DAY 9 - KARUCO SITE - 2008


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Africa » Tanzania » West
January 11th 2008
Published: January 16th 2013
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BREAKFAST: Breakfast served by Rebecca. Love the pace that stays the same when there is one thing to do as when there are many. Never hurried - never rushed. Our clear glass plate turned upside. Our juice glass upside down. A paper napkin, small coffee cup and saucer. First comes the bread sliced like a fresh loaf. Then comes the thermos jugs of boiled water and milk. The large crystal brown sugar and teaspoons. We immediately give the coffee to Kaye and she laughs. Rebecca serves the Blue Band oleo and a plate of dark red jam. While we butter our bread, Rebecca brings a bowl of small bite-sized pieces of liver. Andre, Tom and I take some. Kaye encourages all to take a taste. Dutifully, all did. Then comes the omelette and tomato. I love it. Tastes like a farm egg - gamier, chewier, closer to earth flavors and feel. We eat, chat for a few minutes, thank Rebecca, grab a WC and on with the day. The students place bets on when George will arrive - Jason is most often right with a 30 minute window after the said time. We love it here.

I am adept at climbing into the Land Rover in a skirt. Now there's a resume builder! We ride the 12 km to KARASECO - Karagwe Secondary School. The road is dusty, red and full of potholes that would qualify as trenches. George is a seasoned driver and knows the road - what to avoid, when to slow, which side to drive on, how to not hit people on the sides walking within inches of the passing cars. The trip is usually cool but no need for a sweater. The engineers are generally upbeat, making plans for the day. George has alrwady picked up Vincent who is indispenssible to the project. What a guy - hard-working, kind, great sense of humor, tireless. Smart with tons of street cred., you can tell.

Scoped out the pasteurizer site at KARASECO. Johanes, Daniel and two other local workers were on site. Andrew helped them roll rocks into the trench, and Andre and Tom went with Kaungya who teaches IT, to talk computers. Ann wants me on site each day however I have no real duties. So I asked the Assistant Headmaster to talk with me about the school - More my area of expertise. Mr. Bugota
Headmaster KabalimuHeadmaster KabalimuHeadmaster Kabalimu

The late Mr. Kabalimu, Head of KARASECO
said he was busy but could talk with me after tea.

At tea we have thickly sliced bread and Blue Band butter. The Headmaster lifts the pot as we wash our hands under Its spout. We sit in a u shaped set of tables - the Americans at one end, the Tanzanians at the other. I don't like that, but do not feel I can be the one to sit with the Tanzanian men. I can, however, encourage the guys to. The TV is always on.

Jason and Ann stayed back today. Kaye advised Ann to do that and was slightly uncomfortable doing so. No need to fabricate work duties justnto be DOING.

KARUCO- Karagwe University College Site Visit

After tea, Mr Butoga, the Assistant Headmaster, invited us to ride to see the site for the proposed university. We were told it will be a university focused on Agriculture- KARUCO. The site is gorgeous. Panoramic - from the hill - later named Tower Point- we could see the 1,000 acres that would be KARUCO. Small trees dotted the landscape, smoke rising from little fires, a 360 degree panorama of rolling green hills. The hill stood over so much landscape. In every direction were rolling hills dotted with yellow dirt ovals and low- lying trees. The sky defined sky blue and was absolutely gorgeous. A boy shepherd followed us in his oversized tan-orange patent leather shoes. I asked if I could take his photo and said 'yes'. His young body and the beauty of Tanzania in the background were moving to me. Perhaps he would attend the university if it were built in time.

We looked at the scenery and talked how most people (over 90%!)(MISSING) in Karagwe are farmers living day to day on what they grow. The women especially work all day with little to show in return. Between working in the shambas and walking 4-7 km per day to fetch water, they have little time to develop their talents or invest in goals to better their future. They want tractors and new technology, new ways to bring crops to market, and new ways to care for Their livestock. If there were a university in the Karagwe District, its one million people would have a hub where young people could learn entrepreneurial skills related to Agriculture, and would not have to flee to urban
KARASECOKARASECOKARASECO

Karagwe Secondary School
areas in hope of opportunity. They would also have an alternative to early marriage (average age, 18). This is such a huge vision prompted by Bishop Bagonza and endorsed by the ELCT and leaders of Karagwe. Amazing.

We walked down the mountain (hill) and the Asst Headmaster sent George for the truck. He ran down and got the truck for us - not exactly sure why. Kaye and I were then invited by the Asst Headmaster to speak with him. Kaye declined. I was glad to be out of the heat and in his office. There learned about KARASECO - Karagwe Secondary School.

KARASECO NEEDS: KARASECO is adjacent to the KARUCO site, and will most likely be a feeder to the university. 600 students, 15 teachers, 25 support staff. Known for its academics and is one of the leading schools in the nation. Form I - VI. Courses include social services, and teaching students to preserve the environment. Tree planting, caring for cows and pigs, gardens, and coffee farms. They teach these to help students learn to make a living related to Agriculture and sustaining the environment in a conservation-minded way.

I asked what the greatest needs of the school are. The are: buildings including dorms, classrooms for A-level science, computer labs (currently mixed with the library), and professional development for teachers. KARASECO wants to teach keyboarding and get new books for the library. Then Mr. Butoga said he didn't know my views on men and women but that now the Tanzanian government requires that schools have both men and women. He went on a bit and asked how I felt about that. I said that it was a progressive move for the country that will have educational and economical impacts. He went on a bit and then said 'The government says we must have equal placements. If we have 20 boys, we must have 20 girls'. Before we concluded our time, he drew attention to the words I had written down and insisted he write out the full words for the abbreviations for bldg, lab, and sci.

Returned to the build site at KARASECO. Showed George and Vincent my family. Vincent asked for a picture of Steve and me so I gave him that later in the day. Andrew, Andre and Tom carried water on their heads. Tom was actually good at it. Andrew changed
KARUCO KARUCO KARUCO

Karagwe University College Site
his shirt and the local workers stopped hammering and stopped their shoveling to look. The guys and the local workers stomped on the dirt and packed the middle of the foundation. Kaye and I paid two masons and two helpers. One told Vincent that he should have gotten 1000 Tsh more because he trenched. He was right and we paid him his wages (equivalent to .80). I hand them the money and Kaye has them write their name that they received it. The science and Ag teachers stopped by and discussed the solar powered pasteurizer. The engineers explained how it worked. When asked, the teachers showed me the Ag curriculum. Its format for secondary was organized and explicit. It named tools such as a hoe and contained learning objectives that would teach regarding such implements.

Rode home in a cheerful mood. I cannot tell if the build is going according to design but from all outside appearances, it seems so. Kaye made George really laugh because she said she gets in the shower with her clothes on to wash her clothes. He nearly drove off the road he was laughing so hard. Got home and threw the football around with Jason, Ann, Andre, Kaye and some little kids. No water today for a shower. It was a really upbeat dinner with fishsticks, fries, and pineapple. Doesn't get much better than that. Everyone was really animated and recalled the great day. Showered and bed but the rest went to the bar.

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Take me to the Educate Tanzania website.

http://educatetanzania.org


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