Still More Notes From The Field…
Since my last newsletter, I have been to Mbeya, Tukuyu and Dar es Salaam.
I travelled by bus directly to Mbeya and continued to Tukuyu, which is close to the Malawi border. At the Tukuyu School of Nursing I delivered some items that had been donated by the Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing—educational materials, blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes.
I enjoyed meeting the sponsored students, particularly those who are graduating at the end of March—they were all smiles, grateful for their sponsorship and each looking forward to a career as a registered nurse (assuming they passed the national examination).
- The farm: (usually 1-2 acres), what is raised, what is sold and how is it sold. Typically, peasant families sell small quantities of produce by the roadside for money to cover clothing, school fees and other needs.
- The family: frequently many children, we try to focus on students who do not have older siblings who are working.
- The home: number of rooms, concrete floor or dirt floor, composition of the walls (mud bricks, baked bricks or woven branches filled with mud), and the composition of the roof (corrugated metal or dried grasses)
- School fees: how secondary school fees were paid for both the student and their siblings. We talk about which of their siblings were selected for education and which never went to school or only went through primary school.
I held a dinner for the sponsored students from both Tukuyu and Mbeya at the place I stayed at in Tukuyu. No surprise – chicken and french fries and soda. I arranged for the four sponsored Mbeya students to travel to Tukuyu and stay in the student dormitory overnight. Including the four students from Mbeya, we had twenty-six students plus a principal at the dinner! I had door prizes (medical dictionaries, flash drives and T-shirts) and an assortment of scarves from which each student could make a selection.
Following these events, two of the students read a letter of appreciation for their sponsorship.
Finally, a group photo with twenty-six students and Nolasca Mtega, principal:
Next is my visit to Dar es Salaam and return to Moshi. This will be the subject of my next letter.
Thank you again for your support of the sponsored students.