To the ends of the earth…and back!

2013 Adventures

Celebrate Giving Tuesday with Tanzania Education Corp to help match a $25,000 gift!

Tanzania Education Corp (TEC) has just received a gift from an anonymous donor of up to $25,000 for 1:1 matching funds to support the completion of the permanent library and computer lab spaces at Tumaini Junior School!

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With a total of $50,000 Tumaini can complete Phase 1 of the building, which includes the installation of the roof, walls, windows and doors on the new academic building’s fourth floor. In doing so, the school shall continue to educate the future leaders of Tanzania and maintain its stellar reputation for providing quality education.*

To give right now, you can donate online, otherwise you may send your check made out to “Tanzania Education Corp” with “Roof Match” in the memo to Carol Hall, 6 Norfolk Rd., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. All donations are 100% tax deductible and naming opportunities are available!!

We are ecstatic to continue our meaningful work at Tumaini and hope you shall join us!! For additional details about the challenge, please see TEC’s most recent newsletter below and/or email me: elizabeth@tanzania-schools.org.


*TUMAINI’S SUCCESS: In 2013, Tumaini placed 1st among 96 primary schools in the Karatu district and 40th out of 15,656 primary schools in the nation.

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DATES TO SAVE!!

Attention San Francisco and Rochester-area dwellers! There are three exciting events coming soon, each providing opportunities to see glimpses of life at Tumaini Junior School! Further you’ll also have the chance to join us, Journeys of Solutions and Tanzania Education Corporation, through supporting the meaningful work we do.

DOCUMENTARY PREMIERES IN SAN FRANCISCO

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Thursday, October 10 7PM
Studio One (CA 128), BECA Department, SFSU
1600 Holloway Ave.
San Francisco CA 94132
Remember the group of dedicated SF State students who visited Tumaini in June? Well, they’ve finished their documentaries about Mr Bayo and Tumaini and Mrs Bayo and Lake Eyasi Girls Vocational Centre. The students will premiere each documentary next week so stop on by and say Jambo!

VOLUNTEER TOM STEVENS SHARES HIS VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
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Thursday, October 10 7PM
6750 County Road 32
Canandaigua, NY 14424
Come hear about Tom’s monthlong stay in Karatu this past February. His hard work included installing a playground at Tumaini alongside local workers, painting a beautiful mural with the help of Tumaini staff and students, and assisting in the library and computer lab!

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JOURNEYS OF SOLUTIONS EVENT
Saturday, October 19 7-10PM
Rochester Pillars
35 Washington Street
Rochester, NY
Tickets are $25 when purchased on the JOS website or $30 at the door.
Come learn more about the handful of JOS projects around the world. Maureen McGuire, WROC News Channel 8 Anchor is the MC!
Can’t attend?! Worry not my friends! Visit the website to make a donation to one (or all!) of JOS’ projects!

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QUESTIONS?! Please email me for contact info/additional details for above events!!
elizabeth@tanzania-schools.org OR orphanageprojects@journeysofsolutions.org


Graduation Day Preview

Some highlights from Saturday’s graduation ceremony…stay tuned for more updates and photos this week!!

GRADUATES!
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Teacher Appreciation
My view of the ceremony, just moments before addressing the crowd in Kiswahili!

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Was it something I said?!
Just kidding! No, I didn’t clear the grounds of the celebrations…guests and students departed after lunch!
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NYU Flashback // Community Service

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Photo credit: the fabulous Betty Cremmins

Ten years ago, as I sat in the back of my parents’ car driving through Chinatown, hundreds of thoughts raced through my head; we were headed for my first dorm room at New York University. The sights and smells, some more distinct than others, invaded my senses.

Once moved in several hours later, cinder block walls stared back at me as I heard the hustle and bustle of New York City outside my freshman dorm room window. I had been selected to take part in Project Outreach, a weeklong program which brought students face to face with service project opportunities in/around “campus”, i.e the streets of NYC. Many life changing experiences were had during my years with Outreach, first as a participant then a team leader and site coordinator.

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with the newest Outreachers, members of NYU’s class of 2017, telling them how my Outreach experience shaped my life’s path–and continues to do so in fact! I was ecstatic to share the podium with two great friends and past Outreachers, Rishi and Betty. As we spoke with the students, we couldn’t help remembering sitting in their seats ten years ago. Little did we know the journeys that lay ahead. In addition to attending ALL of our classes …

Rishi is now an ER doc at a top NYC hospital and plans to do Doctors Without Boarders. During his tenure at NYU he remained heavily involved with community service, often as President or Chair of various clubs/initiatives. He implemented countless wonderful projects around NYC and even spent time abroad doing medical missions! I now know where I’m going should I need any ER help, whether in NYC or beyond!

