Karibu Tena Tanzania- Wet Welcome


January?… It must be Kilimanjaro

We are here! That ‘beautiful girl’, as Mt. Kilimanjaro is sometimes called, has been shrouded in cloud and rain has been falling heavily for this time of year. December is the start of the short rains, typically a light patter in the night leaving days warm and sunny, clay paths dried to leather hard. Since our arrival the rain has pounded the corrugated tin roof at alarming volumes night and day.  The Kili water storage tanks are overflowing and the rivers are running high. It produces mud everywhere and crops of spectacular insects- an infinite variety of gorgeous moths and the dreaded Nairobi fly. It is a blessing for cultivation and corn is as ‘high as an elephants eye’ in the Parish Garden.  Claire Partlow’s garden near the church, tended with love last visit, is flourishing !


I’m here with daughter Eva and her friend from Italy, Neila.  We are back and following up with all our KSF Tuition Project sponsored students, reviewing outcomes for nearly 70 students supported at intervals over the last 10 years. Most students now have graduated from the program or are in the final years of study at colleges and universities all over central and  northern Tanzania. To quote our dear friend and home based care worker ( HBC) Augustine, “ When you plant a seed, you want to return to see what happened.” We will be at Kilema for the first 2 weeks then on the road to Dodoma and Darasalaam trying to connect with students where they live and study.  As usual everyone is  wonderfully warm, ready to smile and greet and humour is never far away. It’s a helpful asset here for connecting people and smoothing over life’s rough spots.


Last year we sponsored 15 students from secondary to university and celebrated further graduations. We celebrate Augustina Mlay who completed her Bachelor of Science and thank Avelin for attending the graduation recently.  Her science degree should be an asset in job hunting with the current government interested in in hiring only science, tech and math teachers right now. She is currently tutoring in Dar waiting for a teaching post.  I love this gorgeous grad picture!





Our first student visit this January was with Erick Minde at Moshi Cooperative University who is completing his final year of accounting and who was the first student to receive one of 8 computers we are carrying. An accountant needs his spreadsheets.  He has a room in town he shares with his brother for about $35 /month and has a  strict food budget.  He will be graduating soon and expects to start a business with friends while applying for positions in a field with huge competition.



For those that know Nora, she is amazing!  She is now working in medical records at Kilema hospital and  has a new baby boy Anderson!  She has a partner who is studying Data Management currently so  both will have their diploma and two incomes.  They are living in Mkyashi village and while things are good she says, ” Mama, I must continue to struggle, to fight.  I’m a strong woman and I am a mother now. I must continue to struggle.”





I’m struck by the work ethic of students- all Tanzanians- and their earnest struggle to succeed. They speak in metaphors about ‘difficulties’ and even a week on the ground I feel ‘the struggle’ myself in small ways- muddy paths, slow transport, waiting, inefficiencies, no power, no digital links, broken infrastructure. Sometimes one can touch 3 or 4 things in a row that don’t function; the toilet flusher, the water faucet, the soap dispenser and light switch. Student challenges are infinitely greater and students without parents or family have few to no advocates, little power and can be easily passed over. This is a network culture and family connections matter. I predict this will be a significant theme as our mature students graduate and look for work. These young people are very focused and  intense and  their capacity for work and struggle is inspiring .


We’ve enjoyed meeting  Gladyness and Godfrey who work the CACHA OVC program which provides  school  support and general nurturing  to 50  vulnerable children. This being the start of the school year , we were happy to help out with distribution of supplies at Mkyashi village and thank all the wonderful Harling Point neighbours in Victoria and the Compassion Resource Warehouse for school supplies… and rubber balls which were a complete hit!
















Thanks to everyone for your ongoing interest and support over the years!


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