Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kwaheri (Goodbye) Tanzania

After two days of flying and a run in with food poisoning, it has been a real treat arriving back in the U.S. In America one tends to take for granted a refreshing shower and the ability to brush through your hair. Although Colleen and I are both back in the U.S. we look forward to continuing the construction of St. Dymphna. Before my departure from Tanzania, the fundi (workers), were rigorously working on the foundation of the second portion of the school. Only moments after I had arrived back in the U.S. and checked my email, I received word from Mary that the foundation had in fact been completed.
The fundi consistently amaze me with their endurance, speed, determination, and how meticulously they work. Their day is spent shoveling dirt, mixing cement, stacking cement blocks, all while being bare foot, yet rarely do I witness them breaking a sweat.
In addition to the foundation, the fundi were able to complete three bathrooms, which included tiling the main bathroom, placing sinks in the kitchen, and finishing the ceilings in the office and adult classroom, as well as other touchups. Lori, Anna, Colleen, and I were able to participate in a little hands-on work. We spent a day and a half sanding the adult classroom in preparation for painting. Once we were finished sanding and cleaning the walls, we were able to begin painting the classroom a color we referred to as Buttercream. We also spent time helping the fundi shovel dirt to prepare for the placement of cement blocks for the foundation. Needless to say we didn’t last long under the scorching sun.
The next step will be to construct the walls for the main level of the second portion of the school. We hope to be able to provide continuous updates as the walls are being built. Mary has agreed to take photos, scan them, and email them to us so we are able to share the school’s progress with all of you as it is happening. Keep in mind technology and transportation in Tanzania for Mary isn’t as reliable and timely as we are accustomed to in the U.S, but we’ll do our best to keep you as updated as possible. Thank you for your continued support.


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