Thursday, May 15, 2008

Elliot is back in Tanzania

The following is from Elliot who recently arrived back in Tanzania. Elliot will be working hard for the next couple of months checking in on our past projects, analyzing the current situation, and preparing for our summer group.
The first two weeks working here for Project Kesho have been very interesting. I arrived in Tanzania on April 20th to spend time with my girlfriend before starting work on the first of May. In December I left my motorcycle at her house so that someone could watch it. However, I did not cover it from the rain, so it needed some exterior work done as well as some engine tuning. Abbas met me in Dar es Salaam to help me discuss the repairs with the mechanic, and he helped me transport several of my bags to Iringa. After the repairs were completed, I drove the motorcycle 500 kilometers (a little over 300 miles) to Iringa in one long day. Since being in Iringa Abbas and I have completed several tasks. The first several days were spent seeing and greeting teachers, headmasters, village leaders, and other people in the village. One of the schools has a new headmaster so we meet with him to explain who are and what we do. We also visited the health clinic, which has received some new maternity equipment. We also had a chance to visit with two of the orphans from primary school we were working with last year. The two orphan boys, Jusef and Nolasco, whom we were working with last year, are still facing many difficulties. They eat once a day (after getting home from school in the evening) and this is after walking 5 miles each way to and from school. One boy had a fungus growing on his scalp (we got him medicine from the dispensary) and he only talks to the other orphan boy who lives with him. Both orphans weighed less than 27 kilos (less than 60 pounds). Abbas and I have been thinking of ways to help, but our extra budget money for orphans is very small. These children need a lot of attention and nutrition to help them lead successful, healthy lives. We are going to visit their home soon, but the road is very bad and it has rained recently, so there will be a small stream to cross. On a lighter note, the rains have, for the most part, stopped and the weather is very nice (a little cool). More news soon…
Here are some pictures that Elliot took upon returning to Lundamatwe: This first picture is of some of the students Project Kesho sponsored to go to Secondary School. Stay tuned for an update on their status! This is the new Standard Five classroom at the Ulonge Primary School, which Project Kesho facilitated the construction. Paint and windows are coming soon! This is an inside shot on the new classroom showing the students hard at work: Here is the inside of the maternity ward at the Lundamatwe village clinic. This picture shows one of four new beds and the village doctor: This is Jusef and Nolasco. Jusef is on the left and Nolasco is on the right: