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Safari time!!!

After a long few days of traveling, the Gould students arrived in Tanzania!

Note: due to spotty network connection, I cannot upload photos at this time; my apologies!! Photos to come soon

Once we finished morning introductions on Thursday, we headed to a project near Tengeru, where the grandmother of one of the boys(Jake) is helping to build a school! Juliette, or Granny, tirelessly works to serve the 25 Kindergarteners and 5 first graders. Dare I mention she is 80 years old?! Simply, she is amazing and we were so grateful to meet her! Jake too was thrilled!

After the drive we enjoyed a scenic drive to Karatu; the sunset was breathtaking!

This morning, prior to our safari adventure, we were at school for the morning assembly to be introduced to students and staff! We heard songs from our youngest students and visited the library too! Sara especially was delighted to return to the library and see the changes since her visit last June/July!

We made it to the Ngorongoro Crater Gate just before noon, through which we must pass to get to Oldupai Gorge and eventually the Serengeti. Shortly following, we stopped at the Lookout on the rim of the Crater and after ooo-ing and ahh-ing at the first sightings of giraffes, zebras and wildebeests, we found ourselves learning about the Footsteps of Mankind at Oldupai Gorge!

Since Tumaini students had to sit for a ward-wise examination this morning, Gould students and teachers, Mr Bayo and me eagerly awaited their arrival at Oldupai. More giraffes, zebras, and wildebeests later, we are now safely in the Serengeti. As I write this, birds and insects are buzzing beneath the starry sky while the students’ whispered questions are carried on the wind. And it should be said, I much prefer their quiet laughter to the whooping and laughing of the hyenas! Worry not parents of Gould students, we are absolutely safe and sound!

Stay tuned for more updates and photos of our continues adventures!


Safari time!

After a long few days of traveling, the Gould students arrived in Tanzania!

Note: due to spotty network connection, I cannot upload photos at this time; my apologies!! Photos to come soon

Once we finished morning introductions on Thursday, we headed to a project near Tengeru, where the grandmother of one of the boys(Jake) is helping to build a school! Juliette, or Granny, tirelessly works to serve the 25 Kindergarteners and 5 first graders. Dare I mention she is 80 years old?! Simply, she is amazing and we were so grateful to meet her! Jake too was thrilled!

After the drive we enjoyed a scenic drive to Karatu; the sunset was breathtaking!

This morning, prior to our safari adventure, we were at school for the morning assembly to be introduced to students and staff! We heard songs from our youngest students and visited the library too! Sara especially was delighted to return to the library and see the changes since her visit last June/July!

We made it to the Ngorongoro Crater Gate just before noon, through which we must pass to get to Oldupai Gorge and eventually the Serengeti. Shortly following, we stopped at the Lookout on the rim of the Crater and after ooo-ing and ahh-ing at the first sightings of giraffes, zebras and wildebeests, we found ourselves learning about the Footsteps of Mankind at Oldupai Gorge!

Since Tumaini students had to sit for a ward-wise examination this morning, Gould students and teachers, Mr Bayo and me eagerly awaited their arrival at Oldupai. More giraffes, zebras, and wildebeests later, we are now safely in the Serengeti. As I write this, birds and insects are buzzing beneath the starry sky while the students’ whispered questions are carried on the wind. And it should be said, I much prefer their quiet laughter to the whooping and laughing of the hyenas! Worry not parents of Gould students, we are absolutely safe and sound!

Stay tuned for more updates and photos of our continues adventures!


Simple Addition

A special thanks to Tuesday’s visitors for 75 brand new math sets for our students!! What a perfect way to celebrate Mathematics Week!

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MATHEMATICS WEEK

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SPORTS JERSEYS
As you may recall, we received beautiful jerseys, shorts and socks last year from friends of Tumaini! We were thrilled to welcome these friends on Thursday! Thank you Mark and Cindy, Jon and Tina for visiting! Check out the awesome pink shirts our girls received, along with 14 or so great soccer balls and other much appreciated equipment!

