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Published: February 28th 2013
Greetings From Educate Tanzania
Jan B. Hansen, Pres/CEO says "Hello"
The Groundbreaking Program
was begun when Bishop Benson Bagonza
welcomed and introduced the honored guests. After more welcomes and thanks, the speeches began. I had braced myself for this part so that I could sit patiently and listen to the four speeches before mine, and the two after, and perhaps a few more if conditions were ‘right’. The first four speeches seemed motivating and lively although I had to rely on Brighton's 'real time' translation for the actual content (I really must get better at Swahili)!
The Vice Chancellor from Tumaini
finished and then it was my turn. I went to the podium- with a small frontal cloth. I arranged my notes and saw that Brighton had joined me to translate. ETI board member, Gracious Msuya
had translated my speech and helped me practice Swahili. But given my exhaustion, I agreed to have an interpreter and deliver it in English instead. I looked out and took in the site of people encircling the area- all gathered to break ground for KARUCO. Governmental dignitaries, commissioners, a member of Parliament, the American Consul to Tanzania, bishops, professors, church people, students, church leaders, educators, parents, neighbors - young and old, all here
to celebrate KARUCO. Hope was visible and palpable.
Brighton began with my requested apology for speaking in English and explained that I am just learning to speak Swahili. I then began with the usual--addressing the honored guests and thanking them for inviting me to the groundbreaking. I greeted everyone on behalf of the board of directors of Educate Tanzania and especially from my husband, Steve. Everyone laughed when Brighton translated so he leaned over and said, 'everyone is laughing because I said 'my husband Steve'. Then I laughed. I went on to share with Brighton translating.
I shared that this groundbreaking is a joyous event that we will remember for the rest of our lives because today is the day that KARUCO moves from a hope in people's minds to becoming a reality that we can see with our own eyes. KARUCO is like an infant child that is born and that today we see it take its first step. I told how I came to Karagwe in 2008 and had four hours to decide to come; I shared how I fell in love with the people (applause), how I was introduced to Bishop Bagonza’s concept
paper for KARUCO, and how I helped Bweranyange Girls School get its first curriculum. The audience liked it when I said that I returned with my husband Steve in 2010 and visited farms and other towns in Karagwe and revisited the concept of KARUCO. I told them that when the bishop invited Steve and me to be ambassadors for KARUCO, we said 'yes'.
I shared a bit about the history of ETI and how we are working very hard to help build KARUCO. Several times during my speech, there was spontaneous applause.
Near the end, I presented the "touchstones".
Scroll down for more photos of the KARUCO Groundbreaking.
Take me to the Educate Tanzania website: http://educatetanzania.org
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