(Note: I have been a couple days behind in writing the blog. However we went on Safari and then I went to Dar Es Salaam for two days so now I am a few more days behind!!!)
The team is up early this morning and sees a beautiful Tanzanian sunrise!! Patti and Lori leave at 7:00 to walk to school with the 7 older children and Laurence. It is a fun 15 minute walk down the dusty road while we try to hold hands with 3 or 4 children at a time. The kids carry old plastic containers along with them as part of their chores at school will be to carry water and do some cleaning. As we walk up to the school we see many children “raking” the dirt pathway clear of leaves and sticks . . . it all creates a very nice dust storm! 2 younger children will be walked to school by their “mama” at 7:30, and of course, Baby Lucy gets to stay back and be spoiled by all who are around.
Tom and the team head to the work site and soon have a pretty good system of laying mortar, soaking the bricks and laying them to the specifications of the “fundi”. We think we’re getting pretty good as we get a “thumbs up” on our brick placement by the workers!! A little boy walks by carrying a bucket with some curious contents . . .a goat head, some goat feet and a few “innermost parts”. We smile at him and are quite thankful we are not joining that family for lunch today. The Meyer family joins us at the work site after doing schoolwork in the morning, and the entire family is soon part of the building process.
At noon we join the kids at the orphanage for lunch; rice with pieces of beef, cucumber salad and fresh mango. The children had to tell Dave about the pit he had in his piece of mango as he kept trying to cut it and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working!! You pick it up and chew around it!!
This afternoon we walk over to the bridge that STEMM built over a small creek leading to the Tanzanite Primary School. We walked up to the bridge and were greeted by all of the students that wanted to shake our hand! Joseph, this school’s headmaster greeted us as we all waited for the arrival of the district commissioner. Soon 2 cars pulled up – complete with flags – and the commissioner and his entourage joined us. A brief ceremony follows where the official receives gifts from the school. The official recognizes the work that STEMM has done. He also presents a soccer ball to the school as part of a plan to encourage sports as a way to engage the youth in healthy activities. The original plan was for the official to stop by the SCV for a brief visit. However it became apparent that he was running late and if we wanted to meet him it would need to be over by the school. Things don’t always work the way they are planned here.
Following that visit the STEMM team walks over to visit with a neighboring farm and school run in connection with the Catholic Church. It is a short walk and we have scheduled a visit with Father Michael. However, when we arrive we learn that he has been delayed in town. One of his associates greets us and we spend a little while visiting and learning about their education system and expansion plans.