“I’m afraid of God and shorts!”

15 April 2009

The plans for building Matumaini a new home are in full swing. Mr. Mambo and I have decided to start from scratch with the plans, completely discarding the plans drawn up in 2007. We have met with an architect to discuss our desired plan and have seen his drawing of the layout and one of the buildings. Next week we hope to have drawings of each of the other buildings. Once we finalize the drawings, he will be able to compile a complete budget, including estimates from the electric and water companies. We will also need to create a budget for the furniture that will go in ach of the buildings. We would like for everything to be completed now so the moment we have enough money to start building, we are ready. The plans include several buildings: separate but adjacent boys’ and girls’ dormitories, an administration block, two classrooms, a dining room with a kitchen and storeroom, and a small house where volunteers can stay. Several of the kids went up to the plot a few days ago to plan corn and beans and they were all very excited about the prospect of living there. Most of them commented on how big it is and asked if we’d be putting in a swimming pool :). Wouldn’t that be nice?! Not happening…

The high school students at Sierra Canyon School, one of my alma maters, held a bake sale a few weeks ago and raised about $650 in order to purchase textbooks for the students at Mrupanga Primary School. The head teacher and I went last Monday to pick up 180 books we had ordered: 8 books each of English, Swahili, Math, and Science for Grades 1-5 as well as teachers’ editions. Needless to say, everyone at the school is ecstatic! The Sierra students are a little less than halfway to their goal of $1500, which will bring the ratio of students to books in those four subjects to 3:1. Thank you Sierra!

Five of the Matumaini kids had their first Communion on Monday. We went to church and then had a fantastic celebration with great food, music, cake, and gifts. Most of the neighborhood came to celebrate and it was really a fun time. Other than that, I have been busy with administrative business: registering Knock here in Tanzania, meeting with a lawyer, getting information from banks, registering Matumaini as a trust, etc.

Two cute stories to end with… If you read the subject of this post and are wondering what it means, here is the story. Monika, a 9 year-old girl at Matumaini, is a total instigator and little firecracker. One day, she was bullying the guard at Matumaini and I said to her, “Monika, you aren’t afraid of anything or anyone” to which she responded, “I’m afraid of God….[long pause]…and shorts.” Too funny. Roger, our little engineer, made himself a small version of a pool table, complete with the triangle and sticks, and they play with marbles.


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