Back to School…already?!
It seems the summer has come and gone so quickly this year!
Continuing and Finishing Studies
Several weeks ago, the children began their third and final term of 2011 at Tumaini. They have continued to work hard day in and day out. Two of our sponsored students, Rose and Charles, will be sitting for the National Standard IV Examination in a few weeks. All Standard IV students must pass this country-wide test in order to proceed to Standard V next year.
While many of the Tumaini students are working tirelessly, the Standard VII students have graduated…TODAY! Hongera! : ) (Congratulations!). The Standard VII students make the first graduating Tumaini Standard VII class. Many of these lovely children began their school career at Tumaini in the Standard I class, in just one room of what now is the admin building. Six years later, they have grown into intelligent and mature teens. Likewise, the school has grown and now offers Nursery classes through Standard VII. What a fantastic day for Tumaini!
Karatu in Brooklyn, NY and NJ?!
While at work several weeks ago, I turned on the faucet only to have brown water run over my fingertips. As you East coasters know, we’ve been experiencing a lot of rain over the past few weeks. That combined with old plumbing created the dirt-brown water that thankfully ran clear after several minutes. As the water changed, I remembered the times after heavy rains in Karatu when the water would be almost as brown as my dust-covered body. Talk about a spray tan! Unfortunately, those days of heavy rains have not returned to East Africa.*
Additionally, just last week I headed to Eastmont Orchards in Colts Neck, NJ, to pick some apples and fresh veggies. Coincidentally, there were also some pumpkins which appeared to be dropped there. I digress. Anyway, as we drove to the parking lot, red dust was kicked up by people and passing cars. We rushed to close the windows before the red dust could paint a light layer on our skin. Admittedly, I was rather slow on the automatic window, feeling rather nostalgic. That’s right. Being that this is the first Autumn season I have experienced since 2008, a storm of emotions swirled, just like the red dust upon my cheeks.
New Jersey Tanzania
*I am sure you’ve heard about the drought in East Africa. Scores of people have died and are suffering from malnutrition. Karatu, too, is feeling the pangs of the rain’s absence. In an effort to further support Tumaini Junior School, Journeys of Solutions will be raising money for the Tumaini School Water Well Project.
After recently receiving an appeal from Mr. Bayo, the headmaster of the Tumaini Primary School in Karatu, we have committed to help the school get more water. They have drilled an exploratory bore hole and have reached good water, but at a great depth. Now they need the funding to construct a well. If you would like to help with a donation, please visit www.journeysofsolutions.org and designate the donation as Tumaini Water Fund. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, in an attempt to be back in Tanzania, at least for 1 hour and 27 minutes, I went with two girlfriends to see The Lion King in 3D. FYI, it’s only playing for 2 weeks so hurry and get your tickets! Anyway, I’d like to also add, everyone in the theater was in their mid-twenties/early thirties. Clearly we weren’t the only ones trying to revive childhood memories. More than a few, myself included, sang along to some of the favorites, like I Just Can’t Wait to be King and Hakuna Matata. Likewise teared up when Rafiki lifted up baby Simba to the masses of animals at Pride Rock and then when Mufasa appeared to grown Simba in the clouds and water’s surface. Okay, maybe that was just me.
As a young fourth grader, when I first saw the film, I loved it and subsequently learned all of the lyrics/songs. Little did I know I’d experience the beauty of some African plains first hand and would come to call them home nearly sixteen years later.
Don’t stop dreaming kids!