Hi all,

We are still volunteering in the hospital and all is going well there. Some of the crew saw an emergency c section and said it was a great experience. We are hoping to get to see more surgeries as well. Everything here is going great, the weather is perfect for our work and we are enjoying every minute of our time here. Jenna checked on the mud house and it looks great! If the family would like and if time permits, we may build a dividing wall for the baby for privacy when he grows up.

The water project is about half done. We have the gutters up on one building and worked on putting the others up today on the other building. After the gutters are up and sealed we just have to add PVC pipe to direct the water into the tank. The tank is HUGE and taller than the building, so we have to exchange it for a smaller one. Other than that and a few fitting issues, everything has run smoothly. We will work on this project through the weekend and hope to be done next week sometime.

We went to Mungeza this week and this is where I really wish my file would upload because I had so much to say about the school. It is a school mixed with albino children, handicapped children, and other children as well. We took a van up there and brought a lot of clothing and fruit with us. The view during the ride was beautiful!! We distributed clothing either based on the name tag sewn into the clothes or by fitting them to the children. The albino children recieved clothes first because they were the ones who needed the cover the most. We also gave the other children clothing that was left after the albino children recieved there clothing. It was challenging to try to fit the clothing to their bodies just by looking at them. We also applied sun screen to the albino children, which is somthing that didn't appear to happen often, because their skin was so sun damaged. Redness, dryness, open sores, and brown and black spots were common on these children. We told the teachers that this needed to be applied every day to protect their skin. We then handed out fruit to all of the children, which was a hard task, because the children would hide their fruit in an attempt to get more, which made it hard to tell who had recieved fruit and who hadn't. We also gave the children gum, which they love here!! Kate and Jess were able to jump rope with the girls, but they are so much taller that they didn't fit so well. Before we left, the children sang us a song in both English and Swahili saying goodbye. I hope we get to go back again and help in whatever way we can, because they seemed to love having company around and we loved being there.

I am sorry if this is jumbled, but I only paid for enough time to quick upload a file and since that didn't work I needed to type up what I could quickly. Hope all is well!


Settling in Bukoba

| 6 Comments

Sorry for the long wait but as you will see, we have been VERY busy and with some uncontrollable obstacles, like electricity being out in the whole town and no the café not being open on Sundays, couldn't get a blog out till now. Sorry again!

Hello from Tanzania! It's been a week already, and we are finally getting a schedule down. All of us went to the hospital this week and split up into several different wards. The experience is by far different from an American hospital but we are still learning the ways of African medicine. Some people even got to witness live births in the maternity ward, others watched doctors and nurses diagnose patients. It will be very interesting to get all the views of each ward.

Food here is quite amazing! Everything is fresh from the market including tomatoes, garlic, peppers, beans, pineapple, and bananas. So good! We are learning how to cook for 11 people with mostly market food. So far Jenna and Kate made a quite spicy spaghetti with peppers we bought at the market (did not realize just how hot they were!). Probably the best spaghetti I've had- thanks girls. We have found that a hearty meal of beans and chili sauce suffices our hunger long enough to work on our projects. Everyone is getting addicted to the tea here, really good with some sugar added. Our favorite stable food is still ordering chips mayai (potatoes and eggs), which we have at least every other day! Yesterday we went out to the Lake Victoria beach and had a special meal of chips and fish caught right from the lake. I think everyone is in agreement that it was the best meat we have had here so far.

The water project is finally progressing and turning out awesome. William (our host/tour guide) told us at the beginning when we got off the ferry to be flexible in Africa and we sure have practiced it. The water project we planned totally changed with accordance to local expertise, but without many hitches its looking very good. We have help from a fundi, which is a local handyman that guides the way and makes sure everything done is done correctly. By the end of the week we finished the foundation (which is stones and cement) and then next week we plan to put up the gutter system along with laying the tank down. The girls at the school are very helpful translators and a lot of fun to talk to.

Wednesday was Peter's birthday and we celebrated African style with the girls singing Happy Birthday to Peter at the school and having some of our friends over at William's bar for drinks. We all had a good time getting to know each other more and eating our favorite meal of chips mayai and the best Fanta in the world.

Friday afternoon we went to a families home that had a whole wall missing from a flood caused by a heavy rain. All 11 of us went to work to repair the wall by stacking mud and rocks through bamboo rods across the wall. We got very dirty! All the neighborhood children sat and watches us from a little hill and helped us pick up some stones for the house.

Saturday was also our soccer game with the orphan children. Even at 4:30 pm, the sun was blazing so we got pretty worn out while the children had a lot of fun passing around us. There was a crowd of locals that loved watching our lack of skill, each time we missed the ball or made a bad shot we would get roars of laughter. It was a very fun experienced and we hope we can do something like that again while we are here.

A run through of a day here includes getting up fairly early at 6:30- 7:00, eating a quick breakfast of bread or oatmeal. The rooster gets us up every morning, mostly way earlier than we want. After breakfast we usually split up into two groups, one goes to the hospital the other works on the water project for the morning. We meet up around lunch, eat, and start some more work on projects. Dinner brings us all back together for a great meal before we all go to bed after exhausting days.

Thanks for reading!
Michelle

Finally in BUKOBA!!

| 3 Comments

Note: A lot has happened, sorry if this is a little random.

