Thursday, November 27, 2008

Well it has been quite awhile since i wrote a last blog. I cant say i appoligize though because Im having the time of my life and i hate technology anyways. so there ya go. today is thanksgiving and im sure thankful that there is a missionary family here because they had us volunteers over and we had some amazing food. i have kinda forgotten all the luxuries that i live without now but when i come to their house, i quickly remember. the ice in my drink, condiments in the fridge, and the toilet paper conviniently in reach. and right now im eating a sandwich of leftover turkey and there are PICKLES. i have a stack of kosher dills baby sitting next to me... i am very thankful.

Ok, now for my true thanks. I can say that being here in Africa for this election was very interesting. First, the only news station i consistantly get is Al Jazeera so you can make your own conclusions on that. When i recieved my absentee ballot in the mail everyone was interested in looking at it and would crack up laughing when they saw that i had voted for Obama. No matter where i went people were interested in talking to me about the election and it truely sparked some interesting questions. Questions about democracy and capitalism. Our civil rights history and why women have rights. I guess i have never had to explain our policies or defend our most basic rights before. So eventough us Americans are naturaly self-centered, materialistic, overindulgent, and careless people...we have rights. And for that point alone, I am thankful to be an American. And even moreso, I am thankful to be an American in Africa because this place is way cool.

And now I have two questions for all of you guys out there. Christina's 3rd grade class and I have started our World Wise School program together, which is pretty much just being pen-pals, and my class is a bit large. I have 28 students and she has 22 so I have 6 extra kids that need a pen-pal. I am wondering if anyone is interested in having their kids be a pen-pal. Any grade would be just fine. My kids have already written a letter and we started with the basics. I would like to eventually talk about their daily life and culture. Please let me know asap.

Question two. I have been spending a great deal of time playing and teaching the orphaned children in my town. They are the sweetest children in the world and they are just startving for affection and love. Im thankful that my service has brought me here so I can get to know these kids. Statistically, orphaned children are the most vulnerable and at risk of contracting HIV, being abused and exploited, and death at an early age. There is a man here that has taken 11 children into his home and he already has 3 boys. Five of the orphans are of school age yet they are not going because of funds. Although primary school is free, the cost of uniforms, shoes, and school supplies is just to overwhelming. The new school year starts in January and I am asking if anyone is interested in sponsoring a child. I have already contacted the primary school and they are all registered. So I will be sending them to school regardless but if anyone is interested in helping us out, please let me know. I am asking for the help of 40$ and that would cover the cost of uniforms and supplies for the entire school year. 40 bucks and a child goes to school. If anyone is interested please let me know.

Im so sick of typing, so im taking off. I love ya all and give me a call.

Monday, October 27, 2008


So, my pictures are online on If you wan to see them send me an email and Ill send you the link. thanks...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

So, Whats up all? hows life in the land of luxury? I feel like im caught in the movie " when the Jetsons meet the Flinstones." Its awesome tho. Im totally enjoying eachday and each moment.
I try to always remind myself how amazing each little moment is, however small it ma be. for example...My neighbors, a dad and 3 boys, are awesome. Two weeks ago the dad went to Kigoma, where they are from, and hasnt returned yet. The boys stayed here so they can go to school. Its incredible to me just how self-sufficient children are here. The other day a 7 year old started my jiko (small little "grill" thing that uses charcoal) for me because i could not. So i have been helping them out and watching out for them while their dad is gone. I took them to a small little restaurant in town and they had the biggest smiles on their faces the whole time. We had to wait a long time for the food and i was getting a bit bored. But then i reminded myself that although boring for me, they we incredibly happy. The just kept giggling and they must have drank like 8 sodas. Its the little things here that are so cool and if you forget to be present in each moment you could miss soo much.

