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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 15 Apr 2009

Location: Kahama, Tanzania

MapI forgot to mention last night that after I had that first glass of wine and then went to go to bed, I was locked out. I guess Major Matala figured I was one of those people who went to bed early since I was sick for the first few days he was here and did. I went to open our door and he had the metal ‘screen’ door bolted top and bottom and then the inside door locked also. I didn’t know what to do! I went back and discussed it with Pola and then thought I’d go talk to one of the bodyguards. He gave me the third degree, questioning which room was mine in a dozen different ways and then went over and tapped on the door with the butt of his gun. It took awhile to rouse the Major but he eventually came to the door wrapped in a towel. After I apologized for waking him, a number of times we had a bit of an awkward conversation (on my part) about how my day went.

We had our first day of sponsor visits today and while hectic, it went well. We’ll have to fine-tune a few things for tomorrow. We loaded up two vehicles and headed out to Mpera village to meet the children from that village and Kidunyashi. The plan was to meet them in a group for the morning and have lunch with them all. Following this we would visit a few kids in their homes. Spending time with the children is the highlight for me of the trip to Kahama and makes all of the hard work so worthwhile. They were all so happy at the party. I was especially excited because my two kids would be there, Mary and Mabula. There was also Ananastasia, (she should smile more, you should see how cute she is Denise and Mary!) Jenaviva, (whenever I saw her she was hanging off one of the girl’s arms Jan.) Japhet, (what a ham, dancing and singing, he LOVES his bike Marj!)) Manyanda, (the Sammy Davis Jr. look-a-like. His mom had her baby Beki and he/she? looks like a miniature Manyanda. SO cute!) Happiness, (we finally have some good quality pictures Toni, she is so pretty.) Mary, (an absolute doll Megan, She looked like a little mini-African woman with her matching headscarf and dress. The girls were all over her!) Paschal, (actually said that all he wanted was a bike someday and was he ever surprised when we told him he was getting it Dee! Got some good pics of the happy moment.) Eddie, (I had a surprise when we were at the ADP office. Eddie was there with his Grandma and actually rode to Opera sitting beside me. His father had already passed away but now his mother just died in March. He’s living with his Grandmother Leah.)

We saw other children as well but the girls have all gone to bed so I can’t get info from them about who they talked to….like I said it was a bit of a hectic get-together.

I was just thinking about something that happened today and since I’m chuckling to myself, I think it’s worth staying up longer to tell you about it. There we were….driving to Mpera today, John in the front with Pola between him and another person, I was in the back on the left, directly behind John with two people beside me. I was talking to John about Barrick Gold and he kept turning around and looking me in the eye. I’m telling him to keep his eyes on the road; it’s not necessary to keep turning around. He said, “I’m just trying to be polite.” I had given him an article that Barrick had put in their quarterly and he’s starting to read that so I’m giving him &*%$# and telling him to watch the road. This went on all the way to Mpera. There’re goats, cattle, people, other vehicles and I even remind him of the dog that one of our vehicles hit last year. At one point, I tried to grab the paper away because he keeps reading it, but he’s moving it away so I can’t. We finally arrive and everyone goes in except me and……..the driver…who is actually sitting on the RIGHT side! I was horrified. I thought, “They obviously think I’m crazy.”

and yeah, they do.

I just came in here to go to bed and now there are two guards sitting literally outside my open window, (which my bed is right beside.) It’s very awkward, I can hear them breathing almost. The curtains aren’t right shut and I remember thinking earlier that there are two place where you can see right in to my room. I had tried to close them before but couldn’t. I guess I’ll have to shut the light off and move around in the dark………………..