hand in hand through the chaos of the Arusha market and I forever marvel at the fact that, had our paths not crossed she most likely would not be alive today . . . I touch her hand, or kiss her goodnight and the poignancy of that connection is so very magnified . . . can you imagine?
I am taking her on Monday to the Dream Clinic to have her CD4 tested so that we have a stepping off point before she heads off to school.  We will need to monitor her health closely so that there are no problems.  She continues to improve but is not out of the woods until that count exceeds 200!
A side note . . . while driving through Arusha Peter, our driver, noticed a crane working in a construction site . . . he had never seen one and wondered what it did.  As I explained, I was reminded of another site I observed where sand was “thrown” literally, off the end of a shovel up four floors, one at a time!  Everything that needed to go up did so on the back or because of the muscles of a laborer . . . EVERYTHING!  I marvel at little things like Robinson never having left Karatu and Peter never having seen a crane . . . there is much to marvel at here!  Sending so much love to friends and family!
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