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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013

Location: Kahama, Tanzania

MapWednesday, February 13th

Today LeAnne, Pene and Anna went to work in the hospital and the rest of us went out to the Isegehe Ward for the day. Joseph was going to drive and we had asked the manager at Pineridge if we could borrow a vehicle. Emmanuel had taken the day off of work and would be our translator.
Glen, Twyla, Nancy and I were on a mission. We were trying to find five kids that are or were previously sponsored by WV. I had only been out to visit them on formal visits before but since I am no longer affiliated with the organization, I was free to go and visit the area on my own. We knew we had quite a task ahead of us, so only agreed to visit a few kids to see how it would go.
Before we headed out, we decided to stop and buy them all some fresh fruit to go with the items we had bought the day before. Glen was taking a picture of us at the market picking out pineapple and just about started a small riot when the lady behind us thought he was taking a picture of her. It got to the point that Joseph and Emmanuel both said, “It’s time to get out of her now!”
We pulled up to stop in Isegehe a short time later and were greeted by excited shrieks from a couple of ladies. When they ran up to the van, I realized that it was Scholastica and Mary from the Faraja Orphanage. After everyone calmed down, Mary agreed to come with us to look for Rebecca, our first child.
We finally found the school that we thought Rebecca might be attending and then found a girl who knew her. It turns out Rebecca’s family had moved to a distant part of TZ, somewhere in the south. I did get the phone number of her mother because this girl was very good friends with the family. We then realized that Mary, who was helping us, knew her also!! (Anyway, Maureen, I can at least give you that!)
The next child we looked for was Paschal. It was a bit difficult to find him but after hitting a few schools, we got lucky. Wow, he had grown so much I hardly recognized him…well until he smiled!
We asked if he could come with us in the van because we had too much to give him at school. On the long trip to his hut we had a chat and found out that it took him an hour to get to school in the morning and that he ran the whole way there and back every day!!!!
When we arrived at his hut we saw a little girl lying on the ground on a little mat. Paschal’s sister Miriam was home alone as she was too sick to go to school. Her parents were working in the field. After a bit of investigation, it turns out that she was just weak from hunger. Everything is green but none of the crops are ready so stocks of food are depleted. A severe form of this is called “green famine.”
We decided to give them all of the food destined for Rebecca’s family in addition to what we had brought for Paschal. That along with the $60000 TSH we gave them will surely get them by until the harvest in May. (Thanks for your donation Maureen!)
Mary helped us find Iddi’s school and then a boy from the school came along to help us so Mary could go home. (We had kinda kidnapped her off the side of the road with no warning so thought we better let her get back to her business.) Iddi rode with us to his Grandma’s (Bibi’s) house where he is now living. His mom and dad have moved and left him there with her. Bibi was very excited to see us and stools were brought and placed under a tree in the courtyard. They loved the letter and gifts from Angela and later, showed us all around the house and yard. They actually have their own well which they share with the neighbours. Angela, Iddi looks like he’s well looked after there!
Joseph had taken our helper and had gone off to look for Juma while we were doing this visit. He called us from Juma’s old school and told us that Juma had gone off to live with an uncle in Mwanza, which is up by Lake Victoria. Everything was taking so long that we decided not go to look for his parents. We’ll try to do that when we come back out to the orphanage after the container arrives.
The last child that we wanted to find was Mabula. This proved to be very difficult and we almost gave up a few times. We were showing his name along with a picture to everyone and getting sent here and there, driving around in a maze of dirt roads and paths. Finally, Emmanuel called a teacher we had met earlier at one of the schools and we were able to pick up two boys who knew him.
I was very exciting for me to see Mabula and his family. We were again met by excited squeals only this time by Mabula’s Aunt Tatu. Mabula’s mom and dad had both passed away so he lives with his Aunt, Grandma and Grandpa and 11 other family members. Despite the fact that Tatu grows a very nice crop of tobacco and the family has four cows, they were dressed in rags!
Their small huts all have grass roofs which don’t provide a very dry place to sleep in rainy season.
Mabula loved his new soccer ball and the whole family loved all of the gifts I brought. The extra baggage that we drag over here is all worth it when you are able to give out things to a family like this. I didn’t want to say goodbye but we needed to get back as it was already dinner time!
When we got back to Pineridge we got a rundown on how the day had gone with the nurses. They’ll be blogging about their amazing experiences later. We then realized that it was beer o’clock and time to go for a bite to eat.