Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Climbing Kilimanjaro

The Climb for Health!
The money for this climb is going to help build our new health center. It is for the kids here but it is also for the people who walk so far everyday to see our nurse and visiting doctor. Last time I walked out and saw a little baby wailing, with a severe clef lip. Luckily, once a year, a doctor from Europe comes and for just $75 american dollars, the child can have it fixed. We sponsor these operations.

People also go into our preschool to get blood drawn for testing...our preschool! So currently we only have one room and a preschool room to help these people.

Here is the website about the climb. http://www.summitforhealth.org/

If you are interested in sponsoring my climb and our new health center please contact me:

On a less serious note: I was in bed all day yesterday with my first African stomach issue-issues...thank you health center!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

So much going on!!

So much has happened here at the Children's Village the last two days! Here is a quick recap:
Thanksgiving Day:
Turkey hands with the babies (see picture of Boni!)

Thanksgiving Dinner:
  • A few of us spent all afternoon making desserts. Thanks to Aunt Susie's recipe I made an awesome crumb topping apple pie. We also had pumpkin pie, made from real pumpkin....ok it took two pumpkins because after cutting the 1st one open we realized maggots aren't probably the best spice to put in pie.
  • The turkey came in from Kenya!
  • There were 18 of us at dinner. It was an amazing experience going around the table talking about what we are all thankful for.
Black Friday!

Yes, so American of me but....I did have the babies celebrate Black Friday. I got all the metal plates, cups and spoons and made it into a market. Each kid received 4 shillings (cut up construction paper) and each item was either 1,2,3 or 4 (thousand) shillings. Each little kid lined up, told me how they were doing, then picked out what they wanted and paid! It was way too cute.

Yesterday was also the primary school's last day of school/graduation ceremony. It was similar to ours except MUCH more dancing and singing! Since today was the first day of vacation I started teaching math every morning for 2 hours. I start with Standard 3 and go up to Standard 6 for the next 6 weeks.

Ashley's Last Day

Ashley, who has been a volunteer here for a year is leaving this weekend. So how to celebrate? DANCE PARTY! All of the girls in the Manyara House (girls only) plus some of the older girls came over after dinner and danced to Tanzanian music for 2 hours! We were all very sweaty by the end of the night. We will miss you Ashley!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh boy!

*Just a quick note.... if you don't enjoy running- come here. You will feel awesome about your running. As you run through the hills of coffee fields you will have children yelling....I LOVE YOU! And you can wave and say...Oh I love you too.

I was reminded today of the big trip our Standard 3 boys will be taking soon. At the age of about 8, these boys will get circumsized. Because almost all of these children were not born in sanitary conditions, the last thing the baby needs is an infected.....
So for the next few weeks the boys will be given a basket of presents, a diaper-ish traditional wrap and lots of down time...poor guys.
BUT at least they are not the Maasai boys out in the bush! Those boys go through the 'coming of age' cermony. They are given NO pain killers, anesthesia, anything! If the boys cry or show any pain, they are immediately kicked out of the tribe.

Today is also field day! All the kids got their faces painted and are very excited that this is their last week before a 6 week vacation break. This is when I will start teaching math every morning....cant wait!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Things I have learned!

Things I have learned so far...

1. Milk is just not the same- powdered room temp milk- only in kwahawa! (coffee)

2. Scrubbing one's feet-hard- everyday- is no guarantee not to get worms.

3. When asking kids here what their favorite part of the day.... many say school!!!

4. Tanzanian pancakes are like crepes....yessssssss

5. Do not give Tanzanian mamas your underwear to wash...FYI

6. Stepping in elephant poo smells REALLY bad.

7. Just because there is roof over your head doesn't mean things cant fall through.

8. Road does not mean road...maybe trail...still drivable.

9. Cockroaches are oddly small here.

10. I love it here!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I am located right next to the Ngorongoro crater which is home to hundreds of African wildlife. This is exciting because I get to see all sorts of animals on my runs but this also means the animals can wonder right on over to our village. So our protection?? MAASAI! We have quite a few Maasai men who patrol the campus at night making sure animals, or anything else stays away. They also walk around during the day with their traditional red cloaks (probably not the right word!) The best part is seeing them with pink crocs (dad just like yours!!) or bright green boots.

