Coming home!

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Hi everyone! We are waiting to board our flight in Amsterdam right now. We are taking flight KL 6059 ( aka DL 0259) and will arrive at MSP at 12:25 pm.
Safari was fantastic! We saw three of the big five (only missing the rhino and leopard). And Arusha was the busiest city we've been in yet and we were surprised by how much English we heard.
More details when we get home!!!
See you soon!

-Becca

Shinyanga and House of Grace!

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Hi Everyone!
We have found Shinyanga to be even better than we could have imagined. Travel was easy with the help of our new friends with House of Grace.

Our time here has been busy learning how House of Grace operates and the challenges that face people who are fighting leprosy. We have seen a totally new level of poverty here. In Bukoba the poverty we saw was sad, but here it seems hopeless. The people affected by leprosy are so stigmatized, and often disabled, that there is little hope of them bringing themselves out of poverty. Because of this, many people resort to begging, then their children, who never see anything else, also become beggars.

The primary goal of the program is to educate the children in these families. Because they do not have leprosy, there is no reason that the poverty cycle should continue. It costs about $96 dollars to pay for the uniform and school fees to send one child to primary school. House of Grace is currently sponsoring as many as they can, but there are many more waiting (I think it was estimated around 200 on the house of grace website).

Another goal is to educate about what leprosy actually is. It is very hard to transmit and there is a treatment when the disease is caught early enough. However, because of a lack of understanding many people go untreated until it is too late to reverse the effects.

The people here have been so welcoming to us that we have all agreed that we would like to continue working with House of Grace in the future.

Tomorrow we finish up with HOG and then we will leave for Mwanza (a slight change in the schedule to make travel a little more convenient). We will spend the night in Christmas Tree Hotel (same hotel as last time in Mwanza) and will depart early Sunday morning for Safari!

Until an Arusha update---

-Becca

Last week in Bukoba

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Hello all!
This weekend was full of adventures for us. First on Friday night we spent the night in Bandas (small huts) on the shore of Lake Victoria. We played "beach games" with the children from Uyacho orphanage (where we planted the garden last year) and ended the evening with a bonfire on the beach.
The next day we traveled to Ishozi, the village where William is from. We hiked, star-gazed, enjoyed a traditional meal eaten with banana leaves instead of silverware, and attended a church service in swahili in the morning. The weekend was all that you could expect from African village life, with many of the places being so secluded that you cannot reach them by road. One of the highlights for me was the church service, the music especially was beautiful. And even though we couldn't understand most of what was being said, we were able to appreciate the enthusiasm with which it was done.
Monday we spent enjoying Bukoba, and in the afternoon went with Izaas Medical project to donate soccer balls to the masai (traditional people of Tanzania and Kenya). We attempted to play soccer against the masai, and surprisingly we were pretty equally matched. They seemed almost as unfamiliar with the sport as we are, but they made up for the deficiency of skill with an excess of physical ability that often resulted in bruises.
This morning we worked revisited the home that as repaired two years ago by BWB. We had hoped to do the repairs today, but after consulting with an expert it was realized that even trying to repair the walls could result in the entire home falling in. We decided to partner with Izaas to ensure the home is rebuilt in the near future, even if it is not by us. Tonight we have plans to eat at the Bukoba Club (considered one of the fanciest restaurants in the area). We plan to treat some of the friends we have made to a good meal to thank them for all they have done for us while we have been here.

Tommorow night we take the ferry to Mwanza, then drive to Shinyanga to visit House of Grace, an organization working with people affected by Hansen's disease, or leprosy. We will try to update the blog after we get to the hotel there, or as soon as we can find an internet cafe!

-Becca

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Hi hi!


Just a quick update today!


