Greetings from Africa (Tanzania)
|Concrete brick Walls complete|
I arrived at the Gongali school site to see wonderful construction progress, despite building during the rainy season. The concrete floor slab, concrete brick walls and concrete lintel frame are complete, and trusses are ready to be installed. Head teacher Mark Mollel and his teacher wife Sarah are so excited to see the final classrooms under construction, and just in time too. The Standard 4 class graduates this year and will need the new building by January 2015.
Mark informed of 2 new teachers for the school for the start of next year, making a total of 6 teachers working here. After being greeted with singing by one of his classes, I passed on the funds to Mark, $376.00, provided by our “junior fundraising partner” in Canada, Vicky Wang and her Accessible Education Association in Vancouver, to buy course books. There’ll be a photo later.
|Concrete brick Walls complete|
Mark was happy to hear that the kids of our other Canadian partner, Glenwood Elementary in Maple Ridge, BC, were very excited to receive the 5-line artwork from the Tanzanian children, and will be auctioning off the artwork as a fundraiser.He also agreed to provide another round of pen-pal letters from the pupils here for me to take back to their Canadian counterparts.
Regarding our next school project to be funded by a major Canadian donor, Mathew and I continue to discuss the location for it. There are 3 possibilities; a primary school for the village of Mae near Moshi, one for the village of Qameyu, south of Umbulu, and the desperately needed new high school for the Gongali village area. Hopefully, in the next few weeks before I leave we will have completed our research and visits/discussions with the local officials and will be closer to making a decision.
Of the 4 schools we are building, there is no question that this Gongali school is our sentimental favourite. These final classrooms will be built, the Kitchen/Dining Hall is in use, the teacher residences are filled up, their gardens are producing pumpkin, potatoes and peas while good rains are allowing crops of maize and sunflower to flourish. Sarah proudly rhymed off a list of trees being planted all around the site; papaya, lemon, guagava, acacia, ficus benjamina, and gravellea.
On a sad note, the World Food Program (WFP) has terminated the supply of food, so now the school has to wait until crops are harvested to resume their daily meal program.
BUT ON A GREAT NOTE, thanks to the generosity of a potential donor, we may NOW be able to provide electricity to the site. Mathew and I have been working for the past month or so to get prices from Tanesco, (Tanzania Electrical Supply Company) to provide a transformer and power line connection to a nearby power line only 50 meters away from the site, and from a local electrician to wire all the buildings for lighting and outlets…very exciting for the school and staff that are literally living in the dark.
They will be able to have computer classes, use the classrooms at night, and of course have a totally improved lifestyle inside the home; lights for doing homework, phone charging, lights, radio, TV even. To say they are extremely excited would be an understatement. More to come on this.
|Mark and Sarah's outdoor kitchen|
|Chickens to market;|
the top 2 get to ride on top of the basket
|Sarah's garden and crops|
|From L; Sarah, Karen, Alan, Mark, Benedict|
End of Update.