This could be a near pictureless entry as I am busy doing one-on-ones to reach agreements and plans as I start the wind-down process, so I’ll throw in a little local color to start.
Wednesday thru Friday were many meetings, although in Tanzania the waiting process is usually as long as the actually meeting process. I am trying to take new Country Coordinator Ally to as many activities as possible so he meets the key contacts, and learns more about the organization by osmosis rather than me just sitting and presenting.
We now have formal agreements with Tumaini University and Ruaha University College on supporting our program and in the process providing practical training for their students. In addition, three Tumaini students, supervised by Miraji, will work for us as interns the next two months. They have even agreed to pick up the costs of travel for their work. This is all very positive and goes a long way in our continued effort to provide support at costs that others cannot comprehend. You really can work miracles with good partnerships.
Thursday it was Barbara’s turn to experience the reality of Tanzania as we lost power in the Internet Library. It appears that the increased demand has uncovered problems in the utility company’s transformers. The result is that we had to suspend the teachers’ class for a day. Power was back on Friday, but we lost the internet in the afternoon. Unfortunately, this is life in Tanzania. Our total facility plan was designed to accomodate things like this (we would be really stupid if not), but it hurts when we lose even one day of someone as talented as Barbara who has moved the teachers from curiosity to motivated enthusiasm.
Any donors – and especially the Rotary clubs – would have been quite moved to hear the teachers chronicle their experiences and appreciation at the end of the class. They thanked and gifted Mwalimu Barbara and marvelled at what they had learned. They are thrilled with the breadth of the internet, and excited about the wealth of ideas they received to get their students engaged and involved. We will work with Tumaini University now to continually reinforce and add onto this knowledge so they are ready to begin active involvement of the students at the beginning of 2009.