Monday, October 6, 2008

October is here!

October 6 – Well, sorry to everyone about not writing last week. Since it was the end of Ramadan and about a third of the Tanzanian population is Muslim, the Tanzanian Government celebrates Eid as a national holiday. Which makes a great opportunity to head to Nairobi for a few days for a) holiday and b) to do some work. While I must that there was more of the former than the latter, we did procure some interesting donations for the February 28th fundraiser for TFFT (everyone, mark your calendars now. I promise that you’ll be able to sit so near to the head table that you’ll be able to smell my cologne.) I’ll let Lali explain exactly what was donated and where we had to go to pick up said donation. Needless to say, it was like a scene out of a Tim Burton film. But with blown glass instead of socially marginalized lead characters…. I’ve already said too much!

So, now it’s October and we’re back in the swing of things here in Arusha. Headed back to Matonyok today to check on the math scholars… and to make sure that they had been keeping up with the work over these past few weeks, I gave them a test. That’s right, I’m that much of a stickler that I routinely give my math subjects (subjects being the operative word) tests. And, I feel like I can safely say that I’m the hardest non-native, non-Mathematics familiar volunteer teacher this side of Kijenge Chini. Boo yea!

Aside from the academic side of Matonyok, most of the material has already been transported to the center to begin construction of the sanitation facility by the end of this week. That is, if we can manage to buy 40 bags of cement at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, prices fluctuate wildly here in Tanzania, so a bag of cement can range anywhere from 14,500 Tsh to 17,000 Tsh in a given week. Which, I must admit, wreaks havoc on writing a feasible budget for the project. Either way, I’ve been working closely with Emmy and N’demno over the past few weeks to find other legitimate ways of saving money on the construction process, while simultaneously maintaining strict quality guidelines.

So, that’s all for this week. I’d like to get into the history of some of the students at Matonyok (four new since last week… the government keeps approaching Emmy and N’demno to take on new students for various reasons) but I can do that later in the week. Enjoy your whatever day it is!

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