Saturday, September 24, 2011

Meetings, Special Acknowledgements, and Closure

Several meetings with the District were held on a variety of topics. Headmaster Sanka, a member of the School Committee and the Project made a day of meetings. We were met with some excellent news: Kisangaji Primary School will receive 3 new teachers by the end of September to move in to the new house! The District Education Director personally promised fulfillment of this and the District Executive Officer confirmed he will follow-up to ensure satisfaction of the promise. Email addresses were exchanged, which is also a sign of commitment from the District.

In addition to securing 3 new teachers, a variety of other topics were discussed concerning development of the Village: the desperate need for water pumps, the need for a technician who lives in the village to maintain the pumps (this requires training), a new bridge connecting "new" and "old" Kisangaji, and more financial assistance for the Village itself. The District has a Water Department so a meeting with the District Water Engineer was also held. We discussed at length the problems with the water in the village, the government's application to World Vision that was just submitted for 3 new pumps in Kisangaji over the next year, and planning for the process of installing new water pumps moving forward. It was clear that while the installation of new pumps is very costly, it is the ongoing maintenance that is most problematic: when a pump breaks down, it essentially doesn't get fixed. The need for an in-village technician is vital and how to train and pay the technician will require some brainstorming on the Village's part.

A meeting was held with World Vision and a collaborative relationship with the Project was estabilshed. The Project spoke as an ambassador of the village and requested special consideration for the Government's application. There is heavy competition for the available money for pumps that World Vision installs among approximately 50 villages in the District. I was told that Kisangaji would likely get at least 1 as a result of the request. Additionally, World Vision came to Kisangaji to inspect the 2 non-working pumps, a repair estimate was obtained, the engineer was called in, and repairs began this past week to 1 of the pumps.

A meeting was also held with the School Committee and Village Council to do an in-depth needs assessment. An itemization and prioritization of needs obtained and the Kisangaji Project's Board will consider the next task for the village based on this meeting.

A big celebration was held in the new boma to commemorate the new house. There were about 40 people there, with singing, dancing, and a feast of two roasted goats and rice. Gifts were exchanged and mutual "asante sana's" were flowing. This was a very emotional day for everyone. One of the oldest village leaders was invited to the celebration and she was asked to address the Project on behalf of the village. She is likely around 70 years old and is a very traditional Mbugwe woman. She spoke for about 10 minutes, her talk was then translated, and there was a hearty round of applause when she sat down. During the singing and dancing, she beat the drum for the dancers and it was clear her native rituals were well-ingrained into her movements.

Below are the men who labored intensely over the 5 weeks. They were the most faithful, committed, and enduring. They put in many 11 hours days,carried boulders, heavy buckets of sand, stone, water, and cement, made mud for mortar, used a hammer to break stones into small stones for cement mix, balanced on beams and small pieces of wood to reach tall spots, moved bricks in large quantities one-by-one, and tended to the details of the fine construction. We had worked together as a core team to reach the Project's goal, directing and instructing the hundreds of others who helped out over the construction. They received special recognition by the Project. In addition to that recognition, the Project promised that their pictures would be shown in Amerika. Headmaster Sanka's picture is also included: he truly was wearing many hats during the project and also had National Exams during the time period. He spent many of his hours ensuring materials were delivered (sometimes at 2am) so there would be no slow down in the work. He is enormously happy about the Boma and deserves a tremendous round of applause! In addition to those below, Village Council members Waziri and Jafary and School Committee Chairperson Humsa deserve acknowledgment. Without their daily oversight, help, and volunteer coordination efforts, the Boma would not have been completed in the 5 weeks.

FUNDI Paulo Dismiss. The main masonary and one of the head contractors. A quiet, gentle, steadfast man with four children and no wife. He would arrive on the site many days at sunrise and stay until sunset. He is a perfectionist, ensuring corners were aligned and square. It was an emotional farewell to him especially.

WORKER Michaeli Eliya. Did what was asked of him with a smile on his face every time. He was the main porter of heavy items and always smiled or chuckled when he finished carrying a load. He was the jokester of the group: early on, when a poisonous snake was at the site and had been killed, he picked it up and pretended to throw it on me before he tossed it about 10 yards away. We joked about that for a long time.

WORKER and NIGHT GUARD: Msafiri Agustine. A quiet man who also carried heavy loads and performed tedious tasks such as breaking up stones into smaller ones. He has numerous children, a wife, and also served as the night guard for the site and materials.

