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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Monday, 13 Apr 2009

Location: Kahama, Tanzania

MapI found a place to email from today but of course had some technical difficulties transferring from my memory stick. So hopefully I can get this and yesterday’s entry sent on Tuesday. Val and I took the taxi-bikes into town. They are everywhere and if you hold your fingers up indicating how many you need, they are all scrambling to be the one to have the Mzungus on their bikes. You feel bad just having to choose. When you’re riding, everywhere you go, there are people calling out, “Hey Mzungu!” and cheering the lucky driver onward. I said to the girls that tomorrow all six of us need to go together and really give everyone something to stare at.

Today was supposed to be our ‘shopping for the families day’ but due to the holiday, we are now a day behind schedule. John Kamya couldn’t work his magic and get them to open the bank. I thought it was a little weird that he even thought he could but then this is Africa.

I started out this morning meeting with Major Matala. We went over all of TOPP’s various projects and he assured me repeatedly, “Don’t worry Brenda, I am the boss of this whole area and whatever you want, we will do.” He is on board with everything and really thinks our ideas are good. He says he’s very grateful that we want to help the people here and they want to give us all of the help they can.

Following our conversation, we met with John Kamya and another WV person named Beatrice. We hammered out an itinerary for the week, and discussed our bike and livestock purchases. It turns out a dairy goats here at the market are $100 US so we’ll only be buying 8 of them. We ordered 22 bikes also. Tomorrow we’ll go to the market to purchase the rest of the items. We recruited Sophie to help us….shopping with a local woman who the vendors all know will help.

We decided to go out for a quick lunch, which turned out to take 2 hours and then 45 minutes more to straighten out the bill. Val and I didn’t have to suffer through that as I had attempted to eat some rice and then had to go home sick again. (There’s got to be an easier way to loose weight.) Val did give me some antibiotics to start today so hopefully that’ll straighten me out.

Theresia asked us to come to the Council Office to be formally welcomed to the town first thing tomorrow but we also had to be back at the hospital to meet all of the staff and then have a tour. Now it looks like we’ll be down at the Council office at 7:30, over to the hospital by 8:00, back to the Council Office to meet all 36 of the ward heads around 10:30-11:00 and then will meet up with WV after that for an afternoon of haggling in the market. We also need to change money, order bikes and goats, get what ever we need for our Rwandan cell phone and try and figure out how to get the Internet here at the Resthouse. It’s turning out that Tuesday will be another busy day here in Africa.

(I will try and post some pictures when/if we get the Internet here.)