2nd Newsletter from Tanzania
Thursday 18th June
We hope you enjoyed reading our first newsletter and found it of interest in keeping everyone at home in touch with our various adventures.
It is amazing how time has flown as we have been out here 4 weeks but it seems only like yesterday that we were boarding the plane at Dublin Airport.
If you have been watching the various posts on the kids4school or Firstdonegore Facebook pages you will have seen our progress in pictures but we will fill in some more detail now in this newsletter as to what has been accomplished.
We mentioned previously that the building work on the Academic Complex was being carried out largely manually. Despite that foundation excavations have been completed for five buildings comprising three Vocational Training and two Primary School buildings. Being keen to assist speedy progress we were able to procure a concrete mixer and vibrator which will now be used to produce the concrete for this and other projects in the future.
Following completion of the foundation ‘dig’, work proceeded in installing the reinforcing steelwork and concreting in the bases of the columns which will support the roof structures of all buildings. This phase of the work is due to be completed on Friday 19th. Work will then commence on Monday to pour the reinforced concrete ‘footings’ which will allow block work to begin in about seven days time.
While all this has been going on Grace has been following up on getting the various records into order and has begun to sort out School Uniform issues. She noted that the clothes that had been produced for issue to sponsored children were lying in piles so John was tasked to come up with a design for hanging rails! Out here it is a case of make do and mend with whatever materials are available and his solution was therefore to modify some metal desk frames and we would quickly add this was with Tom Robinson’s approval! Our next task is to source some hangers to go along with the rails so wish us luck in finding those although there is always wire to bend if all else fails.
As we said previously schools are now on holiday but plans are being made to begin registrations again as soon as they are back in the classrooms.
We have usually been worshipping in the little church at Kitelera but this Sunday we had a complete change as we were invited to accompany the Ntandu family to a Confirmation Service in Dodoma Cathedral conducted by the Bishop himself.
This service saw 105 young people being confirmed so you can imagine the size of the congregation that was present. We were also surprised to be invited to address the congregation and bring greetings from Northern Ireland, quite daunting in front of such a crowd! Following the service we were invited to a reception being hosted by a brother of John Ntandu whose son had just been confirmed.
This was an amazing event with many speeches from the extended family and again we were invited by the Master of Ceremonies to stand and be introduced to the assembled throng. Following the speeches there was a feast of traditional African food which was not to be missed. Chips were also included and now seem to be part of any Tanzanian banquet!
The weather continues to be hot, dry and sunny, we wake up each morning and like home say I wonder is it going to be good today, altogether rather pointless as it will be!
Shopping continues to be an adventure and anyone who saw the photo of a box of what looked like Pringles on Facebook will be interested to know that they really were what we thought they were and they tasted great.
We will sign off again now and will be back with a further issue in two weeks time. As before if you are into Facebook keep an eye on the kids4school and firstdonegore pages where we will continue to post photographs of things as they happen!
Goodbye now until the next time and if you wish to drop us a line you can do so at the email address below.
We would especially thank those who have already contacted us either by email or Facebook, it really does keep us in touch with home!
John & Grace McCullagh