Last year’s Girls Football team sporting the jerseys! The girls won 7-0 this day!
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Jerseys! A special thanks to Mike Konchar and Ms Perez!!
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Busy sidelines!
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What a wonderful week to brush up on basic addition and the value of working together! Thank you!!


Letters!

Thank you MAST Key Club for your beautiful letters to one of our sponsored students, Glory, and letters to several of our classes! Tumaini students cannot wait to write back!

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Film Showing in Darien, CT, proceeds to benefit two Tanzanian schools!

Hello dear friends–especially those of you in and near Darien, CT!!

The acclaimed new film by 10x10act.org “GIRL RISING” IS PLAYING AT THE DARIEN PLAYHOUSE ON MARCH 9, hosted by Unite the World With Africa

More than 100 tickets to date have been sold! If you want to reserve yours before the show, you can email dear friend Anne: anne@unitetnz.org. (TIckets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.)

100% of profits from the event will benefit two of Unite’s partner schools in Tanzania: The Tumaini Junior School and The Red Sweater Project’s Mungere Secondary School.

Please feel free to forward this invite to all of your friends in the Fairfield County area!!

A special thank you to Unite the World with Africa and Global Girls & Guys Unite for hosting such a fabulous event!

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Whistle While You Work

The days have continued to be busy since Tom’s arrival. He has worked tirelessly, kindly allowing me to (sweetly) boss him around to complete our various tasks! After the epic day of shopping at the big outdoor market, one may have hoped it would have been complete. No, no! After all, I want to be a kind host and not deprive him of continued and adventurous fun!! =) We’ve ventured into the local market several times since to purchase additional items for the sponsored children, visited Alailelai village* in Ngorongoro Crater from where five of our sponsored children come, visited Journeys of Solutions’ Bulati project and more!! I’m happy to say Tom has settled in quite nicely to the rhythm of life here. I too have so enjoyed having an extra set of hands to help!

*check out http://www.amso-tz.org for more details!

Our adventure to Ngorongoro Crater!! Five years ago we passed through these gates for the first time; my the circle of life!

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Bulati–shout out to Journeys of Solutions for the help to purchase water tanks! Pictured here with Bulati head teacher, Mwalimu Manyaya, teacher Mr Ernest, Tom, and Alailelai friend John. FYI Ernest was John’s primary school teacher!
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Given Tom’s expertise (he built roads for 30 years), we’ve also been grateful to have him assist with the installation of the playground and the building of the sports court! Simply, had he whistled as be worked, there would have been a symphony at school! Here are some recent photos!

Kicking off Social Studies Week!
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Installing the playground (which will sit just behind the water well!
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Tom began and continues to work on an amazing mural which will include the help of our students and teachers!

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Kicking off Science Week!
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Distributing Pen Pal letters to our Standard VII students and taking their photos which will accompany responses
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Worry not! It’s not all work and no play–Tom managed a quick dance in a puddle–much to the surprise of some students!!

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STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES ON TOMORROW’S WATER WELL DEDICATION AND NEWS ABOUT UNITE VISITOR MEG TEACHING OUR TEACHERS ABOUT FIRST AID AND OLDER GIRLS ABOUT ADOLESCENCE


Who doesn’t love shopping?!

On the seventh of every month, people from near and far come to the big outdoor market, or mnada, here in Karatu. You can buy anything (and everything!) from furniture and clothing, to shoes, food, housewares and even goats or a cow (or two!). Simply, a good time is promised for all!

As is customary, I headed over with a long list of items to purchase for some of our sponsored students. It was very hot and very dusty; my ivory skin was darkened to a latte hue compliments of the red clay. Throughout the day I was greeted by familiar faces, including some of Tumaini’s current and recent graduates!

An added bonus was the company of dear friend and 3-week visitor, Tom! I picked Tom up at JRO airport on Wednesday and have promised him a trip filled with cultural fun! Naturally our first stop was an adventure on the Dar express (similar to greyhound bus) to reach Karatu.

Anyway, after three hours of fun at the market, and many sweatshirts, shoes, socks and other items later(Props to Tom for helping me carry everything and surviving the dust!!!), we stopped at one of the food tents for a cold drink before heading home.

