All of the children came home from secondary schools for Easter, so we had 20 children, 4 staff, and us; 26 people in all. Kulwa did a great job planning and shopping for all of the additional people to feed. We now have kids from 2 years old to 18 years old.
As a result of drinking water that is not filtered at some secondary schools we had several children who came home sick. First Ziada, had a fever over 103 and was not improving so we took her to the Kipengere clinic. They found that she had typhoid and a urinary tract infection. We got all her medications and began treatment.
The next day, Eliza was sick and had a temperature of over 102 so we took her to the Kipengere clinic. They found she had typhoid and a urinary tract infection also. We got the medications and began her treatment.
A couple of days later, Nickson was sick with a sore throat and fever. He has had a problem with his tonsils in the past so we took him to the Kipengere clinic and he was diagnosed with tonsillitis and prescribed medications.
The Kipengere clinic is about 27 kilometers from Sunrise on a very rough dirt road. It takes us about 45 minutes to an hour to get there. All 3 of the children were fever free and doing well when we sent them back to their schools.
Our boys are like most young teenage boys – they love to mow the grass.
To Town for Lunch
Having 12 secondary school students is a new thing for Sunrise. It means a lot of time preparing for school, shopping, paying school bills, and ensuring everything is going well at the schools. As a result we hadn’t been able to spend as much real “quality “with our primary (elementary) school age children.
So, once all our secondary students went back to school we decided to do something special for them. First we took Sesi (Sunshine), Atu (Giggles), and Halima (Doodle Bug) to Njombe for lunch and to shop for a jacket. We did not say “new” jackets because there are very few new clothes or shoes here to buy. Almost everything is used donations that people sell in their dukas (stores). We had a great time with the girls that day and we know that it made them feel very special.
Later in the month we took Yona (Mr. Green Thumb Preacher Man) and Lukemelo (Fine Fellow) to town for their special day out. We ate lunch and they each bought a piece of clothing. Then we took them to the Hillside Hotel. We went there to show them their beautiful flowers! Yona is Mr. Green Thumb and can’t get enough of flowers! Both of the boys enjoyed the beautiful landscaping. Yona didn’t say much while we were looking, but as we drove away he said, “Baba and Mama, can we go back there?”
God has favorites! Each one of us is His favorite! He does not practice favoritism and the Bible speaks strongly against favoritism.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
We are doing our best to be like our heavenly Father with the children. We teach them that Love is not something that you divide up between people, but that we can give all of our love to as many people as we want. We love all of our Sunrise children and staff with ALL of our love!
The Long, Long Ride
In the middle of April, it was time to take Irene to the ophthalmologist in Dar es Salaam to have her eye evaluated. During this trip we also planned to submit for our passport renewals and check on the status of our Sunrise Trust paper work that we had submitted almost a year before to change trustees and update documents.
The drive was long – very long! It took 16 hours of driving to travel 733 kilometers (455 miles). Why so long? There are many detours, and 50 kilometer (about 30 mph) speed zones as well as the most exciting part of the trip – 50 slow kilometers through Mikumi National Park. We saw elephants, wart hogs, zebras, impala, lots of giraffe, and even more monkeys. When it got dark the driving became rather precarious. Many trucks and motorcycles do not have lights so you have to be very careful.
Once in Dar Irene’s appointment went well. The doctors and staff were wonderful. They said that they think they can help her, gave us one month of eye drops, and told us to come back in two months.
Then we turned in all of our paperwork and were told that they would be ready for pick up in 10 to 14 days and that we had to pick them up in person.
Our final business was with the Trust office. We had been there a year before and turned in many documents required to update the Trust. Fees and fines had to be paid first then all the paperwork was reviewed and turned in. This time, when we went to the office the lady who had helped us was nowhere in sight. This could be difficult. We remembered her name was Faith and we were directed to another office where we found her. She recognized us and went to look for our files. We were a little skeptical because in the past we had called and texted the office numerous times with no response. After going in and out a couple of times, Faith told us that she could not find our paperwork. What? A year later and they don’t know where our paperwork is. It is at times like this that we are glad that we are normally extreme in our making and keeping copies of everything. We pulled out our copies, she looked at them, copied them, and completed all the paperwork on the spot. Success!
We made one more important discovery while in Dar. Irene loves ice cream!! You may think, of course all kids love ice cream (or at least like it a lot). This is not true here in Tanzania as kids who live in villages very seldom, if ever, have anything cold to eat or drink. In the past, we did get ice cream one time for all of our Sunrise children and the response was varied. Some did not like it, some tried to like it, but couldn’t, and a few liked it.
Milk – Hot or Cold
We have a cow, Lucky, that provides us with milk. But for our kids and staff, the milk must be hot with sugar or they won’t drink it. Why? Villagers don’t have refrigerators and they normally have to pasteurize their own milk before drinking it. So, hot milk is the norm and cold milk is weird. Irene and Janeth are being raised to like both
TANESCO, Solar, and the Generator
As we have referred to, since January our Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) is still down. We have lived off of our Solar pretty well, running our generator once in a while. Then while we were taking Irene to the ophthalmologist in Dar our solar took a lightning strike. After troubleshooting it was clear that our inverter was not working. The inverter converts the DC power from the solar batteries to AC making it useable to power Sunrise.
We unbolted and wrapped the 75 pound unit and took it to Njombe to take a “bus ride” to Dar es Salaam to be repaired. We will give you the rest of the story on the inverter next month.
Now we had to completely depend on our generator. This is a small Honda generator but it is doing well. We are running it about 6 hours a day so we are having to change the oil about once a week.