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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 13 Feb 2008

Location: Kahama, Tanzania

MapFeb 13th
Today we met with the 48 council members that had gathered here from around the region. We didnít do the official meeting with Theresia Mahongo yet as she was out of the area since the night she came here to meet us. Wendy just told us that we are supposed to meet with her at 8:15am tomorrow but we still arenít sure if that is the ďofficial meeting.Ē
Following that we headed out to Mondo village to begin the sponsored child visits. We were told that this is an extremely poor area and it was obvious. We have great notes, lots of pictures and took video whenever we could.
Bev, the first child we met was Winifreida and sheís just as cute as ever! They sat us down on a couple makeshift stools and Winifreida looked around and then went dashing off the lane. They were calling her to come back; I guess she was running off to borrow another stool, as we were short. Everyone here only has a couple of makeshift Ďchairsí so they always have to borrow. She has 3 brothers and two sisters but 2 of the children are no longer at home. The family gave us present to give to you.
Just down the road from Winifreida is Alexís child, Masesa. Masesa has three brothers and two sisters and there are also two grandchildren living in the small mud hut with a thatched roof. His father has passed away and the mother is attempting to look after all of the children on her own. They tell us that the roof leaks very badly. I took pictures of the inside and as I looked around I couldnít picture how eight people can live in these two small rooms. There was one single ďbedĒ and whoever canít fit on there would have to sleep on the floor. I talked to the WV guys about buying her a roof with your money Geri but we have to check out the state of her house first. It might be in too rough of shape to put a new roof on.
Maureen and Glenda, it turns out that Cosmos and Paschel are brothers! They have two little sisters also, named Veronica, who is 6 and Marium, who is 4. Mom and dad were both there also. What a charming, wonderful family. WV bought lunch in town, brought out and we ate it with them. It was a great experience and enabled us to spend extra time and get more photos of your family.
Following lunch, we went to visit Matt & Sarahís boy Hamis. Sad story there, (as if they all arenít!) His parents abandoned him and his grandmother is raising him. She says they donít have enough to eat. The huts these people live in are so small and dark; Iíd look around and think that our dogs live in more habitable places.
We visited little Paschali next. (He was that adorable little child that there were so many pictures of at the sponsored child party in 2006.) I had thought he had been sponsored by one of us but it turns out it wasnít followed through but since he was on our list we saw him anyway. The mother had since had another baby and it was absolutely adorable! His family was dressed in rags; there really wasnít much left of his motherís shirt so we told the family that we would return tomorrow and bring them some clothes and a baby blanket. When MJ dropped the clothes off on Thursday, Pachaliís mother came running up the lane to greet her. She bowed at MJís feet and MJ said she was absolutely beaming!!!!! (Jan, we gave her baby that little pink dress that you sent and Jackson she got one of your baby blankets!)
Wendy, we visited George next and they asked us lots of questions about Canada. It is hard to explain things sometimes because you realize that nothing is making sense to them. Sometimes there isnít even a Swahili word to use because it doesnít exist.
It turns out that this is indeed the rainy season, good thing they supply us with rain jackets! It was quite a hike walking into some of the huts trying not to get stuck in the mud and ooze. Our truck got stuck on one of the lanes and we also had a flat tire. By the time we arrived home tonight, we were really excited to open the bottle of red wine that we had bought the day before. There wasnít a corkscrew to be had so MJ managed to push it in with our paring knife. Later, we were told that when you buy the wine, you get the store operator to open it in there. The wine cheered us up and we were beginning to have a good time. The power at the Rest house is off more than on and we always have a good laugh when Wendy and I have our headlamps on! We were just settling in for the night when some of the WV staff invited us out for dinner.
The restaurant was one that we had eaten at before so knew how limited the menu was. MJ and Wendy only ordered rice and vegetables but I figured that the samaki (fish) would be safe. They delivered the plate to me and the head was there but the body seemed to be missing. I didnít want to offend anyone but I simply could not eat it. It turns out that the fish (from Lake Victoria) are filleted and exported to the Ďmzungusí and the locals eat the heads. Well, Iím not a local so I sent it back. Vegetarian will do fine for me! There was till no power at the house when we got home so candles and headlamps had to do until bed.