Thursday, March 29, 2012

Karen Made it Here!

Hello to all in the USA. My flight was uneventful - which is great. My connecting flight gave me an hour in Amsterdam. My first night in KIA lodge was great. Moody picked me up and drove me to Karatu the next day. It was about a four hour drive - because we stopped for photos all along the way. Jill came after school to Karatu and spent the night and we traveled to RVCV the next day by car on the rough road - but we made it. We were welcomed by volunteers and children. Mama to Jill is all kept hearing. That was the easiest way for Jill to explain our connection. We were able to put the volleyball net up the first day. Today I watched the play in one of Jill's classes - Standard Six. I have worked in the Pre-K yesterday and today, the Letters Yy and Zz. It is supposed to be the rainy season - but like us they said the weather is all mixed, dry so far. Tomorrow we will leave around 6:30am for safari in the crater, then onto PeaceMatuda to get ready for the Kili climb. We are both very excited and Jill has been taking me on one-two hour training walks through the coffee fields and to the small villages of some of her students. She is known everywhere! Through the valleys you can hear small voices yelling Jill, Jill, Jill. they can see her walking on another hillside and she returns a greeting to each and everyone of them. So, Mom, Carla, Kathy, and Bob - I made it - this is just the first time the internet has been up for days. Thank you all that gave donations - they all made it here safe and sound. Karen :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Maasai are coming! Wanakuja!!

So on Wednesday a school from the Ngorogoro Crater came to play us in soccer and netball. These kids live on the rim of the crater and are all Maasai. The school does not have a car so they rented one for the day and fit 37 people into a safari car!! So when someone asks many Maasai fit in a car...37 is the answer. Also, because most of them have never ridden in a car, a bunch puked on the way here...poor kids. Their girls netball team is super strong and we lost but our boys won the soccer game 9-0! Here are some pictures:

The spectators!
Jojo going for it!
Netball team warming up!

Hello Hello!

This week was a VERY busy week at school. Every week my classes participate in a different sport. The only four sports recognized in TZ are basketball, soccer, volleyball and netball. I decided this week to bring back what I love most....Track and Field. So the first day we divided each class into four teams and competed in the 100m, 200m, hurdles (aka buckets) and long jump (a jumprope as the line). The second day of classes we did the 400m, 50m, shotput (small soccer ball because their arms are just so tiny I felt bad using the real shotput) and high jump. The school made high jump posts with nails to hold the pole and then...truely African style...found a long stick to use as the bar. We took old mattress cushions for the landing. Each team had a paper with the four events and they wrote 1st- 2nd- and 3rd place.

After one of the classes, one of the boys said to me..."Mwalimu (in a serious tone), michezo leo...safi sana", and then walked away. It means, "Teacher, Sports today....very good." I love these kids!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy St. Patty's Day!

How Kristen described St. Patty's Day to the kids here- Like Christmas for Irish but instead of a tree-shamrock.

Carolyn- We celebrate lephrans because they look like me. (red head)

Brett- In Preschool they seriously questioned where you find pots of gold. At the end of rainbow...but really can we go there?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012


1. Still a vegetarian....going on 4 months! It is easy when at school I am always surrounded by chickens and their baby chicks. So cute!

2. I taught my first class in the POURING African rains. Under a tin roof, I tried to play indoor games like Heads Up Seven Up and Egg Scramble but gave up after not even being able to hear myself. Its a great way to drown out the kids...pun not intended..

3. Well I have officially been here too long. I had my first soccer dream.

4. Speaking of soccer, yesterday I played my first game with the big kids...the men's team. I was petrified. But they were all nice and I actually got a shot on goal. It didn't make it in but it was still a shot!

5. I made English muffins for the first time this week-Africa style. I must say it is easier to make them in the States. With only powdered milk, no cornmeal, and an oven that does what it wants...well... they were eatable.

6. I was looking through one of the science books at school and found out that they teach evolution. But they also have religion class... the controversy continues...dun dun daaa. The pastor, or religion teacher only shows up to class once and awhile so who knows what they are actually learning.

7. It is officially official! Karen Comegys is coming to hike Kilimanjaro with me! She will be arriving in 2 weeks to visit the orphanage, go on safari, and then start climbing April 1st. I cannot wait!

8. Thursday is Clubs after school and yesterday I went to watch Drama Club. Drama club is when two students go up in front of about 50 students in the field and make up a skit. Kids only 9 or 10 years old, and they are the end of the skits they are normally in a dance off... here are pictures...

9. The dentists are here.."Dickson show me your clean!" (They brought sunglasses-everyone loves dentist here.)

10. Rainy season means less Internet...sorry for any delayed responses and less blogging!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sponsoring a Child

I talk about the kids on my blog all the time but haven't given any information about how to sponsor a child! You can sponsor a child for a minimum of $150 a year. I have made Christmas cards with kids for sponsors, seen kids write amazing letters, and truly appreciate all sponsors. When I leave, I will also sponsor a child here.

So you can visit the Tanzanian Children Funds website:

Or contact Ashby our sponsorship coordinator at

Thanks so much!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Early Dismissal

Today I was informed that school will be closing after lunch. The school has decided to close because one of the students (who has not attended this year) passed away. This 14 year old girl over the last few years developed multiple cases of strep throat. Because she was uninformed and not treated, strep throat became a fatal heart condition. She was one of the top students in her class at the time. When a nurse was permanently hired here a year ago she tired everything to put her on a donor list, but this is Africa and they heard nothing. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire community.


Check it out!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lazy on my Blog

Sorry I have not been writing as much about Africa as of late.

Here are some updates:

1. I only have two more months! I can't believe four months have pass this quickly!

2. I got another African stomach disease- I feel like I just had that operation where they shrink your stomach so you can't eat as much...what a diet!

3. We had leadership day where each house competed in logic based games. My house lost but we had sweet soccer jerseys-best looking team?

4. Every time I go in Karatu I get my favorite dish (and basically the only one I can eat being a veggie only eater now). It is called chipsy mayai. HOW THE HECK DID AMERICANS NOT THINK OF THIS!!! It is an omelet with french fries in it! I am bring chipsy to America.

5. More rouge animals are making news in the bush as of late. The other night, a rouge cape buffalo was shot just a short 10 minutes walk from here. On the smaller side, the rouge mouse who decided to visit the night I got sick and run across all our things, across the closet hangers and launch itself onto the wall and slide all the way to the floor- is now no where to be found. A lizard took his place and made a home in my nice comfy pillows while I was asleep-sick-on top of them.

6. Every month is mitihani or exams for all grades. I get to proctor the english exams. Yesterday I saw the first black eye in school. It is so sad to see a kid with an eye so swollen he cant read the board.

1 year ago

I can't believe it has been a year since we said goodbye to Ryan. I love you, I miss you. It is hard not being with the people that all love him so much right now.

These are Ryan's core principles. Words his friends and family found on his computer after his death.

Written by Ryan

  • Live every day, all day
  • Never stop exploring life
  • Never lose my adventuresome attitude
  • Be the best friend I can be
  • Be the best brother, son, uncle I can
  • Look out for others
  • Look out for myself
  • Look out for our surroundings
  • Be self-sufficient
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  • Work hard
  • Live easy
  • Live simply