Whilst still at NYU Betty biked across America through Bike and Build, stopping along the way to build homes for Habitat for Humanity. She spent time doing Americorps before heading to Antarctica to work as a carpenter (does she really need a reason?!). A Masters from Columbia’s SIPA Program followed and now she works for Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), dealing with top corporations around the world and helping them to make more environmentally responsible decisions. Walmart is one such recipient of her expertise! It should also be said that Betty still volunteers at the Go Project, a tutoring program on Saturday mornings she first visited as an Outreacher. For a place as transient as NYC, Betty certainly maintains her roots!

I believe most of you know my story, so just for fun: I remained heavily involved with various organizations whilst at NYU and helped to create a chapter of LiNK, a Human Rights club focused on educating people about the human rights violations North Koreans suffer. I volunteered, interned and eventually worked at the American Cancer Society which brought me to Tanzania to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in 2008 as an extreme fundraiser. Before leaving Tz, I visited and fell in love with Shalom Orphanage Centre in Karatu. Then, I applied for and was rejected from a great grad school program due to my inexperience with international development. Rather than bask in my failure (which I did for several days!), I moved back to Tanzania in 2009 where I created a Child Sponsorship Program through Journeys of Solutions so Shalom children could attend an English school, Tumaini. All the while I worked as an event planner/project manager for a fabulous company, i.e. Design Events Inc. My bosses’ generosity allowed me to travel to Tz for months at a time so long as I returned each January to work! Now, four years later, I work for TEC at Tumaini, and continue to see to it that children have access to education. Cannot believe five of the initial JOS kids we enrolled in 2009 are graduating in two weeks! Five from TEC’s program will also graduate! They’ll be high schoolers come January! Needless to say, I’m hoping all these adventures might actually qualify me for grad school…eventually…

Other Outreachers have gone around the world serving people–from Teach for America to Peace Corps, and beyond! Can’t wait to see where these students will go!!

Dream big, kids!! Go Outreach!!

LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES?! Check out http://www.volunteermatch.org or email me and I’d be happy to give you other suggestions, including contact info for Rishi/Betty!

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Outreach shirts through the years!


TEC’s Summer Newsletter and Water Well Dedication photos

Friends,

Check out TEC’s most recent newsletter! Note: If you’d like to receive TEC’s e-newsletter, please email me! (Elizabeth@tanzania-schools.org)

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More photos of the Water Well Dedication on February 21,2013
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Planting Trees
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Switch is On20130706-102430.jpg

Celebrate Good Times C’mon!

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Mom with Mr Bayo and Lightness, who are sporting newly-printed Tumaini Junior School hats20130706-102624.jpg


Second Term Fun!

Well I am most happy to report I am mosquito-bite free thanks to Para’Kito!! Definitely recommend this to my fellow friends adored by Mosquitos!! See my previous post for more details on the product!

In other recent news, days have continued to be busy at Tumaini! For starters, the school now bakes bread…delicious bread!! Here’s the wonderful Julius with a fresh loaf!! Stay tuned for updates as preparations are made to sell the bread in the coming weeks! 20130623-234804.jpg

Six Tumaini students were recently selected to represent Karatu at the district level sports competition. Here are several students–four of whom are sponsored–at a volleyball practice with other Karatu district-level representatives!
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Shortly following this practice, the six students traveled to Arusha for additional competitions! Here is one medal-laden student, Margaret, after her return from Arusha!
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Most recently, two students have advanced to Dar es Salaam where they are competing as Arusha region representatives! Tumaini staff and students excitedly await their (we hope, victorious) return!

Finally, the sports court is coming closer to being user friendly! Games of netball, volleyball and basketball are on the horizon!

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Mosquitos Be Gone

Mosquitos Be Gone!!

It seems keeping mosquitos at bay has been a theme for the past few posts…first it was the amazing students in Geneseo, NY who provided mosquito nets for all beds at Tumaini Junior School and Shalom Orphanage Centre. Now, it’s PARA’KITO! Given the rains we’ve had, I suppose it’s only natural to be especially concerned with staying malaria and itch free!

This weekend, Arusha saw its annual Karibu Fair, which brings tour companies, lodges and the like together for a weekend-long networking event. Having never been in Tanzania during this time of year, it was my first time attending.

I enjoyed perusing around the grounds and was delighted to happen upon the Para’Kito tent. What initially drew my eye was the evident environment-friendly marketing tools. The packaging screams “I AM GREEN” as did the brochures and other printed materials.

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Anyway, the two gents manning this tent were displaying mosquito repellent wristbands/anklets as well as clips. The bands’ repellent pellet is made up of 7 oils and DEET free. They each last for 15 days and create somewhat of a force field (my word, not theirs!) which repels the mosquitos. There are a variety of colors for each band/clip though sadly, due to our afternoon visit, most of the fun colors (read BRIGHT and FABULOUS) were sold out. I settled on a black one, reminding myself of the Karatu dust. Speaking of which, good thing they’re 100% waterproof, made of neoprene.