Tire sandals
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Someone’s purchase of the day!
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What a guy! He’s holding 30+ sweatshirts for the kids in there! All gently used and about $1.50 a piece!
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Shopping!
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And we are back for another great year!

Friends,
I’ve safely arrived back in Tanzania and have some fantastic news to share with you:

Tumaini finishes FIRST (again)!!

The Standard VII National Examination results have been published and for the second consecutive year that Tumaini has had a graduating Standard 7 class, Tumaini has come out on top in the district! You may recall last year*, Tumaini was #1 in the district amongst the 90 primary schools. I am so delighted to tell you the Tumaini students and teachers have done it again–Tumaini is #1 out of the 92 primary schools in Karatu. Further, 7 of the top 10 highest scorers or 5,246 students in the district were Tumaini students. Additionally, there were 18 spots for students at National Special Secondary Schools, seven of which were awarded to Tumaini students!

Hongera sana (“Congratulations!”)

*Last year, Tumaini placed 1st out of 90 primary schools in the district, 13th out of 528 schools in the seven districts of Arusha region, and 69th out of 15,051 schools in the nation!

Change is good!
Upon my return to Karatu after a short five week stay in the US, I couldn’t believe the transformation at school: new bunk beds and mattresses for a new boy’s dorm (converted from our computer lab), the computer lab’s move closer to our library, the third floor being open for classes, a multipurpose court for basketball, volleyball and netball and more! Stay tuned in the coming days/weeks for more photo updates of the great changes!

Bunk beds and Mattresses

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Multipurpose court
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A nearly $5,000.00 USD project

Three out of Four
As you just read, we are now utilizing three of the four levels of our story building! We are in the process of putting windows on the third floor (each of the 20 windows needed is $170–email me if you’d like to buy a window or two for our classrooms!). Likewise, we have had new desk and chair sets added to the third floor classrooms.
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Last, though certainly not least, here is a photo of 15 of the 17 students enrolled in the TEC sponsorship program in the last six months!! Nine was existing Tumaini students! Thank you for your generosity and support! Here’s to another great year of educating Tanzanian children!

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Life brought through raindrops

To celebrate the December rains, a haiku:

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Grasses high dancing
Flowers where before were none
Life brought through raindrops


WOMEN YOU SHOULD KNOW

Hello friends!

Back in November I had the privilege of meeting Cynthia Hornig, co-founder of WOMEN YOU SHOULD KNOW, WYSK, a site which highlights dynamic women who are making a difference around the world. Cynthia was traveling in Tanzania and stopped by Tumaini one afternoon during which time she asked me to share some details about my work with Journeys of Solutions and Tanzania Education Corp. In the weeks that followed, I was formally interviewed by WYSK, along with two of Tumaini’s teachers, Christine and Cecelia. My interview went live yesterday, coincidentally the first day of school for Tumaini students, and today you may also read Christine and Cecelia’s interviews! My interview! Christine and Cecelia’s Interviews!

Thank you Cindy and Jen, and the entire WYSK team!!


A new year school year, continued partnerships, & a new do!

Back to school again!!
After a lovely December holiday, Tumaini students and teachers are gearing up for another school year to begin! Boarding students have returned already and tomorrow, January 7, classes for the 2013 year will commence!!

Partnerships!
A few months ago, I highlighted the wonderful work of UNITE. Through UNITE’s hard work in August 2012, Tumaini received an entire library of books from a Brewster, NY school! In 2013 we look forward to receiving some UNITE visitors who will do some seminars for our teachers and students. Stay tuned in February for more updates once we welcome UNITE friends to Tumaini!!

NEW ‘DO
Upon realizing how long my hair had grown during my recent five month stint in Tanzania, I decided I would donate it once back in the US. After all, given the frequent water shortages, longer hair proves rather difficult to keep clean. 🙂 Anyway, a good friend recommended I check out Pantene’s program, Beautiful Lengths and after reading up on it, I opted to commit!