This week we dropped off a bunch of school supplies and sheets at the Tumaini Street Kids Center (200 notebooks, 200 pens, protractors, calculators, chalk, ect). It was great to be able to donate supplies for those kids and help support a really well run organization. We also visited Budap this week, which is a organization in Bukoba that empowers disabled people by teaching them how to make things like jewelry and drums so they can make a living. We bought some souvenirs and visited the Bukoba museum while we were there. Last night we went back to watch another soccer game at the same restaurant. Go Germany? We cheered for our new friend Fab. We also all learned how to make matoke last night, which are cooked plantains with a bunch of veggies. I peeled 3 plantains in the time it took Zaharan to peel 15. We were so slow that eventually our friends took over and cut up all the veggies for us--so we sort of made it ourselves?


Today we visiting a private hospital to watch some really interesting operations--it was the 5 star hotels of hospitals compared to the Bukoba Hospital! The difference was amazing. The operations were also really cool to watch. After the hospital we stopped to hike and look at some rock paintings that were done allegedly in 300 bc. The views across the plains were absolutely incredible--it made us all so excited for Safari! Tomorrow night we are staying at the Bandas on the beach and Saturday we are going to William's village!

-Carly

Mugueza and Ntoma

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Hello everyone! Sorry for the delay in updates but we had another busy weekend just like the last!

On saturday we went back to the albino orphanage and cleaned the dorms for them. Armed with scrun brushes, brooms, mops, bukets, and soap we bargained for in the marlet, we scrubbed the floors and walls of the 4 dorms. They don't get cleaned very often so we could only do so much but at least they are disinfected now. We also donated a few soccer balls to both them and the deaf and dumb school in Mugueza (provided by Mr. Raza and Izaas). We even got a chance to play soccer with the kids and as a soccer player back at home, I loved being able to kick a ball around again! We were very surprised how good all the kids were.

Yesterday, we saw this beautiful waterfall before going to the Ntoma baby orphanage. Took some great pics and even ventured across the current, scaled some rocks, and ended up close enough to the falls to reach out and feel the water. Easily one of the coolest things I have ever done and I think everyone feels the same! As before, we enjoyed our time at the baby orphanage and even got to help out with lunch and bath time. All of the babies sit in a circle around a big plate of rice and hand feed themselves- very interesting to learn about that.

All of us can not believe we only have 9 days left in Bukoba- we are all going to miss our "African family" here when we leave next week. All for now!

Kayla Jankins

Street Kid Project Visit

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The week has been great. We have continued observing at the hospital, and our computer lessons have shown progress at Bukoba Secondary school. I think many of our group members have adjusted to culture here. We are comfortable and know our way around. I think we have less eyes following us too (though children continue to yell Muzungu at us). We visited the Street Kid Project of Bukoba yesterday afternoon. It is a privately funded organization that's purpose is to shelter children who are too poverty stricken to make it. Many children run away from home to this project. When we arrived, all of the children were singing a welcome song to us while one played on a drum. They ended up dancing for us and one male even sang "Heal the World" by Michael Jackson. We tried dancing for them in return, but it was clear that we lack certain abilities. We then got a tour of the place. The buildings where the children stay are average in condition. Not all of the children use mosquito nets, and there is a need for more sheets. We inquired what the project needed most and we found out clothing and school supplies (including uniforms) were what the children needed most. We are going to try to purchase school supplies with our project money if we can. Sixty uniforms would total to around $2000, so this project is out of our range this year. We are doing well and in high spirits. The energy is at a low, but I think it is due to the cloudy skies and rain that we have been having as of late. We miss you and we miss your food. Many of us are deliberating about what foods we are going to request when we are picked up at the airport. Feel free to comment on our posts with any questions you have!

BWB visits orphanages

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Hey everyone!

It's been a busy weekend into Mondays so sorry for the late update- but now, I have tons to share!