Finally! After three days of travel and exhaustion, we arrived in Bukoba! We got in today (Monday) from the ferry at around 6 am Bukoba time. We arrived here from a 12 hour**** (not 8 as we previously thought) bus ride from Nairobi, Kenya to Mwanza, Tanzania. The bus ride was an experience that we never would have expected. There was a stretch of road that was littered with speed bumps and pot holes, with five miles that literally looked and felt like ski moguls. The bus driver did his best to maneuver the big coach bus around the bumps.... It was a rickety ride to say the least. At some parts it felt like we were going to roll....but we didn't. J It also took a while because of the many speed bumps and random stops along the way. There would be random speed bumps that seemed like they served no purpose or need. Also, random stops delayed the ride. At one stop, Dan and I (Paul) got out to find a bathroom. It was a little sketchy, but we found it and got back on the bus. We got to the Kenya/Tanzania border at around 6am on Sunday. It was still dark as we crossed the border. We had to get out of the bus and walk across the border on foot. We were helped out by a nice Tanzanian woman we met on the bus named Mauwa. She made sure that we didn't get ripped off and helped translate.

After we crossed the border the sun came up. This allowed us to see the beautiful country of Tanzania. The ride was much smoother on this stretch of the route. The country was astounding: there were green covered mountainous hills and rocks, along with straw huts. The people were out and about early in the mourning, and sometimes they were on the tops of the mountainous rocks. It was a really cool sight.

We arrived in Mwanza tired and hungry. We met Hamza at the bus stop, and he drove us to the hotel (just to keep our bags for the day) where we got food. I ordered the Chicken (Kuku) and Ugali (a flour and water mixture that looked sort of like mashed potatoes, but much more dense). We toured the town, and tried not to fall asleep waiting for the ferry. Finally we boarded the ferry and got some food. We went to sleep shortly after finishing dinner. The rooms were a little cramped and smelly, but there was a bed to sleep in. We slept for most of the night, and arrived in Bukoba at around 6 am (Monday). We met William and he drove us to his house where we were going to stay.

When we arrived, William's friend Peter made us Mexican Omelets with toast, which were amazing. We hung around and talked until 1pm, when we went to the market to buy some things. Walking down, we could here the locals saying "Mzumgu," which means white person. All the towns people were very friendly, and sometimes we get 8 or so young children who just walk around and follow us. They are all really cute and friendly.

We ate lunch at the house (PB and J) and just hung out. We went back into town to exchange money and send e-mails. We came back and ate dinner from a stand outside of William's bar. Everyone had Chips mayai (omelet with potatoes wedges). We hung around in the bar and had a few drinks. The bar is built into the side of a rock wall and looks like a cave...really cool. We are all tired so we went to bed after that. Tomorrow we are going to go to the hospital to talk about viewing surgeries and to Mr. Raza to talk about the water project. We are all really excited to get started on the projects.

Talk to you soon,

Paul Stadem and BWB

Halfway there! (well, by time)

| 4 Comments

Hello everyone, Dan Perry here!

We made it safely to Amsterdam early Friday morning and decided to go into the city center despite our lack of sleep on the 8 hour plane ride. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is massive and it was quite fun trying to figure out what train to get on to go into the city, but once we did, we had an amazing time exploring the city. We had AMAZING bread at a local bakery, sat at a cafe by the canals and had coffee, and wandered aimlessly marveling at the really cool architecture and culture. Streets wind and turn as if they were not even planned correctly, and pedestrians definitely do not have the "right of way" in traffic. Locals bike a lot, and there are just piles of them everywhere. We also stopped by the Anne Frank house, but did not have a chance to go inside. Just seeing it was a humbling experience. By mid-afternoon we were totally exhausted and made our way back to Schiphol. Oh, and by the way, it is very easy to wander right into Red Light District without trying, just if you were wondering haha.

We safely flew from Amsterdam to Nairobi over that night as we tried to sleep as much as possible and eating the now repetitive airline food. Once we got on a bus to make our way towards our hotel, it finally dawned on me that I am in Africa. I saw endless streets of markets, kiosks, and shacks of various items people were selling. Just the concept of consumerism here is just so much different. Traffic is also insane. As exhaustion is still part of our daily routine, we decided to sleep all day, and then we had our first African meal at the hotel in Nairobi. We are now packing up to go to the bus that will take us overnight to Mwanza, Tanzania. It is an 8 hour trek. After that, we will take an 8 hour ferry over Lake Victoria, to our final destination, Bukoba. So, we've traveled 16 hours ,and have 16 hours to go and are very excited to get going on our service projects. Keep us in your thoughts as we make our way towards Tanzania, and thanks for reading! --Dan Perry

testing

Recent Comments

  • perry332: You can't imagine how much we appreciate hearing about all read more
  • free0316: Thanks so much for the update on all of your read more
  • swick: Sounds as if you guys are doing all the right read more
  • crosb065: I am so proud of you all! You are going read more
  • bruceolaf@msn.com: “The men and women who have the right ideals ... read more
  • perry332: It is so great to hear about the work you read more
  • tstadem@yahoo.com: Now I realize why we haven't heard from you. Wow! read more
  • astadem@yahoo.com: It's great to hear from you, Paul. It sounds like read more
  • jws863@hotmail.com: Thanks so much for the entries Paul, it's a bit read more
  • tstadem@yahoo.com: Glad to hear you all made it! Thanks for the read more

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.