You can see from above where part of this day took us. We checked out of the Lenny hotel and met at Fr. Matthew’s office to outline the busy day. We had a stop at the orphanage, sewing center, lunch with the bishop, travel back to Natakubwa, then to Sengerema, then to Nyampande. And to do this we were starting after 10:00? By now the group is getting tired so we decided to start our day a little later.
We arrived at Fr. Matthew’s Development office shortly after 10:00. Upon arrival, we saw Alex, a driver that has been a part of all of the trips in the Geita Diocese.
After a quick photo we then went to Fr. Matthews office so the children could learn a little bit about what they do. Matthew noticed a poster on the wall and asked about it and Fr. Matthew had him pull it down to review. The Geita Diocese is very active in delivering services to mothers and their children and tracking that data. Funding comes from USAID as well as support from Catholic Relief Services.
We then shared with Father Matthew that we had brought a gift from Jay and Jill Stoffer for Adventina. He looked at it and then contacted Adventina to come to the office.
Adventina was thrilled for the gift and invited us to the sewing class. We said we would be over as soon as we finished the tour. During our tour of the offices we came upon a group from the development department that were entering data collected on families that they had recently visited. Although the data was on paper, it was then entered into a tablet that was connected to a server and a QR code was generated that provided instand data for the people who looked at it later.
We then made a quick stop to see Adventina working with three students that they hope will be able to open their own store front after learning the skills to sew.
We were then off to the orphanage. We were late, but it is about the event. I believe, Isaac, who Matthew is holding believes Matthew is going to take him home. He immediately went up to Matthew for him to pick him up.
Lucina, a year and a half, didn’t need any help figuring out that getting someone to pick you up is a good thing. Our three teens, love this place.
We then went in to sit and just visit for a short time. Tatyna had not been able to come because she was touring Sangerema hospital, so this gave her and opportunity to see the orphans and spend some time.
We gave them a soccer ball and bubblegum and then posed for another group photo.
We then met with Fr Matthew and we headed to the bank to get some cash to cover gas costs for the day. On the way back, Fr. Bulala stopped at one of the tailor’s who was trained and asked us each to pick a shirt.
Next, it was time to meet the Bishop for lunch prior to departing to Nyantakuebwa. We spent time visiting about the Teens experiences so far and the Bishop thanked them all for coming. He then presented them with the shirts that had been picked out and we posed for some more pictures..
We then departed and arrived at Nyantakuebwa.
Fr. George and Salvatore know we were coming so they had Flora and Vero available. We returned to present Flora and Vero with gifts from the girls. In our rush previously , we had forgot to give them their gift. Although, we could have sent the gift with anyone, we felt it better to be in person.
I can not express how touched they were that we made that adjustment to our schedule. And Fr. George had ice cream for us. I allowed the girls to go present their rosaries to the girls and they took them for one more tour around the campus. Some of the girls that they had met previously were so excited in thinking they were back some had tears of joy and then I suppose disappointment. Matthew got to reconnect with the economics teacher, Sinwa, and bid him farewell. We then said goodbye for now.
Now we were off and as we entered Sangerema, we were pointed to pull over by the local policeman. Augustine had been speeding? After some delay I phoned Fr. Bulala and gave Augustine the phone. Since he had been speeding, we needed to apy a 30,000 TZS fine ($15.00).
We then went to check in to our hotel and learned that it had actually been completely booked, The President of Tanzania was coming the next day and every hotel was booked. We then decided to head to Fr. Makonge at St. John the Apostle. We arrived at 20 past 6:00.
Before we could enter we had to take a picture with the security guard and shortly thereafter a mother with a child wanted to be in the picture.
We then went and greeted Fr. Makonge and the students. Today was there first day back from a break. Fr. Makonge asked if the students remembered me and one raised his hand immediately. He state I was there almost two years ago and my name was Masanja, (Deacon Denny’s name given by Fr. John’s father). we then asked him to come out to receive a soccer ball we had brought as a gift. He wasted no time in showing us his skills.
We then took some photos and retired to the dirt patio area by the rectory. Fr Makonge had arranged for us to have some barbeque. I can’t even describe how delicious it was. I would equate it to smoked pork and chicken. Delicious.
While we were dining a student, Moses, who is an albino came out of the house and Fr. Makonge greeted him and helped him to get pointed in the right direction. Fr. Makonge then explained that there is a seriously believe superstition that if a person take a piece of the flesh of and albino, they will be rich. This is so serious that Fr. Makonge keeps a room in the rectory for Moses. Albinos are hunted.
A little bit later, another student emerged, Harima who is also an Albino. The parents of both Moses and Harima approached Fr. Makonge for help as they could not afford the school. Fr. Makonge took them in and although he has alleviated the parent’s concerns about the tuition. If anyone reading this is interested in sponsoring either of these two, please reach out.
As traffic and security were very tight and only one ferry was allowed to run, Fr. Makonge made arrangements for us to retire in Nyampande at a local hotel. We were delighted to not have to drive for another hour. It was a whirlwind day, but the three teens, loved it. Tomorrow is a long day in the car, so watch for the next day’s info.