Given that I’ll be back in Tanzania by this Saturday (cannot believe how quickly my five week stay has flown by), I had a rather animated Albanian hairstylist make the cut for me just days ago!

Before: Golden locks like Rapunzel

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Pantene requires a minimum of eight inches–I ended up cutting about ten inches off!!
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Ponytail no more!

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Envelope for Pantene! Note Pantene has a partnership with American Cancer Society, providing real-hair wigs to cancer patients! Done and done!

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The new ‘do! I haven’t had hair this short since third grade!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


‘Tis the Season to be Generous Part 2: Students Exchange, Pen Pal letters

First of all, HAPPY 2013!!!

As Tumaini students gear up for their first day of school on Monday, I will make several more posts to feature some examples of generosity!

Continuing with the theme of my last post, I will again highlight the great benefits of students helping students:

In addition to my visit to Rebecca and Sara’s Ecology class to speak more about raising funds for bed nets (see previous post), I was fortunate enough to visit another high school in upstate New York where four classes of freshmen will participate in a Pen Pal exchange with Tumaini’s Standard VII students.

Prior to my December departure, Tumaini students excitedly prepared their letters and asked many questions about their NY high school freshmen pen pals.

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Working hard on Pen Pal Letters

It was great fun for me to hand deliver these letters to the NY students and spend four 40-minute classes providing glimpses of life at Tumaini.

The NY students had incredible questions and seemed quite fascinated to learn more about Tumaini students. I, meanwhile, was rather taken by the use of the smart board in the classroom! What an incredible teaching aid/tool!

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Watching a slideshow in between my presentation and a Q&A

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Desks and chairs…note desk and chair sets are $22 each for Tumaini classrooms–we are currently looking to purchase 100!

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Answering questions and explaining more about Tumaini

Check back over the weekend for more info about UNITE and some fundraising updates!


‘Tis the Season to be Generous Part 1: Students Helping Students, Bed Nets

Over the next few days as we gear up for 2013, I look forward to sharing some stellar examples of generosity with you!

My first example:

STUDENTS HELPING STUDENTS

A special thank you to high school rock stars Sara and Rebecca who are currently fundraising for bed nets for Tumaini Junior School and Shalom Orphanage Centre!

I had the privilege of meeting these dedicated students and chatting with them about their fundraising efforts several weeks ago. They are amazing!

For more information and/or to be a part of this very important project, visit here. Each bed net is just $5USD so I invite you to skip a latte or two this week and donate to help protect a child from malaria!

Asanteni sana Sara and Rebecca, and their Ecology teacher Mr. French, for welcoming me to your class and for your dedication and generosity!

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Made it back to the US

After some very busy final days in Tanzania before the holidays, I’ve made it back to the US for a few weeks.

I can never seem to remember what a shock my system goes through when returning to the chilly northeast after several months in equatorial Africa. A heavy coat, scarf, hat and two layers later: Noted!

I’ll be updating with more details and photos soon….in the meantime I invite you to meet seven adorable children, the newest enrolled in TEC’s sponsorship program. Note, of the first five, only Lowassa and Denis know some Kiswahili. These five children come from Ngorongoro Crater and are Maasai. Having had little to no schooling prior to their arrival at Tumaini, and in turn little to no knowledge of Kiswahili, we’ve enlisted the help of Tumaini teachers, Mr Robert and Mr Jimmy to assist in the adjustment period. Robert is Maasai so he has been working tirelessly to help translate for the children. Thank you Robert and Jimmy!!

Happy and Nashipai

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Denis and Sangau

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Lowassa

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Elihuruma and Fausta

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Changing into boarding uniforms

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Showered and ready to visit FAME for check ups

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All finished at FAME! A huge thank you to Doctor Gabriel for his thorough explanations and patience with the little ones, Veronica for helping to translate for the five Maasai children and FAME’s volunteer coordinator Pamela for the gifts of pencils and laughter during our visit!

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Lego fun after morning lessons!!

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Final push!

Well friends, the 2012 school year is almost complete! In the coming weeks, please check back (or subscribe for automatic updates to be sent directly to you!) as I invite you to look back on this past school year’s highlights!

