Well my first week back in Tanzania sure has been busy! The first part of the week was spent getting all of our TFFT kids back and settled at Usa River Academy. It was great to see everyone smiling and excited for school. I even caught a few fist pumps from some of them! Once everyone was settled, Lali and I headed out to Lushoto to see 2 of our scholarship children, Zawadi and Asha before their school year begins. After a quick detour to the Kenyan border (yes, we missed the only turn) and what we can only assume to be our granny driving, a short 6.5 hours later we arrived, only 2.5 hours longer than the intended trip.
Lushoto is beautiful. It’s a little town in the Usamburu Mountains, which are very green and very steep. Due to our detour, we arrived after dark and were met by Sister Ena who runs Irente Children’s Home. She showed us the Children’s Home Hostel where we would be spending the night, and after a little supper, we were tucked in our beds by 8pm. I guess the sisters aren’t really night owls. We started our morning by changing nappies in the baby room. I should actually say one of the two baby rooms. There are so many children it is overwhelming. One of the baby rooms held the older babies, and the other was lined wall to wall with cribs for the infants. This doesn’t include the rest of the children at the home who are older and occupied the other 4 rooms. We shared in Morning Prayer with the staff and a few little ones who had befriended us, before officially starting on our day.
Asha is still living at the Children’s Home when school is on break, so we were able to meet her right away. We spent time playing, and giving her some gifts from her sponsor. She showed off her ABC’s and 123’s and has the sweetest little personality. New clothes and stickers are bound to make any little girl smile, and Asha, who is still getting in some of her teeth was very excited. After receiving her gifts she went to change her clothes and come back out to put together a new puzzle with us.
Zawadi is living with a family over the holiday so we had to drive to see her. What a sweetheart! She is a little more timid than Asha, but some stickers, crayons and strawberry smelling lotion opened her up pretty quickly. Oh and a necklace that a little girl in Kentucky sent over with me. After a cup of tea and reviewing her report card with her new “family” we were off again.
We spent the rest of the day at St. Catherine’s Montessori school, the school the girls attend, getting all their business matters settled. Then a quick trip to Irente Farm for some homemade juice and bread before having a late lunch at Irente Children’s Home and getting back on the road! Detours were avoided on the way home, though the driving didn’t speed up too much, but I’d say all in all, a great little safari.