WORKER: Florens Zmanuel. The ever-optimist of the group. Also always having a smile on his face, he was one the main brick-layers and cement floor finishers. A hard worker from a nearby village who had an infectious laugh...he is very excited about his picture being shown in Amerika. He would love to have an American girlfriend!

HEADMASTER: Dominic Sanka. The Project's Co-Director and Project Manager who worked 3 jobs simultaneously (headmaster, construction oversight, father) to make this Boma happen without any major difficulties or delays.

If you would like to contribute to the Project, your contribution to our 501(c)3 is tax-deductible and 90% of donations go into the fund raising drive for the next task in the village. For further information about the Kisangaji Project, it's future plans and goals, or to sponsor a student, please refer to our website: Thank you!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Asante Sana

The picture below is of the School Committee and the Village Council. Without their approval, hard work, oversights and collaboration, the boma would not have been built. On behalf of the Kisangaji Project Board of Directors, we say to you: Asante Sana!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Boma Pictures and National Exams

In the photos above, you see the installation of the windows, the completed smooth flooring and wall plastering, and a picture of the completed boma (front and back of boma). The last picture is the collection of Standard VII's National Exams. The District collects the exam books and takes them to headquarters for scoring. This exam is very serious and important: a student must pass the 2-day exam in order to move on to Secondary School. During the 2 days, the rooms, students, and premises are heavily guarded and as you can see in the photo, the collection of the exams is also seriously guarded.

Small construction details of the boma continue into this week but it is ready for move-in.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Declared Complete

The boma has been officially declared complete by the Project. We worked both days over the weekend. The final layer of flooring and the window and door glass were installed yesterday and today. The boma is now ready for new teachers to move in, which was the Projects objective. Pictures will be forthcoming.

Small details will be worked on at the site over the next few weeks, but the hard part is now complete. There will be a celebration ceremony soon and the village is very excited. Headmaster Sanka is beaming and enormously happy. Onlookers from neighboring villages are still stopping by to see the boma.

The Project will now turn its attention to other matters. There will be meetings at District offices, both with the Education and Executive offices. The District Executive Director reports directly to the President so this will be a very important meeting. A needs assessment will be completed to prepare for 2012's goals. There will be significant pre-planning done to prepare for 2012's objectives, mostly likely water pumps for the village and school, based on a preliminary Council meeting, and subsequent Board of Directors decisions later.

It has been a tremendous privilege to engage in this project in Kisangaji. Everyone has worked very hard. Donors to the Project, and for the boma specifically, deserve high praise. Without the donors, this endeavor could not have become a reality. This will be something that everyone can remember with pride and joy. It is a house truly built and nurtured by an "entire village" comprising of the volunteers, donors, and workers, united across continents, and built with love.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What A Sunset!

As the sun set this fine Tuesday in the Great Rift Valley here in Kisangaji, the final nail went into the roof. The windows and doors are installed, the glass was delivered today and we are getting very close. Despite two 11-hour days in a row, it was a peaceful late afternoon, filled with excitement, fun banter in Kiswahili, and anticipation. It almost doesn't get any better than this moment in time...what a gift to be able to share it with such an incredible group of folks, the Mbugwe tribe of Kisangaji.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Slight Delay

The construction deadline was pushed to September 9th. There was a delay in making the windows and doors: the town they were being made in went 3 days without electricity so that slowed things down. We also had 2 holidays this week that slowed things down (end of Ramadan). Electricity shortages are prevalent in Tanzania and are a hot-button issue for Parliament.
We are getting very close to completion of the boma. The final roof sheeting is going up today and tomorrow; they need to cap and seal the roofing; they are plastering the inside of the house; the final step is to then finish the floor with a smooth coat of cement. Of course, the windows and doors must be installed, complete with glass, and cemented into the frames. Some air vents remain to be installed.
The temporary choo (toilet) is said to take 2 days to construct. The hole was completed today and is about 20-30 feet deep. It was hand-dug by groups of men taking turns over the last 2 weeks, using hoes and shovels. They had a contest to see who could throw the dirt up and out of the hole the furthest.
District officials will make an (un)announced visit to the site in the near future; they find it hard to believe it is almost done. They questioned Headmaster Dominic Sanka at length on Monday regarding the design, materials, process, and status. He was able to inform them that all plans have been followed that were approved by the District in late July. The site still has a steady stream of onlookers as well.
While the excitement is certainly still notable, everyone involved is quite tired in their own way. It has been hard work for everyone, from the brick-makers, water porters, supervisors, stone-makers, to the Village Council members who are responsible for the volunteer effort and kids at the school who have helped out. It has been a long haul, but an amazing experience for everyone involved.
"There is no other boma like this" is what is being said. What is important, and the sole purpose of this task, is to bring in more school teachers to Kisangaji. I have no doubt that we will add at least 2 more teachers to the school by the end of September.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Getting There

