Just another Tuesday at Tumaini

Yesterday was another wonderful day at Tumaini!  In the afternoon the beds I had made for the Chikira children were ready for delivery and so off we went, loaded with mattresses, sheets, blankets and nets.  We stopped in Usa to pick up the beds and then it was on to Glory, Ayubu, Wema and Carol’s house to make the delivery.  Thank you Cindy for coming along and providing us such wonderful photographs!  Thank you also to Joelle’s workmates Sujin Lee, Soon Nam, Guy Young Mi and Seo Sun Young who contributed to giving these children a measure of hope for the first time since losing their parents.
Little Carol claimed the top bunk immediately, Wema on the lower and Glory in the third bed in their room.  Brother Ayubu will take the newly repaired bed in the other room!  They were HAPPY!!!
The pit for the new loo is half dug and all other repairs are complete which brings up to today!
This morning after sending the Young Roses children off on the school bus I came back to help Dr. Pat unpack.  She is remarkably fresh for someone who spent twenty hours traveling, who rose at 7:00 a.m. yesterday after only 4 ½ hours sleep, traveled to town to get her internet, check banking details, helped me resupply Tumaini House, delivered the beds and then raced out for Lucy’s last supper!
This morning she wanted to unpack . . . the hospital!  Pat thank you!  We are now the lucky recipients of a full medical kit . . . antibiotics, antifungals, ointments, plasters, vitamins, pain killers . . . you name we’re covered for it!  Asante, Asante!  It took more than two hours just to unpack and sort the supplies.
Also, check out the photo of Liadi who is the happy owner of some very special running shoes sent from a very special angel in Canada . . . thank you Mama and brother Massimo . . .
And then there’s Christina!  We finished a wonderful lunch of makande AND potato and leek soup (I am trying to introduce Neema to a new soup every week), when I was called to the front gate.  There I was introduced to . . . wait for it . . . Mama Christina!  Yes, Christina’s long absent mother has returned . . . and there’s more!  Today and not September 8th is her birthday!  I called Katy to join me and Grace to translate, and then barraged Mama Christina with questions.
Christina’s birthday is today February 8th and she is eight years old.  Her mother was just sixteen when she had Christina but couldn’t care for her so gave her to her father (who is a taxi driver in Dar Es Salaam and not the least bit interested in helping his daughter); who in turn passed her on to an aunt.  Christina’s great grandmother or Bibi Kubwa ended up with her and struggled to care for her until help arrived.  Christina’s mother has married (she was not married to Christina’s father) and Christina has two half sisters, 5 year old Shariffa and 1 ½ year old Shamimo.  We shared with Mama how Christina had told me, “I didn’t come here to learn . . . I came here to eat!”, how she LOVES nyama (meat) and how very happy she is almost all of the time.  I assured her that Christina is very much loved here and invited her and Bibi back to Tumaini House this evening for cake and ice cream!  What an extraordinary day!
I can smell Christina’s cake baking (the generator’s running because we have no electricity) and Neema will decorate it baadae.  I’ve got to run!  It’s almost four and the children will be home soon for homework, a new snack (red peppers brought from the market by Dr. Pat – a new veggie for the children to try) and then happy birthday, birthday girl!
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