|With the kids outside their bedroom.|
|Maasai roaming the vast open plains.|
Running water is hard to come by, so trips to the creek or water pump with buckets (often in the grueling heat) are necessary in order to bathe, cook, or hydrate. And even that water is not safe to drink. Outside the towns, you will see people walk miles to reach water and carry it back in buckets on their heads or with donkeys if they are well-off. No doubt it will make you think twice about leaving the water on while you brush your teeth or before you take a long shower. Take a moment to think about what it took to get that water to your faucet. Or to get that banana in your grocery store in the middle of winter.
The sad reality is that almost all of the 30 orphans at Tamiha have lost their parents and family due to HIV. Some were dropped off at the orphanage after good Samaritans could no longer care for them, some were found wandering the streets or in dumpsters searching for food. Even at the orphanage, on a daily basis, kids would be walking around with soiled underpants, runny noses, coughs, sores on their heads... And to think these are the lucky ones. The ones who are surviving. And although it's not very much, they get meals. They have each other - a new formed family of brothers and sisters.
The most overwhelming part of visiting a place like Tanzania is the vast, widespread reach of poverty and hunger. Such a huge problem that it can't be fixed overnight or even in a year. I remember upon arrival, it took a couple days for things to sink in, to accept the reality of what life is there, and how drastically different it is from ours - dirt everywhere, sparse food and water, people literally have nothing. Children as young as 3 and 4 years old forced to be so independent. And yet they find reasons to be grateful and happy.
- Sponsored two orphans, Pius and Maxie, to attend school for one year each.
|Maxie (left) and Pius (pronounced "p-use," right) on their first school bus ride to school.|
- Backpacks and school supplies for the orphans previously sponsored to attend school (11) and those who remain at the orphanage for instruction from a local teacher (19).
|Teaching at the Tamiha Day Care.|
- 50 kilo of rice, 50 kilo of beans, and 50 kilo of corn which will feed all 100 children at the orphanage and day care for three months!
|Local shops where we purchased the rice, beans, and corn.|
- Mosquito nets for the orphanage and to potentially hand out to the HIV Home Care women.
- Rice and donations to aid the HIV infected women participating in the Home Care program.
|Michael carrying supplies on the HIV Home Visits.|
|One of many women visited - who taught us about the many uses of Henna|
- Orphanage supplies: candles, cleaning supplies, utensils, etc.
|Dinner by candle light. Menu = ugali (a traditional Swahili food).|
- Food and treats for the children at the orphanage.
|The kids slowly savoring their chocolate protein bars with their porridge.|
- Clothing and additional support for the incredible women who take care of the 30 orphans on a daily basis with no time off.
|Michael and I with B.B. Sara (B.B. = grandma. At age 42)|
- Refill propane tank used to cook food and heat water at the orphanage.
- Also in the works… is the development of a new and optimized website, including interviews with the Founder/CEO and other Tamiha Staff members, as well as a Tamiha video.
I’m so excited to see what great things are yet to come as Projectline Services continues to provide this grant opportunity to other employees. This offers up insight and visibility into issues worldwide and brings a level of world awareness to our local community that otherwise would be lacking. Kudos to Projectline!
Keep an eye out for these upcoming blog posts:
- The Orphanage: A Tour of the Grounds and Meet the Children
- The Day Care: Swarmed by Masses of Children
- HIV Home Care Program: An Insider’s View into HIV in Tanzania
- St. Vivian’s Private School: An Education Despite Poverty