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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Monday, 24 May 2010

Location: Kahama, Tanzania

MapHi again everyone!

Thank you all so much for following along with us on Planet Ranger. It has been difficult at times to have access to internet, so thank you for your patience with this.

I just had a bit of time to reflect on how everything is going so far. Brenda is off trying to download pictures, Rylan is having a bit of alone time with his music, Allisha and Terry are off buying more notebooks for some of the kids in Kahama that aren't sponsored, and Catey is setting up her cell phone she has purchased for the trip. We will all be packing up tonight to be ready for our "mini-bus" that comes at 7 am to take us to Kahma, Tanzania.

Knowing the cost of cetain items here, I wish I would have loaded my suitcase with more. Here are examples of some pricing I have witnessed here in Kigali:

Barbie Doll: $40 - $80 US
Children's chewable multi vitamin (30's): $24 US
Vitamin E (90's): $46 US
Small toy care (not great quality) $12 US
Small can of Fruitcocktail: $5 US
Ice cream bar: $6 US

Some of the kids here have nothing but the clothes on their back (and maybe a spare pair at home) There is a couple of women and their kids that we pass everyday on the stairs, our way up the hill to go out. They are there everyday and probably stay there to beg for food or money. There are also sometimes a disabled man there too. They are there first thing in the morning and till late at night. The children are always excited to see us and come running up. We give them food and water. I walk by this one little child everyday that I have been here. She seems to be about 4 years old, though it is hard to tell as she is undernourished. I offer her something; sometimes a treat, like a cookie or peice of candy. Last night, coming back from dinner, she was crying that her tummy hurt. It just broke my heart. I wanted to take the whole lot of them back to St. Famille with me and let them stay with us. I wanted to feed them all and take them to the clinic and have them looked at. But I didn't. Why? ... There are just so many. We gave the mother our left over food for her family. She smiled back at us to say thank you. I worried all night about that little girl and how her pains were. When we got there again in the morning, she was not there. I thought something was wrong. Where was she? Later though, after using the internet, there she was in her same outfit, smiles again. The food we gave that little girl will help for the time that we are here. Quite possibly, another person will do the same tomorrow, but it is not correcting the problem long term.

I know we will be able to make a long term differance in Kahama. By helping the people there become more self sustaining, they will be able to help themselves when there is no one there to feed them.
They will be able to sell items they have sewn on the sewing machines they will receive. They will be able to get water easily to care for their crops and to ride to the clinic by using the bikes purchased by you all at home. They will get books to learn to read and become better educated. They will also get better medical attention with some of the great equipment donated. The money donated by all of you will go directly to helping these families we will meet this coming week. Thank you all who have made this possible. Without the items donated, without the funds to ship the crate here, many of the people in Kahama would be like my little friend on the stairs here in Kigali... Just waiting, hoping, for someone to come by with something to eat.