In the meantime, here is some recent news:

Rain rain (don’t) go away!
We had a few brief days of needed rain. As much as the mud proves a bit hard to navigate and cakes to shoes/boots, I did always want to be 5’8″!!

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Standard IV Students sat for the National Examination last week–a test they must pass in order to continue to Standard V next year!

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Relaxing after Day 1 of tests!

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Welcoming Visitors
In the past two weeks we have welcomed old and new friends to Tumaini!

Nurse to nurse–here is Rachael and Tumaini’s school nurse, Victoria, and Ms. Christine.

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Victoria testing the glasses’ prescription–was a perfect match!

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Rachael and I also visited nearby Shalom Orphanage Centre and FAME

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More donated supplies–thank you Rachael!

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Mama Susan and Krista visiting our young students and presenting puppets

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Waiting for afternoon assembly!
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A lovely treat whilst driving back to Karatu after several meetings in Arusha…
Giraffes!
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Zebras
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Stay tuned for more!!!


Happy October!!

Hello friends!

So sorry for the delay since my last update: the combination of our Internet being a bit spotty and a parasite finding my body to be most hospitable has inhibited me from telling you about all the exciting things happening at Tumaini until now. (Yes, even the parasites have caught on to how much fun I always have!)

More seriously I’m luckily feeling better though do suppose my constant claims of being a “delicate flower” are indeed irrefutable! Nevertheless, despite this recent “adventure” life has certainly continued to be busy at Tumaini Junior School! Here are some recent highlights:

First Installment of Books from the Melrose School on the Shelves of Tumaini!!

A special thanks to Liz and Ray Canning and our friends at UNITE (I’m sure you remember them…in case you don’t check out my August 17 post!) for working with TEC’s Carol Hall to facilitate the safe arrival of our first set of books from The Melrose School! The Science books and chapter books are fantastic additions to Tumaini’s shelves! We anxiously await the arrival of the other 78 boxes worth of books! SPECIAL NOTE: IF YOU WILL BE TRAVELING TO TANZANIA IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS AND WOULD LIKE TO USE AN EXTRA BAG TO TRANSPORT BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME!!!!

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More letter writing!
pictured here is one of our newest sponsored students!

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Water Well Updates!!

Shortly before my June 29 return to Tanzania, the water was accessed for the first time! In one afternoon of pumping, Tumaini’s 45,000+ Gallon cistern was nearly filled to the brim! On September 14, we pumped for water in preparation for Tumaini’s Graduation Ceremony on September 15, and again, we filled the cistern at a rate of approximately 15,000 liters (or 3,000 Gallons) an hour. We are now in the dry season [rains will arrive in November] so the well has proved especially invaluable for the 541 students and 40+ staff members!

Since the pump is 132 meters down, Tumaini’s current electrical capabilities are not enough. Thus, the next step of the project is the installation of the proper electricity needed for the pump and the installation of a control box. I am delighted to tell you that we have enough funds in the Water Well Project budget at Journeys of Solutions to complete this next step and anticipate its completion in the next several weeks. As a final step, once we have installed the electricity needed and the pump has a structure around it, we will do a formal naming of the water pump in my father’s honor in the coming months. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

CHECK OUT THE WATER WELL PROJECT’S GREAT PROGRESS (and the Construction progress in the background of many shots!!)

May 2011–Water Survey

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June 2012–Water First Pumped

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September 2012–Water Pump Safely in Place!

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FINALLY HERE ARE SOME MONTHLY HIGHLIGHTS:
JULY-SEPTEMBER

JULY
-Along with Tumaini’s Principal and Librarian, I led weekly tours of the school to American tourists visiting the Karatu area on safari. Within the last few weeks, scholarships for seven Tumaini students have been secured through TEC as a direct result of said tours!

AUGUST
-I managed a team of four volunteers from NY who divided their time between Tumaini Junior School and the nearby Shalom Orphanage Centre. On one memorable afternoon, the five of us women, with the assistance of Ms. Christine met with the Standard VII girls for a “Girl Talk.” We actually did a good deal of myth-busting! It was great fun and everyone enjoyed it!
-Tumaini received an entire library worth of book donations from The Melrose School in Brewster, NY. As you read above, we have received the first 2 of the 80 boxes which were packed up!

