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1st container to Arusha
Our first container was ready to sail to Dar Es Salaam at the beginning of May
The Salvation Army has kindly offered to help us clear it through Customs to be on its way to Arusha where Mokulu will reception it and deal with the distribution of all the generous gifts we have been collecting for the past 6 months
TWAM, http://www.twam.co.uk/ were an inspiration for this first container. They have so many varied, useful and much needed hand tools. They welcomed us, gave abundantly and guided us through the lengthy procedure to putting together the container, filling up all the relevent paperwork, shipping it and clearing it once in Tanzania.
We are very grateful to Carte Blanche, http://www.carteblanchegreetings.com/ who offered many boxes of their delightful teddy bears, umbrellas and chlidren's fleece blankets . They will delight the children in the Masai community as well as the orphans of the Engosengui home in Arusha
Terry and Richard were ready everyday at 8 am to help gather the gifts and put them together before filling l up the container and Garry Crymble supervised and gave a strong helping hand in the packing and loading to ensure every single inch was filled.
It was then up to Mokulu to deal with the Customs and transport Company in Tanzania and make sure that the container arrived safely in Arusha
Beginning of September we had the photos showing us the distribution of our gifts to the schools, needing families and individuals we had promised to help on our last visit.
The smile on their face made it all worth it!
We are now busy preparing for Mokulu's trip to France where he is coming to learn about cheese making, vegetable growing and promote our charity.
This will be in May.2014.... Soon enough
2014 ; this year's commitment
Time went so very fast. The 1st week was spent shopping. A new set of clothes, shoes and books for our young Maurine. She will be 8 soon.
We had another full day with Maurine and her Mum when we did more shopping and managed a visit to the farm and a picnic. It was great
We found another young girl to sponsor. She is called Esther. She is 10 years of age. Esther has been in private medium English school since the age of 7 and her overall ranking is first for the school. Unfortunately her father died 9 months ago and as there is no welfare state in Tanzania, her mother is now POOR. Poor in Africa means poverty stricken. Esther is kept at school because of her academic results which are exceptionnal . Obviously Esther will help the school to achieve a good ranking nationally. However Esther is wearing worn clothes which are either 3 sizes too large or too short. She must share books, pencils and exercise books with other children.
When she goes home there is no electricity and no water. Esther's Mum cries and shares her fear of being evicted as she is 8 months behind with the rent. There is not enough to eat and Esther must bear the family's burden of poverty. The School manageress told her that Esther cries in the middle of lessons.
So now Esther has new fitting clothes and shoes, she has her own books and even a watch (it was her dream!). She is a boarder so she is eating properly and can study as there is electricity. She does not have to share adult's problems which are beyond her understanding and ability to solve.
One week after her admission in the school we saw a transformation in Esther. She is now a smiling lively happy child and she will go a very long way.
We then went to Dar Es Salaam. Hell!!! 16 hours to get there in 2 days and another 2 days to come back. The roads are full of enormous pot holes. Cars, lorries and buses break down, break their axles and stay in the middle of the road for hours. Dar Es Salaam; the ghettos, the heat is so humid that it helps stick dust to your skin, your hair.... One never feels clean
We had an appointment with the Salvation Army who are kindly going to help us clear our container from customs early June
Thousand of m2 with thousands of peoples. They are looking after children who have no hope; Albinos. In Africa Albinos are considered "SPECIAL" children. BUT SPECIAL IN AFRICA IS NOT SUCH A GOOD THING. The albinos children are thought to be special gifts from "the gods" and in many communites they are offered as sacrifices by the local witches. These children risk their lives daily in Africa hence their being protected by the Salvation Army. There are also lots of children physically "challenged" When a child is missing legs in Europe he can access a wheelchair or prothesis. In Africa there is NOTHING!!!
These children must wear artificial limbs which don't fit and give them further problems. There are no wheelchair and the state of the roads and lack of pavements would not allow their use.
Back from Dar Es Salaam, we took a week off and went on a safari to find new interesting places and activities to act to our safari programm.
We went for a camping safari : 20 l of water per head (drink/washing/cooking...) not nearly enough but every other aspect of this safari was amazing and
THE ANIMALSs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. We stayed in gites (electricity and water available from 19 ot 22hours only, at other times solar lighting). We stayed with our guide,our cook and our friend Antonio the biologist. It is thanks to Antonio that we are allowed to stay in these guest houses which are so well located and we are given very preferential rate .These houses are reserved for biologist, botanist doctors and researchers who work on location.
In the evening we would sit outside on the patio with bats flying hardly a meter from our heads and listen to the roars of the lions and the whining of the hyenas
We had a magical week which helped us to recharge our batteries and gave us much needed energy for the last step of our journey.
We went to visit the Engosengiu primary school (4 to 13 years old children); 1771 children and 35 teachers. One book to share between 6 pupils. NO WATER. The children are falling sick since in Africa one eats with one's hands and at lunch time the children bring their meals but can't wash their hands before or after the meal.
There are 6 WC (holes in the ground in a cubicle) for the boys and as few for the girls but here again no water. It is not so surprising then that the children fall sick and the smell!!!!!!
The football/games ground is home to dust tornadoes and in less than 5 minutes the red earth gets into any orifice. We stayed outside only for a quarter of an hour but it took me half an hour under the shower to get rid of all the dust. The children don't have running water at home!
We have offered to dig a well and are now looking for companies who can help us with gutters and piping to bring the water from the well to the different buildings
On the last week we went round car dealers to locate a reliable but inexpensive pick up to help us deliver the tools/bicyles and books which will arrive in the container end of May beginning of June.