I have been down and out for DAYS with giardia or an amoeba from contaminated water, probably during my trip to Karatu and will confess now, that I thought my card was punched . . . my ticket up, whatever the term is for it being time to meet the BIG GUY, but both Dr. Lyimo and Oddo, independent of each other told me, “No Dee. I knew you wouldn’t die . . . God has given you a big mission here and wouldn’t take you now!” I wish they had told me sooner!!!! I am still a little weak but on the mend and pole, pole, slowly, slowly getting stronger. Nurse Amanda, my angel took excellent care of me day AND night, and thanks to Cindy for Mama sitting and Chef Neema for preparing whatever might have had a chance of staying down. It’s a nasty diet though . . . funny story . . . Doctor Lyimo comes to see me and tells Amanda, “make her drink milk and eat and if she doesn’t you tell me and I’ll come back with a stick!!” Tanzanians are famous in the travel journals for their portions and once sick a person is expected to eat even MORE!!! Amanda didn’t make me drink milk on a violently refusing stomach. I love you bella!
Unfortunately I missed sending our youngsters off to school for their first day . . . Gerehad, Connie, Neema, Glory, Harriri, Zawadi and returning students Kelvin, Ester, Aisha, Francis, Athuman and Jenny all headed off to Young Roses. Stefano and Martha join them this a.m. with Katy our volunteer extraordinaire . . . Our Haradali students Evalin, Mwajuma, Anjela, Eliza, Lazaro, Emmanuel, Margaret left on Tuesday and the Amani boys and secondary students begin next week. Whew! Fundi (tailor) arrives today for alterations and new uniforms for our preschoolers and we welcomed Latifa and little Aisha to class! Teacher Winner shared with me today that she is engaged and is trying to schedule her wedding so that I might attend, substituting for her mother whom she has lost. I am honored.
Thank yous!!! Where do I start? New support for Kelvin’s school fees from our volunteer Laci, Asante sana bella . . . to the McCann Clan in Australia for loving Gerehad . . . Asante. To new donors, the Merwins, Ami C, Lisa L, Mishelle and Michelle and Michael D. and to all our regular supporters please know that we are oh so very grateful for your love and care. I will miss someone . . . this cross continental record keeping is challenging and so, in advance, pole, sorry, for having done so!!!
There is so much to share! The children are remarkable and went on safari (again!) compliments of Soko Adventure Safaris who provided lunch also and gave our children a wonderful day and the children of Mana OVC (the orphan support group we assist) got to go on THEIR very first safari!!! Asante to volunteering honeymooners Emily and Bret from Australia for choosing us and for so generously contributing! Speaking of volunteers?? Katy and Lucy and Rachel and Amanda, and Laci and Jenna are all busy, and having fun, I hope, working with the children and I need to send an enormous thank you to all of them for stepping up and stepping in so effectively while I was sick . . . Asante sana!!! We lose Laci tomorrow when she returns after her whirlwind two weeks here, (wouldn’t recommend it, she’s exhausted), and Rachel returns to the U.S. next week, but Alison Murphy is returning to us next week so Kaributena!!!
No one is sick . . . well nothing serious anyway. Pendo (Janet) has a perpetual cold and runny nose but doesn’t seem to mind and is ALWAYS happy. Zawadi is still struggling with a food allergy we think but just goes with the flow of things. We have nicks and bumps but for the most part everyone is doing very well. Young Mary smiles ALL THE TIME, and has no trouble with her tummy anymore. She LOVES to help others and told Laci and Amanda that she wants to be a bank clerk when she is older so she can help poor people with money. We haven’t told her that bank tellers help people WITH money. . . let’s let HER figure it out. And big brother Raymond has assured us that Mary will have no shidas (problems) at school with him around. Asante kaka kubwa, big brother. Speaking of Raymond, his brother Robinson is joining him at Makumira and Lohai’s two little brothers Vitalis and Paschaly will join us here and attend Young Roses School. Asante Katy for helping with schools fees!!!
I will close with a greeting I received while ill. In the mornings, when the children prepare to leave for school, they come to my door and greet me and wish me a good morning and I, them. With me so sick, I was unable to rise to send them off and so ever so quietly (how do nine children enter a room silently?) they crept into my room, put their little hands under my net and held mine and said, “pole (polay), sorry Mama. We love you.” For just a moment I thought I’d GONE to heaven . . . yes, life is good!!!