SEPTEMBER
-Tumaini celebrated it’s 2nd Annual Graduation on 15 September. The 36 Standard VII and 74 Pre-Unit (nursery school) students were recognized for their efforts and the day was a blast!
-The Standard VII Pupils also sat for the National Examination on 19 and 20 September–a test they must pass in order to continue to secondary school in January. Last year ALL of Tumaini’s Standard VII pupils passed so we are confident the same will happen this year! School is a lot quieter now that the Standard VII pupils have left school. They will remain home until December at which time the National Exam results are published. Come January, they’ll begin Secondary school!

Check back in a few more days for October highlights and more news about some new friends at Red Sweater Project!!!

Thanks for reading!!


Uko nyumbani (“You’re home”)

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I love the changing of seasons, especially Summer into Autumn. In 2009, 2010 and presently, I have and do sorely miss seeing the changing of the leaves and feeling the crispness in the air as I find myself in Tanzania.

Last Autumn I was able to stay home and spend quality time with my family. I snapped the above and below photos during an apple picking adventure with my father and brother.

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That’s right friends, you’re never too old! We did manage to take some photos in which my loving older brother pretended to drop a pumpkin on my head. (note the disdain on his face at the photo opp!) Ah, sibling love!!

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Another memorable moment was when this same strapping young man disappeared for a few minutes (we all are prone to wandering sometimes after all) and then reappeared only to present about a dozen apples from the various pockets in his coat! Dad and I especially loved that! Truly what a beautiful afternoon I’ll cherish always.

Presently, I find myself in Tanzania walking around under the equatorial sun and in the dust (the rains will come soon!), which only exacerbate this longing. That said I cannot deny how I love being here too. As I think about that crisp afternoon which ended with some skiball at the boardwalk…

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(scary how alike they are!!)

…and how I miss so much about home, I cannot deny how here too feels like home.

I just arrived at the school office and after greeting the secretaries and nurse, I sat down to get to work. The nurse came in moments later with tea and with a smile said, “Uko nyumbani Eliza,” (“You’re home.”) Indeed.

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The nurse and me at graduation

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Thanks for the love!


A day well spent!

Well my friends, today’s entry brings us to the end of the (nearly) weeklong graduation exposé…I hope you’ve enjoyed!

Below are some photos of students and teachers celebrating, laughing (check out the boys and the flowers!!) and finally, clean up! It was such a special day–truly memorable! Thank you for visiting and stay tuned for more updates on the National Exam and the Water Well project!!

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Sibling love-Gabriel and Yasinta!
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They couldn’t get enough of the flowers!!!

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Graduate Eliza, Rose, Rose and Beatrice–such lovely girls!
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Friends
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Two of my faves: Madame Fatmah and Madame Christine–these women are fantastic teachers and wonderful role models! Like all the Tumaini teachers, their dedication to the success of the students is awe-inspiring!
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Cleaning up and bidding farewell!
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More Singing and Dancing, Congratulating Graduates and recognizing the amazing work of teachers!

Given the absence of Friday’s post, today is a double entry which will bring us up to the end of the graduation ceremony! We’ll see the Standard II students singing and dancing, the school choir and graduates being recognized and receiving certificates! Finally, we’ll see glimpses of the hardworking and dedicated teachers being recognized and appreciated by everyone in attendance!

Here are the Standard II students performing to Shakira’s Waka Waka song. They also did an amazing skit on the importance of school and education as they highlighted the dangers of smoking!

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The Choir, along with their teacher, Madame Christine. Mme Christine is also the Pre-Unit class teacher!

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Standard VII coming back in and then dancing to their seats!

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Pre-Unit Grads, along with teacher Christine, marching back in–a perfect photo opp for family and friends!!

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After congratulating the graduates, the guest of honor (and educational officer), encouraged all in attendance to show their appreciation to the teachers. Within just a few minutes, nearly $600 was raised to be split amongst the teachers!

