TIA…..This is Africa! 2013









Our regrets for the delay in sending updates.! Of course many people might relish a brief loss of service to have a  rest, reacquaint with family, but for us it’s  been both a  frustration and a pursuit, installing various sim cards; voda, celtel, airtel, tigo… hoping for connection. Sr. Bernadette here at Kilema is holed up with an IT consultant looking for ways around internet sticks. Others say there is work on the electrical infrastructure and that service was “not bad” before Christmas.  Last week it was easier to give up, I confess, being in such good company here with our Canadians, welcoming Kilema folks and Dr. Denis, happy to have visitors. Tomorrow we go to Marangu  for internet, market,  perhaps a visit to the timeless Marangu Hotel- maybe check the price of real estate there- then down the mountain to  send messages from Moshi.


Some days ago our group of seven arrived pretty exuberant to Arusha, Sara from France  first, our group of five, and Lois a day later.  All donation bags arrived and Boni packed them precisely to fit in our 8 seater Landcruiser.  It is still a pleasure to arrive to smiling, low key custom officials and heavily scented air. We arrived to heavy rains, muddy streets ragged from recent ditch digging, and several people sleeping against buildings in the dark streets.  Our hotel, Josh Mol, was reassuring despite the chaotic neighbourhood.  Highlights of that stay were the bartenders Moses and Barak, the rooftop deck with large rainwater puddle and splendid view, and the plumbing which broke sending a blast of water past Margot one morning, flooding her room and corridor beyond.


As most of you know we are here for a month to follow up with some 40 students sponsored by the Kilema Support Fund Tuition Project.   But we are also here to conduct a survey of home-bound palliatively ill people in local villages with Dr. Nyaki and nurses, Adela Kessy and Rosalia Mosha for the purpose of developing a project to provide some community based service.  We are also carrying eight laptops for donation to three local schools who are interested in developing or expanding their computer labs.  Most everyone is hopeful that internet service will be re-established and there certainly is a market for it on the mountain. I’m sure this news will incite David Crossley to puzzle over new and different approaches for service.


Of course we have many people to thank; individuals, organizations, schools and businesses who have contributed in a variety of ways, always generously. Of the many donors, some who created fundraising seasonal gatherings, even charitable weddings, I remain struck by the support for access to education for all, and especially for vulnerable children across the planet.  Support has been both financial and material. Schools including St. Patrick’s, St. Andrew’s, St Margaret’s, Glen Lyon Norfolk, Cathedral school have donated white school shirts. Nanaimo’s Georgia Avenue Community School has contributed backpacks, tuition and teaching aids.   IBM offered technology grants two years running to help village children improve their computer literacy.  Thanks David Crossley for all your work facilitating these grants! Take note of Richard ‘the marvel’ Corman below loading computers before we flew.  Downtown Coolaid clinic and Victoria Health Unit Home and Community Care Services have offered dressings and medical supplies for the local hospital and a baby scale was donated from a local physician.  School shoes, dictionaries and fleece blankets were deposited at my door throughout the fall.  Thanks to everyone for their generosity and enthusiasm as we embark upon this year’s trip.






Lastly, we wanted to send our thoughts to Jimmy Subulime and his family who suffered a roadside accident in Uganda over the Christmas holidays.  We are please to hear that Jimmy is back in Canada now and hope his recovery is smooth.  We feel a deep sorrow for the loss of his mother, Agnes.


More to follow……shortly…Tutaonana baadye.

Stephanie, Carolyn, Margot, Janine, Heather, Lois and Sara


We are texting back and forth to Canada with ease.  Our cell contact here is

255759220537.  Karibu sana!

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