After we finished presenting the gifts from many generous people, we loaded into two vehicles to go visit the orphanage. Upon arrival a few children started to gather as we pulled in and then a huge crowd appeared. There are 106 children at the orphanage ranging from two to 19. Many of us got to know of the youngest, Victor who was the 101st at age 2.
The hospitality everywhere you go is the same, joyful jubilation for the visitors.
As the children arrive it does not take long for those that have been here before to find familiar faces. Within minutes Deacon Denny and Victor are back to being reacquainted.
Father John is greeted by Justina the youngest of the orphans and we are quickly escorted to a large classroom.
We are seated facing the group of children and the youngest of the children get some special attention from Fr John and Deacon Denny.
After we are seated we take questions and ask questions to learn more about the children. One of the girls is working to become a musician and we get treated to a performance.
After her solo performance we then learn that she and others have formed a band. Another impromptu performance is conducted.
After the performance, our group gets the joy of giving. Many people from our families and friends sent us with gifts to give to this group. A bamboo flute was a big hit with the Bishop.
It wasn’t long before Karen finally got Fr John to share some time with Justina.
After the gifts were distributed, we got to go outside and watch the fun begin and listen and feel the joy of laughter.
It was great being a kid for an afternoon. After the Orphanage we took a tour of the Diocesan grounds to see some of the projects.
It is impressive to see the farming operations that were set up. They have chickens, pigs and are setting up an area for cattle. Additionally there are many fields of of corn. With each trip there have been major gains in developing and implementing sustainable projects.
After a tour of the grounds we then went to see Fr. Gerard and Our Lady of Fatima Parish and School
One of the women at the Parish quickly latched on to Lisa because she wanted her picture taken with her.
we then returned to the Bishops house for a dinner that had many guests. Of particular interest was a very unassuming lady, Gertrude Mongella.
She has been a pioneer and model for women throughput. She was the first president of the Pan-African Parliament.[. She served 23 years on the Tanzanian parliament and Served on the Tanzanian High Commission to India. She also has been a life long educator including developing curriculum for the Dar es Salaam Institute of Education.
We concluded our evening around 10:00. For most of us, we have never shared a meal with such a large group of religious and priests.