Just another Friday at Tumaini …

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I write this sitting in our hospital room, waiting for Esther to come out of surgery.

Yesterday Raymond was in Dar (9 hours one way by bus if we’re lucky) to submit his visa application to visit Tine in Belgium, attend a fundraiser, speak at a school and meet our newest Tumaini family member, Lowiek!  He raced back and arrived some time in the night but not one to sit on his laurels, was up after about 3 hours sleep, jumped a bus and headed into Arusha to pick up Neema and take her for a follow up checkup, then bring her here to visit her mama and sister (she is recovering nicely I hope to hear in a few hours from her long struggle with a “sort of” bronchitis), then back to school where she, Francis and Angel all work diligently preparing for their Form II national exams later this year!

New dadas Sydney and Sami are proceeding along, tutoring at Nshupu Secondary and “hopefully” tonight will enjoy a belated birthday celebration with Latifa!  (All share the same birthday, March 6).  Our returned dada Lauren is suffering in the container in her attempts to provide us a fresh inventory!

Baba Oddo was in court defending a piece of church property in substitution for our parish priest.  Mary (Dada Reward, Nelson and Kelvin) moved into her new digs with the help of Papaa (Reward!) and some serious elbow grease by Mama Sydney (Lisa Buis), who hit the ground running after touchdown Tuesday night and a slight time adjustment, Lauren, Syd and Sam!  Mary, Nicole and little Kelvin are settling in and Baba (Frank) should join us next week!

After court Oddo brought Esther and myself to Nkoaranga Hospital where we checked in, took up to dte xrays and settled into our room.  Oddo got us nicely settled then headed off for other duties.  Reward came by with supplies and hugs for his young Tumaini sister (Esther) and has been here twice already today, first with chai (tea), and then with some additional necessities for us here.  With the help and blessing of Baba Dave (HES Solar in B.C. and Ontario) Reward is shopping for a new piki piki (motorcycle) for us at Tumaini, tomorrow will test drive a dala dala (bus we are hoping to purchase).  Our bibi (grandmother) gari (truck) is on her last legs and if we don’t let up on her she will kufa (die) soon!

Meanwhile back in Canada . . . Team Tumaini Canada is BUSY with final arrangements for our 3rd annual St. Paddy’s Primer tomorrow night, an annual, much needed fundraiser featuring the music of the Felicia McMinn Band and Blackcreek Music!!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tine, in Belgium, not to be left out is busy completing our monthly accounting so reports may be forthcoming in validation of the transparency Tumaini operates under!  Collaborating with Raymond, Oddo and myself she is keeping us on our toes!!!

In Tanzania mother and child usually share a bed in a ward style hospital room.  Esther and I are fortunate to have a private room (thank you kaka) and constant attention from our Tumaini family and some pretty special nurses.  (one is a soon to retire woman I met a few years ago, working to help Masai girls and the other, if you can believe it is the sister of our landlady (and Baba Maziwa and Mama Baraka) who passed away at Christmas and rests with us at Tumaini) so we worry not about the care our precious Esther is receiving.

And, our Tumaini children are working VERY hard and loving their new school.  The teachers (Mama Leslie, Mama Sue YEAAAAAAAA!) are not “harsh” (the children’s word) and they feel much more comfortable in the classroom and EVERY child has improved!!!  Class 7 attends school in the day and then returns in the evenings for tuition . . . weekends too as they prepare for their national exams!

Our newly adopted school project, a girl’s dormitory for Form IV Nshupu students is nearly complete and so we can move on to our next project with thanks to Nshupu staff and parents and Tumaini volunteers!

We are well.  Some wrinkles to iron out. . . we still struggle waiting for our water system to be implemented from a local spring to our home, we have waited MONTHS instead of the two weeks promised for our new beds (thank you again Brent and Kara for this incredible donation and Mamas Sherry and Sharon for purchasing some of our mattresses, we are ALMOST there), and we hope to, next Tuesday, FINALLY resolve our 2 ½ year old land conflict and finally be in a position to purchase some forever land of our own!

We send our loving thanks to each of you.  Have fun Saturday night St. Paddy revelers and carry our gratitude with you as you “make merry” in “the green”!  We move forward and grow and progress and shine, ONLY with the love and support of each of you and for this, every one of us here is forever grateful!  Tunawashukuru wote!!

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