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Generosity!

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Mr. and Mrs. Bayo and the educational officer shaking the hands of those giving:

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Here are some additional photos of our graduates after the ceremony:

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Some future Standard VII Grads, borrowing a cap and stars from Standard VII Graduates. So cute!

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Check back tomorrow for some other photos of students from all grades!


Skits, songs and laughs!

Friends, my apologies for the absence of yesterday’s update! Internet connection was a bit too slow for photo uploads. Thanks for your patience!

Without further ado, let’s see what the French Club, Standard V pupils and the top two Standard VII students shared!!!

Marchons, Marchons
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Écoutez! (Listen)

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Some students looking on with amusement!

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Dansons!–the entire French club dancing after finishing a skit about the importance of working hard!
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Here come the Standard V Students who performed a great skit, danced and sang for us!

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Top two Standard Seven Pupils, Clinton and Wilhelminer, informing guests about Tumaini’s 2012 achievements…including the completion of the new water well, incredible academic scores, and an athletics report!

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Here come the graduates!

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:: drumroll please!!! ::

Here come the Standard VII Graduates

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Caps and stars were made by some of the fabulous teachers!
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After processing in, or should I say “swaying in” (they danced in time to some great beats!!!) students gathered in a circle to be greeted by Principal, Allan Caleb. Next they enjoyed some performances!

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Some nursery school student classes singing “Good bye” to Standard VII.
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The stellar Standard IV students marching in as they sing!! Once up front, they serenaded us and the graduates!!

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Here they are singing to us! ;

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Graduation Continues–

Welcome back friends!! Thanks for returning to see some more glimpses of the Graduation ceremony at Tumaini Junior School!!

Here are some students enjoying a few minutes of downtime before the performances!
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Some more adorable students from the nursery school!!
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Standard II Students
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Our Scouts before beginning the ceremony!
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Before the ceremony, several students were selected to showcase their computer knowledge and skills! Here they are just moments before parents and other guests were invited over!
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Parents and other guests learning about the children’s computer skills!
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Distinguished Guests, including Mr. & Mrs. Bayo, Co-Founders of the school!

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3, 2, 1…
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And the ceremony begins!!!

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Check back tomorrow to see our graduates!!!


Graduation Day!

We celebrated graduation on Saturday, congratulating both the Standard VII and Pre-Unit pupils. The day was incredible fun for all students, teachers and especially the parents, guardians and special guests in attendance! The hard work and dedication of the students and teachers proved evident in the performances from each class, as well as songs, poems and dancing from the French Club and the choir. The Scouts opened up the ceremony, marching in sync then leading us all in the Tanzanian National Anthem.

Over the course of this week, check back daily for a new photos from the special day!

Here are a few set-up photos to get us started!!

The tent arrives on Friday evening

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Banners are hung!

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Balloon canopies secured into place!!

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We realize we need more seating to accommodate guests–as always, the children are more than willing to help us finish setting up!

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Last minute balloons brought in just moments before getting started!
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Check back tomorrow for photos of the Scouts an the first few performances!!


And we are back!

Echoes of laughter again fill our classrooms as the equatorial sun slowly appears in the afternoons. Simply, we are back and have successfully completed the first week of our last school term of the 2012 school year!!

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Next Saturday, September 15, we will celebrate the Standard VII students at a special graduation ceremony! This afternoon each class rehearsed for next week’s ceremony; it was great fun! Can’t wait to post pics from the actual event next week!

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Standard VII Students dancing in!

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Watching the presentations!

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As I stood and listened to the various poems, it felt like surround sound, as many students knew the poems and songs from their classmates’ presentations!

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Standard Four in between songs!

Update from Saturday, 8 September: As the Standard VII students prepared for a joint examination with visiting Standard VII students from Mto wa Mbu, we had two more visitors check out Tumaini! They had a stop to check out the school board, learning which teachers were on duty, before seeing which movie the students watched (a Saturday treat for boarding students). They quickly moved on to another classroom before stopping in the bushes to see about some food. Classic!

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