The last week was a slow week in terms of seeing actual changes to the boma. However, progress is still being made every day. The Village bartered with a nearby village for the final shipment of bricks so we now have enough bricks to complete the boma. The timber frames for the roofing were constructed and finished and the electrical conduits/boxes were put in place. The big task was to work on completing the front and back veranda’s, which involved a struggle to find small stone and water for the site. The verandas are necessary because the roof beams are connected to them. This house will have cement columns and that it something novel for the village.  Wednesday saw a slowdown in the work due to market day and the majority of workers needed to go obtain essentials for their families. However, by Friday, we had about 20 workers back at it and ready to complete the roof framing install and verandas for the start of iron sheeting (the roof) first thing Monday morning. 

2 doors and 7 windows were ordered this last week, complete with glass and handles. They will be installed sometime this coming week. We also placed an order for roof venting so there will be decent air circulation. In addition to the roof and windows and doors, we must also plaster the inside of the boma and place a layer of concrete down for the flooring. While it looks like we still have a long way to go, and at times it certainly feels like it, I have been reassured by the Village Council, Headmaster Sanka, contractors,  and the School Committee that what work is left can reasonably be completed by September 5. 

The first photo shows the roof beams being put into place and the second photo shows the beams after completion. At the end of this week, 4 more layers of brick were placed on top of the beams with openings for the roof framing and the columns for the verandas were also constructed. It is hoped that this final week sees tremendous progress, up to and including completion.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week 4

We experienced the first slow down in work on Saturday due to a lack of small stones. However, many people worked on Sunday to make up the time and we are back on schedule. They even brought in more materials on Sunday so as to not hold things up during this week.

At the beginning of Week 4, the subfloor and roof beams are now complete. The task for this week is to put the final layer of bricks above the beams, add the timber frame for the roof and begin to attach the actual roofing (iron sheets).

Some decisions needed to be made to keep the project on schedule and within budget. These decisions basically involved eliminating the non-essentials and cosmetics to the work. Everything that will be bypassed now can easily be done in the future, if desired. However, we are going to add electrical conduits even though the village currently has no electricity (power poles are as close as 6 miles away). Many features of this house are future-oriented, which is part of the excitement and intrigue. It will be ready for move-in on schedule.

A meeting will be held sometime in the next 2 weeks with the District Executive Director. He is in charge of everything in this District and reports to the President. I called for the meeting and we will discuss the many needs of Kisangaji: the need for access to clean water (people drink river water without boiling it), the school and medical situations, and obtaining electricity, among whatever other messages the Village Committee wants me to convey.

We have had an excellent bunch of hard workers on the job. Between them, all the donations and bartering, this is truly a site and experience to behold.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Roof Beams and Subfloor