On saturday, we went to an albino orphanage in Mugueza (outside of Bukoba) to visit and bring donations. With the help of our driver and the assistant headmaster, we communicated and demonstrated how to apply the sunscreen we brought as well as the importance of wearing long sleeves to prevent sunburn. We are really trying to educate the older kids so they can set an example for the younger ones and are glad to help the kids in any way we can. It was disheartening to see the conditions the kids live in (most sleep 2 to a bed in very run-down dorms) but also welcoming to see the disabled Africans and albinos playing side by side as well. Later this week, we plan on cleaning up the dorms and bringing soccer balls to play with the kids.

Saturday night, we celebrated my 21st birthday with a dance party- lots of fun!

Sunday was a relatively chill day spent at the beach and Monday, we drove out to Ntoma to visit and help out at a baby orphanage. The drive was not an easy one- the roads are so bumpy and it took over an hour each way but it was worth it. We got to hold and play with the babies all afternoon and the general consensus is that they are all so adorable! We really wanted to take them home with us.

Today, a few of us went back to the hospital and observed a bladder cyst removal as well as another c-section- the doctors were very friendly and informative.

all for now!

Kayla Jankins

More Computer Lessons

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This morning we continued giving the computer lessons at Bukoba Secondary School. The Form 5 girls practiced using Microsoft Office Excel. They learned how to make two different kinds of charts and how to use the program to find the sum and average of a data set. At the end of their session the girls wrote stories or poems in Word, some of which were very interesting to read. We introduced Microsoft Office Power Point to the Form 6 girls. We gave them a set of topics to include in their slide show and then showed them how to view it when they were done. Most of the girls picked it up very quickly! Tomorrow we will be giving the last computer lesson at the school.

Due to our plans for the next few days and internet availability, there's a chance that we won't be able to update the blog until Tuesday. Saturday we will be going to Mugeza, where we will be giving the clothing and sun screen donations to the albino children. Monday we're planning on going to Ntoma to help the orphanage workers take care of the babies.

-Emily

Yo yo yo from Bukoba

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Hello People of America-

We have now finished our Organic Chemistry times at Bukoba Secondary School. Everything was a complete success in terms of friendships and lessons taught (although the concept of resonance seemed like a stretch for the girls we taught). We now our focusing all of our teaching attention on the computers and we are teaching strictly the form 5 and form 6 girls (seniors and juniors at the high school level) how to use them. There is quite a range of previous computer experience ranging from some girls writing stories and other taking 5 minutes to find all of the keys to write their names. It is a very enjoyable experience and there is never a dull day in this classroom. We are all excited to finish up the week. Carly, Quentin, Kelly, and Kayla went to the hospital today and saw more deliveries in the motherhood ward of the hospital. Quentin and Kayla stayed to see a c-section, but Kelly and Carly needed to go to the school after witnessing the birth. It is a lot to handle apparently, I have yet to see one, so I will update when I get to that point. Anyways, tonight we will be eating Chips maiay and snacking on fruits as we relaz and prepare for our computer lessons tomorrow. I love Chips Maiay and Matti (the cook) is real cool, he delivers to our house with the best Chili sauce in the world (he doesn't make it)... Now I am hungry for chips mayai. Anyways, we love and miss our friends and family. And someone will talk to you tomorrow.

BWB (specifically Kevin)

Scondary School and Hospital

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Today we split up our group to go to different projects. Some people went back to hospital. They started out their day in a meeting with the nurses and doctors, then headed to the maternity ward. They got to see a women give birth to a health baby girl, as well as many newborn babies with their mothers.

Other people went to the secondary school to do another lesson on the computers. Today they focused on giving the girls a typing lesson. There was a wide range of experience in typing. Some figured it out quickly while others struggled more. The whole group will be going back in the evening to teach our second and final organic chemistry lesson. We will be teaching two computer lessons a day for the rest of the week. Other people in the group went to package and distribute food for ISAAZ. We will be going back to package and distribute more food on later Tuesdays.

-Megan

Recent Comments

  • janki003: So, Kayla is turning 21 on June 2. Happy 21st read more
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