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Published: November 6th 2013
Sunday, August 18th, 2013 Community Lunch at Neema Orphanage, Mural touchups and meeting sponsor children
First thing today, the group headed of to mass Tanzanian style, at St. Norbert’s Church. The choir and people were singing and dancing (like a gospel choir) and the church was packed, not like the churches in Canada. Unlike masses in Canada, men were seated on the left side of the church and women were seated on the right; one of the customs in Tanzania. There was a lot of spirit, faith and love that filled the church. Even though, I did not understand the mass because I did not speak Swahili, I felt the love and devotion of the people to God. The people seemed generally happy to be there, and their happiness and praise to God was contagious.
After mass, the group headed off to the Neema orphanage for a community lunch. The orphans performed a dance where they displayed all the gifts they received through sponsorship. It was uncoordinated but adorable. Then members of the community performed their traditional dances for us. The sisters at the
orphanage presented each of us with kangas, a type of African garb. It was an unexpected surprise and we were all very grateful. The community also presented gifts to us in the form of chickens, eggs, lettuce, rice, and sugar cane. We were thankful for the gifts and forward them onto the orphanage to use.
After the gifts and presentations, we helped serve and ate lunch with the orphans and community. Then a group of us headed back to the clinic to finish minor touches on the murals while those with sponsor children family visits stayed back.
Colleen and Monica got to ride on motorcycles (taxis) to visit their sponsor children families. However, one of their sponsor children families did not receive the message that Colleen and Monica were going to meet them at their home. A mother and her two children, a toddler and a baby, were waiting at the clinic where we were painting. They were waiting there for over 3 hours just to meet Colleen and Monica. The baby was crying and sick with diarrhea. Because the baby was not wearing a diaper,
he was pooping on the red dirt and the mother was covering it up with dirt.
Diarrhea is one of the major causes of death in babies in Tanzania. With help from Chalice, much needed medical care is provided to children and their families to overcome illnesses including diarrhea. Colleen and Monica finally got to meet the family at the clinic. Renata and I will be meeting our mother’s sponsor child, Taitus in Mbangamao where the next clinic will be set up. We cannot wait to meet him and his family.
When the group finished their sponsor child visits, we all met up at the clinic and then headed back to Top One Inn for dinner. Tomorrow we will be leaving Songea, and going to Mbinga and onward to Mbangamao, where our next clinic will be set up. Until then !
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