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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Monday, 26 Sep 2011

Location: Moshi, Tanzania

MapMonday September 26th, 2011

Iím sitting here typing this with the light of my flashlight as we have another power outage tonight. Apparently the problem isnít just in Kahama.

The place weíre staying in here in Moshi is called Afrishare and it was recommended by Bart from GO. Ibrah (Afrishare) and his wife have an organization that volunteers connect with. For a fee, Ibrah sets them up with a volunteer gig based on what area they would like to volunteer in, their skill set and the needs of this community. He gives them room and board and transports them to and from the airport as well as to their volunteer placements. There are so many volunteers that come to this area that they refer to the times of the year as high and low season. Apparently its low season now, so James from St Timothyís School/Orphanage doesnít have any one placed with him.

This morning, James picked us up and took us out to see his school. Itís about 12 km out of town up in a village called Newland which has a population of about 4000. There are two sugar plantations in this area and apparently a lot of people migrated here a few years back in hopes of getting a job and the village was formed. There is no work for the majority of the population and now as a consequence, there are problems with alcohol, the HIV rate is high and there are a lot of orphans. There is only one source of safe drinking water in the whole village!

St Timothyís School is right at the village. It has an office/staff room with a cooking area and six classrooms. There is also another building under construction which will house the children. The funds still need to be raised to finish this as well as drill for a well. At present there is no water at the facility. The children are being brought to school by daladala at great expense to the organization because 60 of the children living at Jamesís house.

The children were all busy writing exams when we arrived so we were briefly introduced to each classroom. We told the children a little about the process of bringing the books to them. When they had a break, they came out to help haul the books to the staff room and we made a plan to come back the next day.

Next James took us to see the younger ones, (age 5-6) who are attending school at a rented building near Jamesís house. We had fun singing and playing games with this group!

In the afternoon James took us down so I could buy the bus tickets for Daudi and me for Wednesday morning. Iím not excited about having to take that trip back so soon. The bus leaves out of Arusha at 6 am so we would need to travel there on Tuesday and get a room, hopefully near the bus stop. I would have preferred to stay out in Moshi but it isnít possible to get a ride in to Arusha at that time of the morning; we would have to leave by 4 am to be there at 5:30.

We enjoyed a nice evening at Ibrahís, socializing with the other volunteers, his family and the people who help out there. It was a little frustrating not to have power again but weíre hopeful it will be on by morning so we can charge up our phone and cameras. Karen leaves for her safari tomorrow and Daudi and I will head back up for another visit at the school.