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Update from Ice!

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Hey, peeps!

Time for a new update from your favorite travel-volunteer group, Biology Without Borders! So, we have lots more news to share, but we’ll tell you mainly about the advancements we made on our DATAE project! This morning, we spoke with Mr. Hussein of the Bukoba Lion’s Club and had an incredibly productive meeting. Through him, we hope to acquire more information and data from the different hospitals in the Kagera Region. He helped set up meetings for us with different doctors and health-care providers. Along with that, we’ve successfully managed to acquire permission to execute our project from almost all of the officials here in Bukoba.

Now to go more into our other projects, we spoke to a gentleman named Mr. Raza yesterday. He coordinates several projects in Tanzania and abroad. He owns an orphanage as well and there is a young girl named Habiba who lost her home to a heavy storm recently. Since we’re learning to be careful with our money, we decided to do more meaningful work with Mr. Raza and will start helping build a new home for Habiba starting next week! It’s going to be a small hut—originally thought to be of mud, but now with iron sheets. Yup, that’s right! We’re going to be doing some full-blown manual labor, getting muddy and sweaty! Most of us have already saved some of our dirty clothes to wear so we don’t have to worry about having another laundry-day episode! Hopefully, we’ll be able to post some pictures for you guys to see and laugh at!

Next up: updates on the town. There’s no better opportunity to get a queen/celebrity treatment if you’ve ever craved it. Everywhere we go, infants to seniors are always staring at us. A couple of school boys stopped by the street today, pointed at Jenna and said, “Mzungu!? (“white person?). We couldn’t help but laugh. It’s so precious how the children clutter on the streets just to get a wave or a piece of gum out of us. We all bought gum and candy to give to the children but you can never have enough of a supply. You only wish you can see those brilliant smiles every second of the day.

It’s raining very heavily today! We returned to our home much earlier than we usually do and settled down with a nice mug of tea. We will be having dinner with COSAD tonight and will help welcome their guests who are also coming here from America to help out with the community. We have the usual chores still left to do—boiling water being the most important—but we decided to take a break and write you all a little note. After tonight, though, it’s back to business. We have several meetings planned all next week—with doctors, nurses, administrative figures, patients, etc. I know I’m speaking for the rest of the group when I say I’m very excited for next week.

We hope you’re having as great of a time there as we are here.

Ice