One week in and our report from the guides is that “our climbers are well-trained and perfect in reaching their goal”. They begin their final torch-carrying ascent tonight at midnight in order to summit at sunrise tomorrow. We look forward to their return and story-telling.
Sewing Day with the Acorn Women’s group on Saturday. Our group of 15 women and one young man gathered in the morning to join in sharing their dreams, goals and visions. The sewing machines and supplies that traveled half-way around the world were received with delight and exuberance. Items they have made in the past 3 months made it appear they have been sewing day and night, which demonstrates their passion and commitment.
Climbing the red clay hill, with all supplies being carried to another home with electricity for sewing lessons; their anticipation carried us all up the steep hill–although they seem to need no help, while we carry nothing. When weary, they would take our hands and sing us up the hill. Their joy and incredible skill in picking up how to use the machines when language is a barrier, was awe inspiring. While Chris and Sandy could not learn how to use the buttonholer, we realized they did not know what a button hole is. We all laughed.
A visit to the Borehole and viewing the power supply building with the electric wires attached, brought tears to our eyes–this an important step of progress. We saw the trench that over 3,000 people shared in digging. At the other end, where the receiving reservoir sits, we realize the magnitude of this one mile that has been named Unity Path. This is truly an amazing feat.
Sunday morning; church bells call us to 7am Mass. Over 400 Africans climbing the hills come from every direction for worship; their faith one of their greatest strengths. Incredibly beautiful voices and drumming filled the large Sanctuary, as well as our hearts. Packed shoulder to shoulder, every pew filled with standing room only was a demonstration of that faith. Called forward by the priest at the end of the service, we once again were welcomed with open arms and smiling faces. We get to share this experience again next Sunday.
A visit Monday morning to Kishimundu Secondary School brought yet another welcome by 200 students ages 14-18, in full uniform with song, dance and a singing of the Tanzanian National Anthem as well as their school song. Classrooms, dormitories and beautifully groomed landscaping were on our morning tour. Actually sitting in the classroom, we were able to view teachers in action. School Director, James Kiwara sits on the Uru East Water Board and is an active community leader. Another drive down the hill by our hostess and ICBD liaison, Florentina Masawe brings us back to Moshi.
While communications issues with computer, telephones and internet continue to be a challenge, we believe every day it will be different and so we are trying to find the humor in it all. So long for now, until tomorrow. . .hopefully.