UPS and downs from Mama

Our deepest sympathies go out to families and friends of former volunteers, Canadian Kathy Hoey who was with us last year for two months and taught in our first grade class and her travel companion Jean Luc from France who were just killed in an auto accident while travelling in Bolivia; to Betty Crooks who just succumbed to a massive stroke and to Mary and Reward and Nelson and Kelvin’s aunt who just passed as a result of breast cancer.

We are doing very well for the most part if we don’t count Angela and Priska and Pendo and Mary and Anna having chicken pox and then with the rains, which have come, several of us coming down with a nasty chest virus causing seriously high fevers in the children. . . nasty coughs and very tough chests, oh, and some strep throat, but other than that .

Almost everyone is studying with dedication; completing homework promptly upon return from school (it is so cute because we have given even those children who attend our Tumaini school here and walk only 10 -25 meters from school to home, new backpacks which seem to help with organization as much as we had previously enjoyed, in an effort to reconfirm our priorities.  Studying comes first!

Amani Primary School continues to perform, positioned #3 in our district.  Haradali Primary School, where our boarding students attend, performed #7 in the district and Tengeru was #1 so our Tumaini children are attending very strong schools.  The reality is that corporal punishment continues everywhere as a “deterrent” to unacceptable behavior whether we like it or not and our Tumaini children suffer also.  I was recently forced to “visit” one of our schools and “stir the pot” after a teacher beat Christina . . .

A funny story.  Recently, while I was out , one of our volunteers came to Steve (my husband was visiting Tumaini) and told him he needed money for radishes or something like that.  Steve didn’t understand, because he has never seen a radish here and he knows we shop weekly for our supplies and so shouldn’t need anything.  He asked again to clarify and the volunteer said “radish”.  He had looked it up.  Steve went to Margie to ask her to clarify and, perplexed, she asked what he meant.  He asked her to show him a radish (clarification) . . . she asked, “cabbage?” and went to fetch a cabbage, not understanding why.  Steve said, “no, not a cabbage, a radish”, at which time Margie went to point out the RUBBISH.  We needed to pay for our garbage pick up . . .

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