February 2009

I have good and bad news.  Actually, not so bad but just more problems in getting started on the orphanage

The good news first!


After completion two years ago, the dispensary, that many of you donated to, is receiving a medical assistant (clinical officer) on February 15th.  This is an answer to prayer.  We have this beautiful dispensary with two delivery tables and four beds, ten rooms, two showers and two pit latrines that flush  but no “doctor”.  Of course, I never expected to receive a “real” doctor but someone with more medical experience that our two midwives who have been running the dispensary.

I am sure he will be disappointed when he finds out there are no laboratory instruments including no microscope.   In fact, there is very little of anything in the line of medical supplies/instruments/etc.  Suturing, medications, some vaccines and bandages are most of what is available.  Anyone know where we could get a microscope?

The nice feature is that as soon as I receive the dental probes, a “dentist” from a nearby village will come to the dispensary one day a week to pull teeth.   (Did you know there is not a place in all of Tanzania where one can get a crown?  Not even in Dar.  All they do here is pull teeth, no fillings or repair work of any kind in our surrounding villages.)

Richard arrives in two weeks and has texted me several times.  We are both excited about meeting each other. What makes the situation even more wonderful is the fact his wife is a teacher,  and she will start teaching at our primary school  in April.  Hooray!   One goal down and many to go.


While I was home those 10 months in 2008, I had Dr. Tom Wallace from Hot Spring, Ar. check my eyes.  To my surprise, he informed me of his missionary work in Kenya.  So, he taught me to check eyes for reading glasses only, gave me the proper instruments to use  and sent me 130 pairs of different strengths.  To date, I have fit 30 people with reading glasses and many more to go.  I only do this on Tuesday mornings for two hours.

This has been an interesting experience for me.  I see some older villagers with very ripe cataracts.  I would just like to rip them off, but I know that surgery is needed and will not happen.  I have had young and old visit my “eye clinic” and some interesting results.  One man was so pleased with his glasses, he offered to make me some of his home made” brew”.  Another lady last week with AIDS came escorted by her husband.  The disease has affected her eyes badly.  She had surgery on one eye , but the doctor made a mistake and operated on her good eye.  So sad.


We have all the sand that is needed for cement work.  The tractor has made 17 trips (7 k. one way) to the forest for gathering large rocks for the foundation.  Then the tractor broke down.  We still need 13 more trips to meet the necessary amount of rocks and stones.  (Note new pictures of site, 40,000 bricks, 14 loads of sand and many piles of rocks.)

The bad news is that we were planning on the Anglican Church to allow us to use their TIN to obtain the 1,000 bags of cement tax free, but from the time we received their OK until now ,  all staff changed including the Bishop .  The new Bishop, being uncertain about things,  said “no”.  We have the Proforma Invoices for both cement and tin for the roofing.  Getting those was not easy .  We traveled from Mbeya to Dar but will save thousands of shillings by excluding  the VAT charges (sales taxes). Now we are in the process of forming an NGO (non-government organization) which will give us the permit for tax free….another delay, but hope it is not a long one.  One of the committee members in Njombe has worked on orphanages before and is in the process of forming the NGO.  Everything takes time here.


Contributions  to  the orphanage continue to come to Praecavemus Foundation in California.  Of course, not like they were at one time, but every dollar helps.

As always, I appreciate all of your support and prayers.

Thank you!  (Asante sana!)


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