Tanzania 2014 – Day 7 Feb 27

Today was our last day at the school and orphanage. We arrived a little before 9, I went down to the orphanage, applied sunscreen, then went out back to work on building the kitchen. I moved bricks, sand (for mortar), and gravel (for cement) for about 1 hour or more. Then I split off to search for Joesph, who had been avoiding me all week. I needed to teach him to use the tablet computer we brought for him; Joseph is an old gentlemen, I’m fairly certain he is scared of the tablet. He had promised me the night before we would meet first thing in the morning. I came today with three goals in mind:

1. Teach Joseph how to use the tablet.
2. Get the internet working on the tablets (we were having issues with SIM cards).
3. Help Holly to wipe some sensitive files from the computers they were going to give to the some former students going to college.

I got the run around looking for Joseph, no one had seen him, eventually I had Anna give him a call. He said he was there, but his car was not. I took this as a misunderstanding meaning he was on his way. Since Joseph was not at the site, I started looking for Holly, she was also no where to be found.

Since no one was around, I helped with painting of the new lab building that was recently finished. We put three coats of primer on; the walls soaked up paint like you wouldn’t believe! When we were close to finishing the third coat I split off to search for Joseph or Holly again. I didn’t find them, so I took some lunch (cheese crackers and PB&J).

On my way back to painting, I ran into Holly. I had her show me the computers she wanted wiped. I spent probably two hours working on the computers. Holly had brought two AirTel SIM cards to try in the tables per my request, so once I finished working on the computers, I started back on the tablets.

I popped the AirTel card in, got the registration message, and after some fiddling with the connection settings, the Internet was working just fine on Holly’s tablet. I had discovered some hidden connection settings that I thought might allow me to get the Vodacom SIMs working, so I found Anna and borrowed her tablet to try. I fiddled with it for a good while, and eventually got it to work for about 2 seconds. The Vodacom network is just too poor out at the orphanage.

After I got Holly and Anna set up with their AirTel cards, I eventually ran into Joseph. I spent a good amount of time with him showing him the different features of the tablet. He was very impressed and happy with the capabilities, but I could tell he was not comfortable with the technology. I don’t think he’ll be to using the tablet much.

By the time I was finished with the tablets and computers, the painting was done. I went back down to the orphanage to see if there was anything I could help out with. Matt, Julie, and Susan had started cooking dinner for the night, a spaghetti feast for the kids. They had everything covered so I spent about an hour hanging out with some girls who were preparing some fish for morning porridge. They had asked me my name and giggled, hiding their faces. They were nervous and embarrassed to talk to me, which I found very amusing.
I sat down right by them, and forced them to talk more, it wasn’t long until they wouldn’t stop!

They had me play some music on my phone and tried to get me to dance. I said I wouldn’t unless they did. This went back and forth for sometime, eventually another girl came over and agreed to dance for us. They ran and got an old gas container to use as a drum and she did an African dance. They girls took turns dancing, it was very cute. Eventually they all sat down and told me it was my turn!

I said I would only do it if one of them would teach me. They eventually agreed, and two of the girls got up with me and the drum started. The dance was very basic, I really didn’t need instruction but just wanted them to have fun with me. They fell down laughing several times at me, especially when the butt shaking part came around!

After we finished dancing I said I was sorry but had to get back to work. They seemed disappointed, but there was a lot of work to do tearing down the dental lab. I went up and helped with this for some time, lots of packing and moving boxes, loading trunks, etc. We finished up, then all piled into the back of the pickup truck and rode back to town. I didn’t really get a chance to say goodbye to anyone, which was disappointing.

There was a movie and popcorn planned for the kids with dinner at the orphanage, but we decided not to attend because it was already 7, and the food would be gone because they started serving shortly after we left. We wanted to make sure we had some dinner, so that meant skipping the movie.
I had the spaghetti with minced meat for dinner at the hotel. It tasted like curry.

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