Hospitals and Houses (English)
This week brought besides the rains (we are now in the midst of the rainy season) a lot of new things. It’s nice to see that our home is constantly filling with new happy children’s voices. When I arrived there were only 13 kids and now there are already 19! Just last week, two new children arrived from Moshi – a small town in northern Tanzania at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s really cool that the “catchment area” of the help2kids center continues to grow constantly. Our two new charges are the 6-year-old Heike and the 8-year-old Augusti. In the picture you can see how they perpetuate their fingerprints in the classroom 😉
Furthermore Cassie and I got more accompany. Last Tuesday four new helping hands, that will support us here arrived. Our new volunteer Kristina from Hamburg already landed early Tuesday morning. She is staying for almost 3 months here and our new assistant manager Francesca reached the same evening Dar es Salaam. She is from the beautiful “Bella Italia” and she supports help2kids for a whole year. We are pleased that you are here and wish you “Karibu sana” (means “Welcome” in Swahili).
After a few nights sleeping together in Cassie’s room, we are very pleased that we will probably be moving this week in our new volunteer and guest house! The large and beautiful house is very close and is easily accessible by bicycle. After an exciting and busy shopping day in Kariakoo we now have got the bare minimum that you need to move into the new house 😉 In the picture you can see a street scene in Kariakoo and a picture of our car with the mattresses on the roof … … now you can probably imagine a bit better how hectic it is here!
Another highlight of this week was the visit of our partner orphanage, “Friends of Don Bosco”. Together with our social worker Muhali, we were on our way (I was also the driver ;-)) through the always busy downtown to visit the former home of our kids. Once arrived there we were welcomed very warmly by the founder Evans Tegete and the volunteers who are working there. Evans, who is working untiring day to day for the children, felt called to establish an orphanage, as he himself grew up as orphan without parents.
Despite the friendly reception and the great time we spent together there, it again became clear how well our children live in comparison to other orphans in Tanzania. This picture was taken in the boys’ dormitory, where for financial reasons, not even mosquito nets are available. Here 60 boys are sleeping together, sharing one bed with three or four. Perhaps we will soon be able to remove the garage to create additional sleeping possibilities to offer more children the opportunity of a better life.
Unfortunately, last week was not only the week of the new faces but also the week of illness! We haven’t been in hospital more often than we have over the last few days. This is probably a further indication that the rainy season has begun, as not only the number of mosquitoes but also of malaria patients has thus reproduced. The many standing water, which is now everywhere on the edge of the road etc. have formed regular mosquito havens, where the malaria-transmitting flies can breed well.
Unbelievable, but true: Cassie got malaria for the second time within only one month! This time, however, it was even worse than the first time since she hadn’t noticed it immediately. So the malaria also got in her lungs and that’s why she developed a cough, which had to be treated as well. Because she really needed a break and rest, she recovered two days in a nearby hotel. There she was able to recuperate and recharge new energy for the upcoming move into the new house.
Furtheron we had to take two of our children to the hospital because they had a very high fever. Since Cassie was sick at that time Kristina, Francesca, Mama Leah and I went on our own to the hospital to get Evaristo’s blood tested. The diagnosis was clear: Malaria! Besides him, one day later it caught our adorable Abu. The poor boy even had two parasites in his blood (what means it’s an even stronger form of malaria)! But luckily everybody feels better again because of the good and quick treatment.
But this is not all. Dotto had probably taken the worst. She was bitten by an insect or snake which caused an infection or inflammation in her leg. As her foot was extremely swollen she could not walk anymore and got an i.v. in hospital, since she had to get injections for the next five days. She certainly deserves the award for the bravest child. Without batting an eyelash, the nurse put the semi-permanent i.v. in her hand and our lively Dotto was watched bravely and eagerly. Maybe it was because Mama Cassie held her hand ;-), but at least she has mastered it with flying colors and is fortunately already well on.
Finally, we also would like to thank family Klein from Germany in this way. Since they were enthusiastic about the help2kids-project and also pursed the weekly developments in the blog, they have spontaneously decided to donate. This allowed us finally to buy new school backpacks which the kids really needed. Thank you so much! I think the rays of the children’s eyes say more than 1000 words. The kids were so happy as you can see. A picture shows the old backpacks for comparison … these were really not more than useless.
So that was it then again this week. Thank you for reading again! I’m excited to see what my last two weeks in Tanzania will bring!
Desiree Schneider (Germany)