Construction is continuing according to plan and the timetable. Early this week the roof beams were put in place. To construct the beams, re-bar is used and cut to size with a hacksaw. It is then bound together in triangle-shaped "beams" consisting of 3 re-bars and 6mm wire. To cut small binding wire, they use a machete and rock. Wood is placed around the triangle beam, all cut to specific size using traditional saws, and a load of concrete is laid around the beam. The saws get dull so they hand-sharpen them, one tooth at a time. Tedious work but certainly not as labor-intensive as the foundation.
The subfloor in the main living/sitting room area and the master bedroom is complete. The hallway and 2 remaining bedrooms are still left to do. Once that is done, they place a fine layer of cement on top to make for a smooth, finished floor.
After the beams are set, the roofing begins. Timber beams go up and the iron sheets after that. The floor will be completed and the window/door technician will be called upon. Concurrently, they will construct the toilet, kitchen, wash and shop sections of the plot, which are separate buildings. These items will only take a few days to complete. The boma location is right behind the school. It is on a large parcel of land with the ability to add more staffing houses at a later time.
There is talk about moving some of the current teachers into the new house. Some live in cramped quarters with their (growing) families and if the District sends unmarried teachers as requested, it makes more sense to put the new teachers in the smaller bomas. Those decisions will be the school committee's. The Projects only requirement is that teachers live in the new boma.
The site gets more curious onlookers by the day. A building going up "so fast" and to completion is something that does not usually happen here. It has truly been a cooperative effort with so many volunteers and a mindset by everyone involved to make this happen so that the school can have 2-3 new teachers as soon as possible.
An aside: I went to the local market that is held on Wednesdays and is 8km away, a central location for a number of villages. I've been embedded for so long in Kisangaji and environs that when I saw a group of white folks, I was very surprised. I said "Look!! Mzungu's!!" I'd never seen white folks at this particular market. Many people at the market knew me and we all laughed together at my reaction. Turns out the group is with SIC and are stationed 2 villages over. Most were from the Midwest US. We exchanged stories on our respective missions and went on our ways, back to work.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Walls and Volunteers

In the last week, the foundation was completed and the walls were also near completion as of yesterday. A second order for materials was placed that included the roofing and timber items needed. The walls are constructed using hand-made brick, all donated by the village to make the Boma affordable. The brick are then laid in mud with the river water that is ported, 1 container at a time, to the construction site. There has been a steady stream of donations to the site: bricks, boulders and stones, water, labor, tractor use as needed and petrol, sand, and small amounts of food. These donations have been provided by an estimated 300 villagers and 700 pupils who are “dismissed” early to help port water or bricks. The Boma could not be built in either the timeline or with the budget we have if it were not for the volunteers. Each night around 8pm, a chairman goes through the village clanging a gong then loudly announces what is needed at the site for the next day.

The house itself was designed by the school district architect. It is a 3-bedroom staffing house laid out for rural settings. It is massive and “modern.” The elders are walking by in awe because there is no other Boma like it in the village. It could house 4-6 unmarried teachers and I have been told over and over that 839 pupils to 11 teachers is “a problem” and that they have been waiting for more teachers; the District has been waiting to send teachers when housing was provided. It is the goal to have at least 2 new teachers in the home by early September.

The task for this next week will be the roofing and the floors of the rooms. The floors will require more tractor use and excavating boulders from the nearby hill. Additionally, as you see in the pictures, we desperately need small stone for the concrete mix. To get this, they use a hammer and break up the stones into small pieces. We need about 300 buckets full of small stone over the next week.The manual labor involved in this entire project astounds me.

All the volunteers deserve high praise. I attempt to shake hands and personally thank each and every one, every day.And I do my fair share of hard labor as well.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Village Update

Food: Distribution was yesterday. Maize cost was subsidized by the government and was 1000 tsh per bucket as opposed to the usual 5000 (1000tsh equals seventy five cents). It was sad to see that people barely had the money or that all they could afford was 1 bucket for a family of 7 or more. Per usual, distribution was chaotic. I bought 1 bucket and will have it ground and then give it out over the next week.
Healthcare: Very difficult to see. Our elderly neighbor came down with something about 5 days ago. After getting her symptoms translated, I gave her Pepto Bismal, probiotics and Tylenol. With marginal improvement I then gave her rehydration tabs. 2 days ago, I made arrangements to have her transported to the "hospital" in Magugu and the family consented. The transport failed to show, I hired the tractor instead, only to have the family then state there was no one to stay with her in Magugu. I obtained an anti-fungal from the local dispensery clerk who diagnosed based on the symptoms--mind you, there is no real "diagnosis" in the village or really at the hospital for that matter, just verbal descriptions of the problem then they hand out medication and that's that. This morning, she is very weak. The local "nurse" is no where to be found but rumor has it she will come later today. In the meantime, a Land Rover from the sky dropped in, it was SIC (hiv education which began in the village 1 year ago; SIC had heard of the Kisangaji Project and was happy to meet me finally) and the lead is an Aussie. He and his head nurse went with me for a housecall. She prescribed 3 meds and I purchased them at the dispensery for the equivalent of 4usd..a luxury cost most folks can't afford. Hopefully she will improve with the regimen.
Boma: The foundation is nearly complete. Laying cement already. They say within 1 week the walls will be built "up to the roof." They have never seen a house built so fast and appear amazed at what can be done with hard, full-days work. The students have been helping periodically: 200 at a time. They each bring 1 litre or so of water or port sand for the cement mix. I'm also told this is a very substantial house, a unique design, and everyone is very excited to see it other than on the floorplan. The size and design exceeds Project expectations. And all this for less than 3500usd...imagine what 10K could do for a village. My presence at the site every day, all day, keeps things on track and the presence of a camera certainly also motivates. Materials were bought yesterday and we got a very good price on the first purchase: 745usd plus transport at 10pm.

