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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Monday, 31 May 2010

Location: Canada

MapAngela

My favourite time in Kahama:

John from the Isegehe World Vision Office picked us up this Monday morning. With him was Mary, another WV worker, and their driver. (oops, sorry, forgot his name) We all left with them except for Allisha and Terry. Allisha had left in the wee hours of the morning with Terry to the hospital for food poisoning.

Our first stop was to go and pick up bikes that were for 2 of the sponsor kids, mine and my parents. Brenda and I had prearranged with the store owner to have them ready for pick up at 7:30 am that morning. We had made it very clear to him the importance of having them ready to go by that time (these bikes take up to an hour to prepare for riding: tightening bolts, putting air in the tires, etc) Guess what?... bikes not ready! He said it wouldn’t be long to wait (ya right!), We needed to get going. We had an agenda, and were already a bit behind schedule. We would have to come back tomorrow. I don’t know why these things still surprised me. I should have been getting used to this sort of thing by now. Everything takes so long here, in Tanzania!

We pulled into the World Vision office and all piled out to wait for the kids and their parent/guardian to arrive. I was kind of nervous. Yes, nervous was the word for it. I had “butterflies”. I had been waiting so long to meet my sponsor child, Iddi. We walked out onto the grassy area and I spotted him right away. I motioned to Rylan where Iddi was. He asked if I was sure. I could spot that face anywhere. I had been looking at his picture everyday since I started sponsoring him (it’s on my fridge, kinda hard to miss) I felt my eyes sting with the tears that were welling up inside. I didn’t want him to mistake my tears of happiness with ones of sadness, so I shoved on my sunglasses to hide some of my emotions. The tears kept coming as I wiped them away with my hand. (I’ve always been a bit emotional) Finally! Wow! This was so incredible!

The interpreter told Iddi and his mother, Suzana who I was. She smiled warmly and shook my hand. Iddi was quite shy and stayed close to her. She said something to the interpreter in Swahili. He looked at me and said “She says thank you. Thank you for being their sponsor”

I looked over and saw my parents’ sponsor child, Juma. I talked to the interpreter and he relayed the message that I was the daughter of their sponsor family. Juma’s father was with him. He had a kind smile and shook my hand as well and said “Asante”.

After some soccer and ball throwing, Rylan and I sat in a circle with a few of the children waiting till lunch was served. Beside me were Shija, Juma, then Geoffrey, Yasinta, Iddi and Rylan. The interpreter was not there with us. We did not know Swahili and the kids knew no English. It was a bit awkward at first. Then I had an idea… I grabbed a notebook and pencil crayon. I started to draw a picture of one of the babies there. It was a sad excuse for a drawing. I showed the kids. Then, after a few seconds… they all laughed at it. Well, it wasn’t THAT bad was it?.. Maybe it was. We all took turns passing around the paper and pencil crayon. Each child drew a picture, put their name on it and printed the name of the object in Swahili. Rylan and I tried to pronounce the words. The kids laughed some more at our attempt. We all had a good laugh.

I was sad to see the kids go after our afternoon together, but I hoped I would see them again tomorrow when we came back to drop off the bikes. I felt I really connected with them and knew this meeting would change me forever.

I was already thinking of what I could mail Iddi when I got back to Canada!