Tanzania 2014 – Day 6 Feb 26

Today we arrived at the site around 9 in the morning. We gathered in the main room to plan for the day. This trip could have been so much more organized and we could have gotten a lot more accomplished if it had been scheduled in advance. The only thing that was really well thought out was the dentistry aspect, the ideas and most of the materials needed for the projects were present, but there was no plan for who would be doing what and when.

We decided to start moving bricks to the building area for the kitchen that is being built. I did that for some time while I waited for Holly to arrive with SIM cards for the tablets. We she arrived, we installed the cards in the tablets and attempted to activate them. The messaging and voice functions worked just fine, but we were not able to get data functioning. We tried several different locations two different SIM cards and were not able o get them online.

Charles said he got his personal SIM card working just fine the night before, so there is obviously some error with with the cards. Hopefully we can get them functioning tomorrow.
Jamal was feeling sick (might be the two bottles of gin, two whiskey shots, and several beers he had list night, “guys I’m drunk”), so he stayed back leaving Alana and I with camera duty. I asked Mr. Gilbert to help me choose a classroom to set the camera up in, we picked an English class (I believe, didn’t stick around), so I set that up and let it run.

I went back to help out with the bricks some more, and ran into Bob and Maaru. Maaru asked Bob and I to paint some shelves that were assembled by the last missionary that was there. The shelves were massive, probably 10 feet long, and four feet high made out of half inch plywood. They will be used in the new kitchen when it is complete. We gathered the paint and brushes, and got to work. We put one coat of white on, took a short break for lunch, then got split up a bit. Bob went to instruct Sara and Anna in some basic business, while I was drafted by Lisa to help build some brick ovens for the cupcake business they are trying to start. I got some of the women and Clarance Jr to work on the ovens, then went to back to finish priming the shelves.

Bob came back and we started the final coat of “broken white” (beige). It went on much more quickly since the wood was already primed. About half way through Anna came out and said she found Holly’s iPhone so we could try the SIM card in it (as I requested earlier), I left Bob and went to work with Anna. The iPhone uses a mini SIM and the tablets use a larger SIM, so we didn’t have any luck. I went back to finish painting with Bob, and he had nearly finished all the inside and front. We finished that up, then moved on the top, sides, and back. I went up to the clinic to see how things were going. Everything was okay, Jamal had come out to the site earlier, but was now looking worse for the wear again.

I went out to the boy’s hostel because there is some solar lighting that was supposed be installed. I did not see anyone working on it or the materials, but I did run into Valance who is wishing to become an engineer. We talked for a good long while about the process and what he needs to do to succeed. He is very worried about his upcoming exam, but said he studies hard and has good marks. I kept assuring him he would do fine. He said his next worry was how to pay for advanced level (what they call grades 5 and 6, basically technical high school). He did not seem to know the price, but was worried about it. He is on scholarship at Angel secondary – his sponsor works in Lisa’s office, but I did not catch the name.

We continued to talk and walked up towards the dental office, on the way we ran into Maaru. He asked for my assistance moving the shelves back inside, so I agreed. I then asked him if he would take me into town to buy a new hand saw and hammer for him. He agreed, but had to take care of some items first.

I walked up to the entrance where everyone was gathering to wait for the shuttle back to the hotel. Bob and Sara were talking about her starting to tutor one of the drivers and how much money she should be charging him. It was fun to watch their back and forth. Then we got back on the subject of Sara and Bob’s son. Sara is very beautiful and young, and Bob has a similar aged son. He is hoping to hook them up. Sara whispered in my ear that she already has a boyfriend named John who lives in another city, but said not to tell Bob.

Maaru came up on his motor cycle and we rode into own and went to the hardware store. He picked out a nice new saw and a decent hammer, total cost was 16000 shillings, about 10.60 USD. He then drove me over the hotel where I took a shower, went downstairs to the staff dinner.

We honored the staff tonight to thank them for all their hard work. In just three years they rose from an unranked school to the number 9 school in the district of out 172. They have plans to be in the top five year. It was very moving, but very slow. Everyone introduced themselves, which took about two hours, then we had dinner which was about 30 minutes, then there was another 45 minutes of speeches and handing out bonuses.

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