Monday, March 1, 2010

Newlands Farm

I can’t remember if I mentioned this or not but the boy that was put in the juvenile delinquent center and then came back to Amani ran away again. He left late one night and took several kids with him, including the one boy that was suffering from Malaria, worms and typhoid. Unfortunately he had stopped taking his medication because they were really hurting his stomach and he was supposed to go to the clinic in a week or so to see if there was another option but he did not wait around long enough. I hope that he ends up okay…but those diseases can get really serious really quickly and I really hope that little boy ends up getting help before it is too late.
Anyway, Friday afternoon Anna and I helped the store keeper give out new clothes to all of the kids. It was crazy overwhelming. The entire process made me realize how lucky I am that I am able to pick out what I want to wear. These children get to choose from a pile of used clothes and have to compete with the other children for what pieces they want. They got a pair of shorts, track pants and a tee-shirt each. I wrote children’s name in sharpie on their clothes and for the littlest children I had to write their names on the collar, sleeves, and front of their shirts because their clothing tends to get stolen frequently.
Saturday, I went to a place called Newlands Farm with the old manager of the hostel, Chris. Path to Africa, which is a foundation that was started by Sarah (hostel owner) and I think by Chris too, is building an orphanage in that village. It will hold forty orphans and there is a school that is being built next door. The plan is to hand it over to Paster James, a Tanzanian man, after it is successfully built and started. The hope is to keep this orphanage self-sustainable by the fees that the school will be charging in addition to a garden and chicken coop. It looks like a great plan and will hopefully work very well. I then went to listen to Amanda give a seminar on hygiene. She is a girl from North Carolina that is staying at the hostel and wants to work with women’s groups but for now is working with Paster James and helping to deliver seminars on health to villages. She wrote up a lecture and delivers it while the Paster translates and then the people attending are allowed to ask any questions they have. She writes the questions down then uses internet or other resources to find their answers. It was really interesting. The lecture was held underneath a tree and many of the women were sitting on rocks and one woman came with curlers in her hair.
On the dala ride back to town there was an overweight older woman getting off and a man said to her, “are you tired?” she replied saying that she was. The man finished the conversation by suggesting that she try exercising. I felt bad for the lady, but I was also proud that I was able to understand most of what their conversation was about even though it was in Swahili!

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