Apart from the construction, bearing witness to the trials of Kisangaji is frustrating, sad, and provokes immense feelings of helplessness to see the village situation. Yet, to be here and helping in any way is an honor. One has to realize the events above happen on a daily basis, all over the world, and this is their culture and way of life. It is a balance between respecting the way things are done and trying to be of assistance.
We are very lucky in America, despite our problems.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

First Inspection: Passed

The base for the foundation is about half complete. The District engineer came today and declared the work "good" and pronounced that "you may continue."

We are porting river water, one container at a time, to the site with 2-3 containers on the back of a bicycle. Some of the women carry a water bucket on their head and walk back and forth. The river is just over a half mile away. We are also, one by one, moving the boulders and stones into place for the foundation. This part of the construction is the most labor-intensive and hard. There are about 50 workers each day so far after the first day. Overall, we are on schedule. We will begin to purchase cement and other materials by week's end or early next week and use the village tractor to transport the materials from Magugu, which is about 15-20 miles away.

It has been mostly overcast the last two days (but no rain) and this has been a welcome relief. It is still hot, hard, dirty, and taxing manual labor. I think about construction equipment in the States and how lucky we are to have bulldozers and lifts.

The mascot has disappeared.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Groundbreaking and Village Update

Today we broke ground on a 3-bedroom staffing house for the teachers of Kisangaji. At a meeting last week, District officials promised us at least 2 more teachers when the Boma is complete, targeting September 5th. About 200 villagers showed up this morning. We all moved bricks and participated in the work. The engineer marked the outline, we dug a 4-foot deep trench around the parameter of the property line and dug the trenches for the support beams and walls of the house. It is hot, dry, hard, dusty work with hoes and shovels--all manual labor except for the field tractor that moves loads of excavated boulders and stone for the foundation. The excavation site is about 2 miles outside of the village and people are donating the petrol for the tractors. Even loading the boulders onto the trailer was done one by one and it was completed by about 100 of us over the weekend.
While we had some competition for the head contractor job, it was ultimately decided that all 3 contractors would work together and split the fee. That way, the job is more likely to be completed by the deadline the Project set of September 5. It is becoming clear that this is truly a village-wide effort and the labor costs will be donated by everyone. The materials for the construction will comprise about 90 percent of the funding for the house and 10 percent goes to the contractors. Bartering is also taking place in order to get things done.
The construction site has a mascot. It is a 5-foot long, 1 foot wide poisonous lizard that took up home in a pile of bricks that we will use for the house. Someone took it by the tail and threw it about 50 yards away. It went up a tree and 4 hours later came down. It made its way back to the brick pile. Someone had attempted to stone it before I stepped in. It was maimed but did get into the pile. I hope it sticks around for the duration of the project.
Food distribution was postponed in the village as the village secretary has been seriously ill. The secretary is required to be present at all distributions. They say he has malaria. The medical needs and food needs are overwhelming to witness, especially in the elderly who are unable to go out and search for food or work in some capacity. The water pump has been temporarily fixed and is producing some water. There have 2 deaths in the village in the last 2 weeks from malaria.
Despite this, the resiliency is remarkable and the desire to improve is clear.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Approvals and School Situation

