June 27

Wednesday was the day to dot i’s and cross t’s in preparation of departure. The day conclude with a dinner party of the Global Outreach staff. Above is Miraji Vanginothi (currectly on educational leave of absence), Ally Mbugi (new Country Coordinator), Lucas Mwahombela (Tanzanian Director), Dismas Nziku (our scholarship student), and Allen Mwalupilo (Technical Coordinator.)

Two events were taking place on Thrusday as I began my journey home. One was that our office furnishing were being trucked to our new office at Kichangani completing the most unbelievable occurence of the whole stay. This project was completed in less than a month (okay – maybe not totally completed since we still have carpetting and/or tile to install – but close enough) and gives us exactly the space we need to cover current needs and provide room for growth.

The second event was not so pleasant, as Allen travelled to Mtera to return with our computers from their school. Mtera has fallen on difficult times – not just in the computer program but overall – and is trying to get back into operation. They ran out of money, lost most of their teachers, and are in a desperate struggle to reopen their school. We requested return of our computers so that we can use them in schools that will utilized them. If they can get back on track we will consider restoring them to the program, but they will have to go through the formal process and meet that criteria at that time. It was a downer because it’s the first school we have had to take this step with, but this kind of thing is a fact of life in Tanzania.

Barbara and I left Iringa on th4 6AM bus on Thursday. Barbara had a strange return routing leaving the airport early so we did not want to tempt fate. This led to a lovely wait (would you believe 9 hours) in the Dar es Salaam airport for my own flight making a rather nasty trip even more so. The one good thing on the way back was that three months away means that all the airplane’s movies are new to you – some I had not even heard of – so the diversion factor is good. But if you count the trip start as boarding the bus in Iringa – and that certainly is the beginning – the journey was well over 40 hours. It is not the highlight of the Tanzanian experience.

Friday ended in Sarasota with Betty at the airport. My bags decided they weren’t quite ready to call it a day, but they have since been delivered. I am writing the penultimate entry before I get on the scale to assess that damage, but after I have had my first Diet Coke in three months.

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