Even as we write to you about the lives of those here in Tanzania we are joining in with so many of you who are praying for the thousands in desperation after the typhoon in the Phillipines. It is hard to consider all these things at the same time!
But…. Today has been a good, good day at Shewa.
After a ride, much like a roller-coaster over a very bumpy, rutted road we arrived at Ivumwe Primary School to be greeted by what seemed like hundreds of children in their blue school uniforms. They cheered and ran alongside and behind the two Grassroots vehicles.
As we emerged from the mini-bus there were so many beautiful faces smiling at us. The children all wanted to touch us as we walked to the classroom we were to use for the interviews. There were so many hands to shake as we gave the greeting “Habari”.
Having arranged the room, with benches paired facing each other, the photo area selected and the height and weight equipment set up, the interviewing began.
Time flew by with conversations flowing between the teams, the carers and children as we gleaned vital information about the children’s welfare and development since their last interview. Many of the children have been affected by HIV and therefore need extra nutrition and medical care. It is very important that we find out what the conditions are that these children live in.
At one point the skies darkened with drenching rain falling on the iron roof making it slightly more difficult to hear each other. The upside of the rain was that the choking dust was tamed.
We interviewed, photographed and measured well over 200 children at Shewa today.
One of the children amused us by saying his responsibility at home was to help his mother by washing his body. He also likes vegetables, a most unusual response, I thought. One child who claimed to be 1st in his class of 80 children aspires to becoming a Padre.
Some interviews took place with three way translation: English to Swahili to local tribal language.
We thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.
June and the Mbeya Nov 13 team
PS: If you have seen the Grassroots Tanzania latest video there is a part when Sharon is holding a small child and feeding him – filmed in July 2013. The child is four years old but due to malnutrition is very small and looks the size of an 18 month old. The news is that the little boy is receiving extra food and has gained weight. He still needs extra care and attention due to his sad beginning but we are hopeful.