In a meeting on Monday, the site for the teachers Boma was approved by the school chairperson. On Tuesday, the village committee, the school committee, and myself had a 2-hour meeting in which the plans, time line, and budget were approved. The budget was approved contingent on the villagers and parents buy in to physically help with the labor to keep costs down. The Committees indicated that everyone will carry water to the construction site and will help with the bricks, foundation and other items, myself included. Tomorrow, Dominic (the principal of the Primary school) and I travel to Babati to meet District officials and the engineer for their approval and other business. Afterwards, we will stop in nearby Magugu and talk with the stores who will supply the construction materials for the project. Finally, on Thursday, there will be a big meeting at the food distribution site during the distribution(it had gotten postponed) with the school parents to explain the Boma. This step is crucial because the parents want to know why we are spending money on a teachers house when there are no school supplies or there is hunger in the village. We also need their help physically. All "approvals" are mainly formalities.
In 2011, there are 839 students and 11 teachers, 2 are volunteers. Standard 1 has 135 students and Std 7 has 88. The district has offered to send more teachers but Kisangaji doesn't have the housing for them. During classes which are currently in session, whole classrooms sit full of students and no teacher for periods of time. The available teachers float from class to class for 20 minutes at a time.... It will be this message that we try to explain to the parents. The reality is that if a child can go to secondary school, they stand half a chance of getting a job. To get into secondary school, one must have decent grades in primary school and pass the exams to get into secondary. You then can get a job at a safari lodge or at a business in Dar or Arusha; you need decent English and education for this--the young adults then help support their parents and families back in the rural villages.
Everyone is clear that with leftover money, supplies will be bought. Having built-in incentives throughtout the project is important. This especially gives Dominic an incentive to keep costs down.
Parts for the water pump are coming by tomorrow. This was also discussed at the meeting this morning and with the repaired water pump (contrasted with river water), construction will move along faster. The difference between "American time" and "African time" was discussed and everyone is committed to completing the work in 30 "American" days understanding we will work from sun-up to sun-down. The materials will begin to arrive in the village starting Friday.
The village is in drought. Everything is dusty and dry. There are no crops and little food. It is difficult to see and know there is hunger and to also know that food prices here are doing nothing but going up. Everything is circular and it is hard to know where to begin in situations like this. When someone gives you an egg as a gift, it is difficult to take it. That one egg may be their only food for the day, but to decline is an insult. I take it but in a day or two have some beans or other food delivered to their Boma.
Next update will be at groundbreaking.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Plans and Status

After arriving in the village, a few notable items came to light quickly: water access problems, drought, and hunger. The only working water well in the village is not working so we are getting our water for daily use from the river that is running dry. This means bathing and washing clothes and dishes in river water. They have not had the money for the technician to fix it. The Project offered to pay (total cost: $12USD) so the technician will begin repairs tomorrow, and who knows when it will be complete(hopefully in 3 days, African time). The drought in the region means no crop harvesting; people do not have enough to eat and the government does weekly distributions of maize. The next distribution is Monday. Despite this, they are resilient and making the best of it.
The teachers home will take 30 days to physically build. Prior to that, we must make a budget, secure the materials, and obtain District approval. The process begins in earnest Monday and I hope that it will be completed in less than 2 months time. I have begun to explain that if we do a good job at securing the materials for good prices, there may be money left over to purchase school supplies. So it is in their interests to be frugal.
The District has not given the school their annual allotment of funds for nearly 1 year. They are out of chalk and other basic supplies for this reason. So, managing a limited budget will be their challenge.
The UN has declared famine in southern Somalia. The problem is making its way south into Kenya and Tanzania. Southern Sudans independence was a big deal a couple of weeks ago with 24/7 tv coverage. The TZ parliament is in session now and there is a major electricity shortage in the country. The President is about the fire the Energy minister and is considering legal charges. I have experienced the outages for upwards of 9 hours at a time almost daily prior to arriving in the village. Businesses are hurting because of this. The country watches parliament on TV like we watch the Superbowl and there is a lot of upset about the energy issue. Of course, there is no infrastructure in the village for electricity so it doesn't affect the village like the commercial towns. Advantage: the stars and solar system are beyond stunning at night.
I am scheduled to meet with District education officials in Babati soon. Next update when we have some movement on the planning and budget of the teacher's home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I have been in-country for just over a week. I anticipate arriving in Kisangaji early next week. We will have a planning meeting immediately upon my arrival. I have spoken with Dominic, the Primary School Principal, on several occasions already and the level of anticipation is high, on both ends. The Omega IV grinder made the trip in-tact and this will be a huge surprise for the village. Once the Planning meeting is held, there will be an update here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Donations and Timelines

The Project met it's fund raising goal and the Board couldn't be happier! Thank you to all the contributors to the Project's Boma Fundraiser. It is because of your assistance that this Boma can become a reality for a remote village of 3000 people in Tanzania.

The construction will begin in mid-July.