Busy, Busy

Tearful goodbyes to Nurse Cratchet (okay, so it takes me awhile), Becky and Mama Corosho (she can explain) and Meg after a busy and full two weeks volunteering their love and kindness to our kids . . . later tonight Mama Lizbeth and Matz, (Jon will stay with us awhile longer) head back to Norway . . . thank you thank you thank you. . . Karibuni to Stine and Anna from Denmark joining us for three months and Dallas and Luke from Canada! Luke, sorry about those aching muscles but the kids just don’t see that many men, ask Michael or Mark, and speaking of Mark, sorry I missed your early departure but please know how grateful we are to have had you visit and karibu tena, come back!!!

After the whirlwind of Christmas chaos for all of these children, we are just beginning to settle back into our school routines. Class I, (first grade) began yesterday with twenty students and Teacher Winner who is very capably assisted by volunteers Katy, Mathilde and Robyn! Stine, (Happy Birthday tomorrow) and Anna are working with little Aisha and Liadi (we practiced our printing together this afternoon), and best of best of best news???? Esther, Gerhad and Jenny were tested and earned admission to Amani Primary School for second grade!!!! Amani is the 6th best primary school in the country!!! School photos to follow as Oddo, just brought them home and we need to purchase uniforms!!! All three LOVE the school and are ready to return Friday (Tomorrow is a national holiday celebrating the Zanzibar revolution) and “soma sana”, study hard and speaking of studying hard . . . Francis brought me his homework when he got home and we reviewed things together . . . 100% across the board! He’s going to be #1 again!!!!

Kelvin, Angela and Margaret are very happily settling into day classes at Haradali and Evalin, Ema, Lazaro, Vitalis and Paskali (Lohai’s brothers), chose to board! Oddo and I head to the Moshi wholesale market on Friday to find school shoes . . . no we didn’t leave things until the last minute . . . the best value for school shoes in this country are made by Bata and there are three stores in the city of Arusha, 30 km. away. We measured our children and headed to town at the beginning of December to beat the crowds only to be told, “a new shipment will be in closer to the end of the month”. Well, that shipment came three days ago and we were there, (no, Mathilde was there), shopping . . . no go. We returned to discover that yes, the shipment had come, but it did not include the five most popular children’s sizes.

I enjoyed my first shower in a week today . . . no buckets for me!!! And electricity so the shower was HOT! And we helped Pendo take out her first baby tooth!!! My collection is growing!! Zawadi’s other front tooth fell out but he doesn’t remember where! Colds and sore throats are healing and the family is doing well! I checked on Dorris, our mama cow who was resting comfortably in her new stall and the roof should be finished over her tomorrow! Lohai’s squash (he discovered he LOVED it when he was in Canada) is in flower so we’ll be enjoying that soon!

Mary Minja, at university in Dar, had a break-in at home and all of her clothes were stolen.  We’ve sent her some money to tide her over and are assembling a package of clothes to send down on the bus.