While Para’Kito has a big presence in various Europeans countries and Australia, they’re not too well known in Tanzania…yet! As I sit at my desk after just being bitten by several mosquitos, I’ve now placed my bracelet on and haven’t received any more bites. You can read more about the product details here.

Enjoy friends and stay tuned for updates over the next 15 days…malaria no more, I hope 🙂


Mosquito nets, laptops and more!!

The second term is in full swing! We are busy with joint-school examinations, sports practices and preparing the computer lab for the arrival of recently donated laptop computers!

Speaking of laptops: if you find yourself in or near Canandaigua, NY this weekend, join volunteer Tom Stevens at his house for a TECHNOLOGY FOR TUMAINI night. You’ll hear stories of Tom’s time at Tumaini earlier this year, have the opportunity to donate a laptop or funds for educational DVDs and even sample some Tanzanian dishes!

Anyway, the holiday month of April also proved busy! Thanks to two Geneseo Central High School students, every bed at Tumaini and nearby Shalom Orphanage Centre was given a brand new mosquito net! The two students, Rebecca and Sara, fundraised for this project as part of an ecology class project. Given that we are in the rainy season, the nets are especially vital! Read more about their project here.

20130516-115552.jpgStore owners, Lucy and Willie, where we purchased the nets!

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Mosquito nets being hung!20130516-122017.jpg

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In other news:
Tumaini now has a new walkway…
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The computer lab has a brand new window! Thank you Sara and Brett Shifrin and Gould Academy!
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And we now have new (and very much needed) music equipment! Thank you David and Marta Hall for your donation!
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Finally, kudos to Tumaini’s Standard VII students (and their hard-working teachers) : in the most recent joint exams with a neighboring primary school, 9 of the top 10 students came from Tumaini and 18 of the top 20!


Proving Hemingway right

First of all friends, my apologies for the posting delay–I’ve been experiencing some more than special Internet issues! Anyway! On to better things…

The last day of tuition (tutoring) is tomorrow and school will be closed for the final two weeks of April. Where did the first trimester to? . . .

Well, rather than sitting by and wondering, we’ve been hard at work with a fun and exciting task: organizing our library so that students can easily find the books of their choice! To do this, we elected three FANTASTIC children to be Tumaini’s very first Library Prefects! Friends, meet Agusto, Vivian and Yusufu!

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Over the last two weeks these three rock stars have helped to inventory our books and assist in re-shelving them, alphabetically of course! Their excitement is contagious and their initial shyness has subsided in the wake of their curiosity about everything from “Are fairies really real?!” to “What happened to the Titanic?” Indeed what fun it has been for all of us!!

There is no friend as loyal as a book-Ernest Hemingway


So long Serengeti!

We’ve had wonderful success in the Serengeti! We saw baby leopards and lions climbing in trees, herds of elephants, a journey (or five!!) of giraffes, hippos and countless others! Likewise, the students have shared some awesome bonding moments! Photos and more updates coming once we’re back in an area with better reception.

Each of the teachers and myself has had a chance to ride with the student groups whether in the morning or afternoon game drives. Simply, there are few dull or quiet moments. Laughter and Kiswahili/English slang fly throughout the day and into the late evening. Even after lights out, whispers of spelling corrections (the children are writing Kiswahili-English notes) and details about their respective home lives can be heard.

We have just departed the Serengeti and are en route to the Ngorongoro Crater where we will complete our game drive adventures. Before driving back to Karatu, we will also stop at a Maasai village (check earlier posts for details about this village ).

While the past several days have certainly been enjoyable for all, the students are really looking forward to their home stays*! Now that each group has had the opportunity to get to know one another and they all seem more comfortable, Tumaini students will introduce their Gould counterparts to life in Tanzania…first hand! *Home stays will be Tuesday and Wednesday nights!

Parents/Friends of Gould students: please also visit the TEC Facebook page for photo updates. Much more to come in the next few days!

Thanks for reading!


Serengeti Fun

Did you know that “Serengeti” comes from “Siringet”–the Maasai word for “Endless Plains”??

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Animals!

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Valentine and Daniel enjoying Jay’s guitar skills! … We’ve all enjoyed them too! Last night, in fact, he had the students singing along to No Woman No Cry

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Can you find the baby leopard??

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Sara, Juliana, Dillon and Whycliff enjoying the Serengeti!

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Car Photo!! Haji, Daniel, Hunter and Freddy! Dillon, Jake and Whycliff were busy taking

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Freddy, Kelsie and Lightness with Mr Paul and Brett!
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First group shot in the Serengeti!

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First group shot in the Serengeti!!


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!