Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Picture Update

Megan and I at the future site of the Orphanage. This site will hold an actual orphanage (building with bedrooms), cafeteria, and school. Due to financial issues, the building of the orphanage has been put on hold indefinitely. Currently the orphans in the Village live alone at their parent's homes or with other family members (typically older siblings or grandparents). Megan and I's first grade class. There are 17 students in this class. The classroom is shared with three other classes (kindergarten and preschool). The board at the front of the room is painted black and utilized as a chalkboard.
Orphans headed home early from school due to a food shortage. For the past two weeks, the students at the Orphanage have not been fed lunch. This is due to a food shortage that is a result of financial problems. When there is no food, the kids are sent home early and miss half of the school day. All of the kids walk to and from school unescorted. Typically these kids walk between 1-4KM to and from school each day. It's heart breaking watching the little three year olds walk through the village alone. They all appear to have an incredible sense of direction.
Orphans eating porridge. Part of the food the students receive is a small mug of porridge. This is served daily and appears to have no nutritional value.

Sitting with two of the orphans at the Orphanage. Pastor's mud hut. Megan and I lived here for a week before being moved to the volunteer hostel. The cement bricks to the left of the picture are the current portion of Pastor's new house. In Tanzania it is common practice to build what you can and stop when you run out of money. When you obtain more funds, you continue building. We plan on paying for a building the rest of Pastor's new house for him in the next 3 weeks. The mud hut we lived in currently houses Pastor and his wife. Other buildings on his property house his children, neices, mother, cow, goat, chickens, kitchen, and choo.
Megan and I in the City, the city our village is located in. Mount Meru is located behind us. The roads in the City can barely be considered roads and more likely resemble trails. Much of the local business takes place in the general market area of the City, including the selling of produce, timber, and fabric.

Mount Kilimanjaro from our bus ride to Arusha. I'm in shock that this is what I plan on attempting to summit on my first backpacking experience. I really am crazy. Megan and I in Arusha waiting for our fellow volunteer, Moragn, to arrive. Notice the backpacks on the front. This is the standard practice in Arusha if you're Muzungo (white person) and want to protect yourself from having anything stolen. Petty theft is very common in Arusha and obvious tourists, such as Megan and I, are prime targets.
Megan and I in theVillage, with Mount Meru in the background. We were so stressed and overwhelmed the first few days that we didn't realize how close we were to Mt. Meru. Luckily we had a beautiful day and were able to bask in Meru's beauty.

Choo (bathroom) break on our 10 1/2 bus ride from Dar Es Salaam to Arusha on Sunday, June 8. Our bus ended up breaking down in Moshi which caused us to sto every 5 KM or so to fill the radiator with water. The 1 hour trip from Arusha to Moshi ended up lasting 4 hours.