The boys this morning ran around wrapped in blankets saying MAASAI MAASAI!!!

*Oh a HUGE difference between kids here and kids in the states.... When I cut the bread for breakfast and snack they always say 'end piesh end piesh' aka they want the end piece. Weird.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Today is Ryan's birthday.

Ryan I miss you so much. I went to church with the kids this morning. There were over 70 kids singing and drumming, praying and clapping. Everything here reminds me of you. I can just picture you joining in with a giant smile on your face.

On the way into town, reggae was playing in the truck. The World is a Cycle came on, Africa Unite came on. I am thankful that you will always be with us Ryan.

Some pictures!

The ridge in the background is the Ngorongoro Crater! These are the views while I am on my runs everyday!
The first tembos I saw here!!!
I love EMA!!!! He is one of my babies in playgroup in the morning.

Friday, November 11, 2011

This is the village next to the Children's Village!

Ahhhh teenage dereva!!!

So today one of the 16 year old girls jumped behind the driver seat for the first time with one of the volunteers. It was hilarious to watch her drive up and down the only tiny road adjacent to the Children's Village. (Dirt of course.) She was all over the grass, back and forth! I now understand why my mom had to have wine before driving with me for the first time.

On a sadder note- I recently learned about the children who have HIV. By Tanzanian law, these children will not find out about having HIV until there are around 11. They do know that if they get a cut they must tell the people helping them to put on gloves. They also know they have special medication they must take everyday. There are only a few of these children here at the village. I am told that when they do find out they are almost relieved to know there is a name to what has been a mystery to them for so long. At the same time, they have all studied health and sex education so they know exactly what this means.

Thankfully they are all heathy and happy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tooth Fairy!

Yesterday I went for my first run with the other volunteers around the village. Only a few miles but SUPER hilly. I think it even has VT beat! Speaking of VT, one of the nurse volunteers grew up in Shelburne VT!

I got to play tooth fairy today! It is one of our duties as a volunteer to put a little gift under their pillow if they loose a tooth! So this little boy in my house got a car and stickers- which then ended up all over his face.

Sorry I can not post pictures from the Village. I will have to find a place in town with an internet cafe!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Sundays are our day off so 6 of us volunteers went into Karatu which is the nearest town (about 45 mins.) The road to get out of the children's village is so up and down and extremely bumpy from being washed out so many times by the rains. Hopefully soon I won't get as car sick.

Yesterday was a big soccer game for our school. Around 60 people walked here to watch. If the kids aren't playing soccer, they are asking if they can. I realized that I can only play with the little kids...because at this point my soccer skills are at that level. By Standard Three I get my butt kicked.

Today I started working with the youngest kids. Which means playing! I can not complain. I have 7 2-4 year olds. They love simon says...without the simon says part and every activity last about 5 minutes...for 2 and a half hours! So after lunch- nap time.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Made it!

I am finally here in the Children's Village. It is unbelievably beautiful. It is also very hot. I live in the Robundo house with 10 ten children and two live in mamas. The kids in this house are mostly the youngest of the village. They love to be read to.

Had the tour of the village and met the other 10 volunteers. The volunteers have come from all over the US and have been on so many other amazing adventures as well.

My driver from Arusha had a Bob Marley sticker on the van so immediately I asked if he liked reggae. We ended up listening to my ipod the whole 3 hour trip out here. It was nice to drive through the mountains both of us singing to Bob, Richie and other artists! We saw two giraffes (twiga) and baboons.

Tomorrow is Saturday so I will help do review sessions for the kids (math, english and crafts).

Monday I start my first 'job' of working with the little ones and doing fun activities with them...can't wait!

I can not upload pictures from the village but I will be able to on Sundays when I go into town.

Sorry so many random thoughts! Still very tired! Nap time!



Wednesday, November 2, 2011



Made it to Amsterdam and am about to board to Arusha!

Meet a man on my flight here who went to university in Dar Es Salaam (the capital of TZ) and he helped me study my KiSwahili!

Only 30 free minutes of Wifi!