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Published: January 18th 2013
Short break during a long week
Rebecca's face look disappointed when Kaye told her last night we would need breakfast at 7:00. Normal breakfast then George and Vincent came early. Arrived on site at KARASECO and aggregate was not delivered yet. Watched the workers compact the soil. Ann shoveled sand while the hired local workers stood by. This must have been quite a sight for them. On the one hand we have a new picture of female work, and on the other we have a challenge to control. Half the school is now watching - ok- maybe the whole school. Some are in uniform. Kaye and George go into town to purchase aggregate. The engineering students and I sat under a tree and discussed tanks, pumps, the solar build, the project and life in general. Andrew started a reflection time and it was sweet. He threw a bottle to each person and said a nice comment. All participated in giving comments. It was good to affirm each person's traits that made them a special part of the team. I was told that I listen well, have genuine connections with the local Tanzanians and the team of engineers, are just what the team needed to keep on track,
and that I am the calm, stable force that the team needed. Well that felt good. KARASECO - Pasteurizer Build
The build appears to be going as planned. Glitches occur every day with supplies but seem to be handled ok. Engineering students seem upbeat and positive about how things are going. My observations have more to do with interactions and context than the actual technology they are installing. Students Juanita (Form IV) and Selma (Form II) came to get us for tea. We were scheduled to talk Mr. Kabalimu after tea but something had detained him and we did not meet. I became obvious that we were keeping the assistant administrator from his duties so we excused ourselves and returned to the build site. The rocks had arrived. The crew started making concrete and filling in the foundation. Ann wanted to be involved so lifted the pans of rocks - trying hard. I chose to leave that task to those who did it for a living and had done it a million times. Mr. Kabalimu came to meet with us and as it rained, we discussed KARASECO under the tree. He reminded us of the solid reputation of
Sharing a Syllabus
You can't stop teachers from sharing classroom stuff
the school, the recent decision to go co-ed, the focus on academics, the teachers, support from the ELCT, etc. It was good to talk with him. Meanwhile the crew 'poured it on' and finished the foundation - this made Vincent, the site coordinator very happy. The crew cleaned up. Kaye and I paid the 2 masons and 2 helpers in our office (behind the truck). Enroute to Kayanga, we picked up Sister Regina, a nurse for the ELCT. She had put in a long day visiting families with illnesses and needs, and appreciated the ride. The things we take for granted, especially moving from point A to point B at a whim, cannot be taken for granted here. A significant portion of each person's day is the time it takes to get from one place to another. Got back to the hotel, donned a skirt and headed into town with Kaye and Andre. Ordering Dresses - Comedy Central
Kaye and I visited 3 shops to order a skirt. 1st - pre-made skirts; 2nd - fabrics but no seamstress; 3rd - had it all. We had an absolute blast ordering our dresses. It would not have been possible to
fit one more woman in the shop while we ordered. Our hand signals, everyone talking and trying to help in different languages, and our laughing and pointing drew people in from outside. We were leaning into people we never met and laughing together. At one point after we had somehow ordered a dress, the shop owner said, "Name?" to which Kaye responded "I'm Kaye". The owner repeated "IMEKAY". We laughed some more and somehow got the ordered straightened out. We would owe $19. for the dress and could pick it up in two days. Laughter and music - universal languages. Loved it. Returned and played cards with the guys at the hotel. KARUCO VISION
The Bishop came and talked with us. What an amazing man. He shared with us more about his vision for KARUCO - Karagwe University College, and told us that he would share his vision with President Kikwete
when he would come to Kayanga next week. (Note: President Kikwete received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of St. Thomas
in 2006.) I appreciate the strong connections
that the bishop maintains around the world. His conversation is dotted with references to people who are
Discussing KARASECO with the late Mr. Kabalimu
interested in Karagwe for a variety of reasons - some through the church, others through business or academia, some through specific intiatives having to do with water, infrastructure or social services. We talked of economic development, building capacity for the communities of Karagwe, and what it might take to create a university focused on Agriculture and sustainability. The bishop shared that his dissertation through the University of Chicago
was on economic development through agricultural development and sustainability.
It was important to me to share with the bishop that I believed the vision would work and would become reality. It would be a mighty challenge but there appeared to be sufficient formal support for the vision having been approved by the ELCT in 2006; sufficient vision and leadership around that vision (the Bishop and his Management team); sufficient grassroots support for the vision (the people of Karagwe wanted this to happen); sufficient land; and some identified ways to support the college financially. Economic feasibility would need to be assessed and how to actually begin would need to be determined. But having been part of several 'start-ups' of education centers I could see this had the elements to work. I am not sure my single view prompted any new optimism but am still glad I shared. I can just see what this vision carried out can mean for the people of Karagwe.
Rebecca served us supper - always good to see her and interact. We look forward to a time when she can dine with us. She resists now but says she will before we leave. Returned to room - no water so skipped a shower. Glad I did since Steve phoned. Our sons, Jordan and Erik are well. Well that's all that matters. Showered and nighty night.
***************** Take me to the Educate Tanzania website.
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