DAY 1 IN TANZANIA – JAN 25, 2013

Hi Everyone,

We have completed our first day.  We began with breakfast at 6:30 am.  It was pretty American: eggs (fried, scrambled, omlet), bacon or sausaguage, potatoe squares, toast and fresh fruit.  It was very good.  About 7:15 am we loaded up (Tom, Dave, Lori, Patti and Latham) and went to ALMC (Arusha Lutheran Medical Hospital).  There we met Dr. Mark Jacobson.  We visited with him until 9:30 and that also included a tour of the facility.  It is a model for what a medical hospital could be in Tanzania.  We were very impressed and also learned some of the medical issues faced by these folks.

We returned to the lodge where Dr. Steve, Dana and their children greeted us along with Polly and the girls.  From there Lori, Patti, Polly and Laurence (STEMM staff person – translator) went to the market and bought supplies for one of the orphanages that STEMM helps support.  They then delivered those supplies.  Steve, Tom, Latham and I went to TAHA for a meeting.  This is an organization that works with the farming community and the government to help develp trade.  We discussed developing the land around SCV (Siouxland Children’s Village – orphanage run by STEMM) with a goal of providing some food for the SCV and also to sell.  Part of the land would be like our “gardens” back home.  Most of the land, abuot 80 acres, we would like to develop into an income generating farm in order to help the orphanage be self sustaining.  It was a very good visit.

Following that we had a lunch of fire cooked pizza – yummy!  The 4 guys went to the older Lutheran hospital that has been turn backed over to the Tanzania government.  This is the facility were Dr. Steve began doing orthopedic surgeries in Tanzania.  He gave us a quick tour of the facility and it has really gone down.  We were surprised at the condition it was in.

Following that we returned to the Lodge and picked up Lori and Patti.  Then we went to Ilboru Secondary School to talk to the headmaster about developing a stronger relationship and supporting students at that school.  We were well received and he was grateful for the opportunity to offer funding through STEMM to the gifted students that were accepted into his school which has a high academic rating.  We would like to partner with the school, parent(s) and student so that collaboratively we encourage the student to succeed.

Following that meeting we returned to the Lodge for a little down time before supper.  It was a warm day for those of us more accustomed to temperatures in the single digits.  There are some tarred roads here but also plenty of dirt roads in the city of Arush.  The dirt roads are far different than gravel roads back home.  Here there are some rocks and wash outs and “speed bumps” that make it slow going.  Even the tar roads have speed bumps to slow the traffic down occasionally.

We had supper at the Lodge which consisted of soup, chicken and pork chops, a salad of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, rice, beans with curie, roasted potatoes and French fries, and a fruit salad.  Following supper we reviewed the plans for tomorrow and everyone headed to their rooms to relax and get caught up on sleep.  We thank the Lord for a wonderful day in Tanzania, the people we met, safety on the roads and good community.