Blog Tanzania

A lot of rain, a lot of problems (English)



Hello everyone! It has been a while since I wrote, but the atmosphere around here has been very interesting and I thought it best if I was the one to describe it to you. A lot has happened in the past week. Our wonderful volunteer Desiree has returned to Germany, which makes us sad but we appreciate EVERYTHING that she has done for us over the past few months! She went above and beyond the duties of a “normal” volunteer and we were lucky to have her for the time that we did. Although we lost one fantastic volunteer, we have gained another! Her name is Kristina and she will be writing next week’s blog in order to introduce herself (she is busy creating class curriculums now and preparing special homework for kids who are struggling in specific subjects).


Other news in Dar Es Salaam is not really new. The rains continue to pour and the mosquitoes continue to bite. We have more kids getting malaria, though it seems to be a bit worse this time. They receive a series of five painful shots every time they are diagnosed with malaria. The severity of the sickness has seemed to increase and some of our poor kids have really been suffering. The unfortunate side of working with children in an atmosphere like this is that you have to watch these kids go through some things that children back at home in Europe or America never have to worry about. Nothing makes you feel more helpless than holding a sick child as they beg you not to let the nurse take their blood or cut into an abscess (without any sort of numbing agent) in order to drain it. Our medical bills are astronomical this month and we have literally been gathering coins from the bottom of our bags in order to pay for all of the medication, shots, doctor visits, and medical supplies necessary to keep our children as healthy and comfortable as possible. Regarding the HIV-child we are getting more specific test results tomorrow morning. It’s a blood toxicity and organ function test to see what is going on. We are all on pins and needles awaiting the results.


The rains have also caused many problems with the house. The girl’s room has constantly been flooded by leaky rooftops and busted pipes. We are repairing everything as quickly as possible but money is tight and it is difficult to keep up with all of the new problems that happen with each day of rain. So we have decided to move the girls upstairs to my old room (we are repairing the roof and the pipes there first to make sure we don’t have the same issues!). In preparation for the move, Francesca and Kristina are adding some colorful stencils to the walls to make the transition easy. When we told the girls that they will soon be moving they asked me if that meant that they get to live with me! I said sadly, no, I had moved to a different room but that they could sleep with Pickle (my cat) if they get lonely. That made them very happy!


In order to give our children a much needed day of happiness, the girls (Francesca and Kristina) and I organized a treasure hunt for the children on Easter Sunday. We wrote out ten clues and hid them all over the property (even one on the turtle!). The children happily ran from one clue to the next, following it to the end. After the last clue, we were all hiding in the living room where we passed out envelopes full of candy and everyone got a soda. We also restocked the play box with some of the new toys that my parents, Kurt and Cynthia Seidler, mailed to us from the U.S.. The children were dancing and laughing all day, until they finally began to fall asleep in the living room after dinner. The mamas literally carried them off to bed. They were able to sleep in this morning because they are vacation for Easter until this Wednesday, so we finally seem to have a house full of smiling faces once again!

Considering the medical issues that we have been facing each and every day, I am begging the readers to contribute whatever they can. The rainy season does not stop until the end of next month and we are really struggling to pay the costs necessary to keep our kids happy and healthy. An example of the medical costs for one child for one month:

  • Doctor Consultation – 3,000 Tanzanian shillings
  • Laboratory Fees – 5,000 Tanzanian shillings
  • Dressing Fees (when children have advanced malaria, they get large abscesses on their bodies which must be drained) – 15,000 Tanzanian shillings
  • Medications – 22,000 Tanzanian shillings
    45,000 Tanzanian shillings per visit (approximately $30 U.S. Dollars)


This cost is repeated until the child is better. It is also multiplied by the number of children that get sick (which has been almost all of them since the beginning of the rainy season).

That means 45,000 X 20 children = 900,000 Tanzanian shillings ($600 U.S.) per month if the children only have to go to the hospital once (it is multiple times in some cases).

The fact that I willingly did math in a public place should really show the urgency of this matter!

Just for a little comparison:

  • The price of a beer in Hamburg, Germany: 3 Euros (approximately $5 U.S.).
  • The price of going out to eat at a “cheap” sushi restaurant in Los Angeles, California: $20 U.S.
  • The price of a small pizza and a beer in Milan, Italy: 20 Euros (approximately $33 U.S.).
  • The price of a starter salad in a restaurant in Zurich, Switzerland: approximately $12 U.S.
  • The price of a large iced coffee with an extra shot of espresso, two pumps of sugar-free Cinnamon Dulce syrup, and non-fat milk at Starbucks (in America): $5.25 U.S.

If you gave up just a few of these things for one month, you could help one or more of these kids that you read about each week.

Thank you for helping in the past and thank you for helping now!
We all hope that you had a wonderful Easter holiday!

Cassandra Seider (USA)
Managing Director Tanzania