Back under the net from Mama…

I am writing this from under my mosquito net at Tumaini . . . an uneventful safari (trip) back to the children.  We (Canadian volunteer Tyra Swyck-Blake travelled with me) had an overnight in Amsterdam after getting checked in in Toronto with nine hockey bags, one small suitcase and two carry-ons. We are permitted two 50 lb. bags each on KLM and each additional bag costs $200.00 CAD so we need to pack efficiently, ensuring that the value warrants the expense.Oddo pulled his magic and upon arrival and clearing customs I sailed back and forth until all nine bags, Tyra and myself exited the airport without the usual hassle for a bribe and we were welcomed by Oddo, Jeremiah, Mary, Reward, Raymond, Gaspar, Anna, young Mary, Kelvin, Rashid and Stephano.  I think Tyra was a bit overwhelmed with the enthusiasm AND the fact that she and I were separated into two vehicles for the ride home.  The girls claimed her immediately and we visited in the car until arrival.  Usually when I return to my Tanzanian family it is night and most of the children are in bed.  I creep into their rooms and disperse kisses and cuddles but our reunion occurs in the morning.  NOT THIS TIME!

This time there was an army of little ones singing and shouting and grabbing for the car door the second our vehicle entered the gate.  It was a welcome I will never forget . . .They are well for the most part except everyone has a cold because it is FREEZING here!  Yes!  COLD!  And we are struggling a bit with our wonderful ringworm . . . AND . . . we have some upcoming circumcisions, and are working on vaccinations but otherwise we are well.

Report cards will be out next week.  Teacher Winner gets married in early September and is excitedly sharing plans for that.  Did I say it is cold? We have been without water since the day before I arrived but things are looking up.  We hope to have it restored before the weekend.  With the cold, nothing dries, and with no water, nothing gets washed so we are in a bit of predicament until things warm up.

CD4 counts are good for the most part.  Mary’s last was 494, Neema is strong enough that they haven’t measured her lately and Rashid is 866.  Our only problem is Glory’s CD4 which has dropped almost 400 points to 1048.  She was dehydrated on her last check and so we are concerned . . . we will ask for her blood to be retested on her next clinic day, August 29 THEY ARE SO BIG!  In just three months the change in our little (getting bigger) ones is dramatic and Nasma is speaking English!  Joining us in just January of this year she has picked up sooooo much English and chatters away making simple sentences already!  The development is amazing!

I will forward reports next week and hope all is well.  Off to play football!  Ahsante!!