Cheryl Kyle’s TANZANIA JOURNAL February 2014

I see a woman dressed in a colorful kanga with a beautiful smile, she is sitting with her cup of coins by the bridge over the Themi river in Arusha, she has leprosy.

I see a woman with logs on her head climbing the mountain to her home. She pauses, I try to lift her burden. I can not.

I read the local news. Tanzania loses 30 elephants a day to poachers, and 10,000 every year.

I hear an ibis’ mourning call for her young who have fallen from their tree top nest to my packed dirt driveway below.

I receive the news from the teachers at Endupoto Primary School that our Standard 4 students passed their government exams with flying colors. Their first time taking the exam.

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I see the progress the builders are making on classrooms 6, 7, a teachers’ office, two new 20,000 liter rain water harvesting tanks, additional latrines and a new exterior paint job in anticipation of a BIG meeting with the Tanzania government, the Maasai elders, Karen Royce and me. The construction is on time and on budget. A shout out of thanks to every donor; our faithful contractor, workers and architect; and the Maasai who contributed their labor to dig the foundation and the deep latrines.

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I’m startled as a vervet monkey snatches a dinner roll off my plate at a posh coffee lodge in town.

I welcome visitors and share the majestic beauty of Tanzania, its landscape, wild animals, people and Endupoto Primary School where they bring their gifts of time, talent and treasure to the school. A special thanks to the University of Southern California who sent a top team of educators to work with the teachers at Endupoto and to a Member of Parliament from Tanzania who visited Endupoto and donated funds for desks and benches for the new classrooms. Asante sana.

I watch the village chairman of Kerere quietly lead the Maasai men and women elders as we gather under the acacia tree to make decisions regarding the future of Endupoto Primary School and its goal of sustainability.

I haul buckets of rain water for a bath at the Guest House. There is a broken pipe somewhere in Arusha and many are without water although we are in the middle of a deluge of rain.

I watch a tall Maasai plant 50 new trees to add to the 400 plus we’ve planted since 2008 when Endupoto was a one room school house and we thought our job was done.

For those of you reading this journal and for those who have not had the experience of knowing and loving Tanzania as I have, you are warmly welcome. Karen Royce and I will be leading our last safari in January 2016 to celebrate the completion of ENDUPOTO PRIMARY SCHOOL.

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