So a while ago I heard of a pastor man here who has been collecting orphans on the street. A long time ago he tried to gather other pastor dudes together for their support but they all disagreed with his ideas. For the most part their parents have died of AIDS or have just abandoned them. The HIV stigma is so high that people just seem to turn their heads away from the problem. So he and his wife decided to take them in and together with their 3 children they support 14 children. So i went to his house and we sat in a room together to discuss his work and his future. He kept vision, my vision. he was so inspiring. I asked him about money and how he supports them all and he said he has a small farm that helps with food but mostly small donations from people. The room we were in was empty except for 3 beds that they take turns in every night. they have no money to send the children to school so one young woman comes each day to help teach. The classroom...completely empty except for 1 stool. I can hardly even discribe it to you now, so i know im not doing this justice. I was totally out of words (which we all know is hard for me) and it was very difficult to hold back my emotions. That night I was teary-eyed in bed thinking that right now there are 10 babies sleeping on a cold cement floor. Tonight when i go home I am going to translate "the wheels on the bus" into swahili because tomorow I am going to go spend the day with them. For right now, that is all i can do. Talk to ou all soon.

For those of you who havnt called/written letters/sent pictures...get on it!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Holy Crap...we're growing up

So coming here to Tanzania is by far the biggest, the coolest, and the hardest thing I have ever done. I have learned an incredible amount of stuff in just 3 months and am progessing each day. Eventhough Im having a great time here its hard to think about whats going on at home with out me. My little nephew just turned one. Kristin is workin hard on her bowling skills. Jim passed the licsw and dating. Meaghan passed her nursing test and is moving to Hartford. And the biggest news of all.......Jenna is gonna be a mom!!! Whats going on here.

This morning I was talking with my school principal about some of my ideas. Here in Katesh there really are no programs for kids/teens. Eachday after school they have nothing to do. The girls go home to work, boys roam the streets and hang out, and we all know what the teenagers are doing. My thoughts right now is to start afterschool programs for primary school kids. Eachday there will be art projects, music/dancing/ and of course sports. I also would like the students from the secondary school to work with me to run the programs. So while everyone at home is growing up, im gonna stay here and play kickball for a while...peace

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo

Forget Raffi and the zoo song, go to Ngorongoro Crater dude. Well from my last post you saw I was waiting on the word from PC staff. Well they let us go. I think today is wednesday which means I met those 2 teachers 1 week ago. Monday we hitched a ride to Haydom to meet their bus and the students were shocked that 2 white kids jumped on their bus. (i dont think the teachers told them!) So try to picture our old school field trips to Plymouth Plantation or something. A well organized, peaceful trip to see some boring stuff and eat sandwiches. Yum. well this is a bit different. The tiny bus us liscenced to hold 30 people. We had 48 total people on the "bus." Students were literally sitting on top of each other and perfectly happy to do so. We got to our hotel and the next morning woke up bright and early for the crater. What an unbelievable day!. Before I came here I knew I wanted to visit the crater. Then on the spur of the moment I was given and offer and took it. Some of those students have never left their region and I got to see so many firsts for them. So cool. The crater is scary as hell to go down and up, but well worht the near death experience. It was wonderful to see the kids eyes when then saw elephants, lions, flamingos.... amazing. We stopped at a picnic area, in the middle of the crater, to eat some bread and a monkey came running and stole a bag. That was awesome so I started laughing but soon realized that I was wrong. That was 1 of 2 meals we had that day. Today we went to Kilimanjaro Airport to see the planes and that was awesome to see the expresions on their faces to see planes taking off and such.

Its 1 in the morning here and im pretty tired and talking non sense, but its so cool to be here. The people you meet, things you see and the surprises around the corner. So crazy. Tonight i met this family from California who decided to pack up the kids and travel the world for 1 year. Im talking to them now while I use this crappy yet free computer. I dont know what Im talking about so im gonna end. Its time for bed. peace

Thursday, September 11, 2008


So Im so disapointed that I do not know how to put pics on this blog. I think I may just buy an account somewhere and post them there. Who knows, but I have alot!!!

So I can honestly say that my most favorite part of being here is the people you meet. In America I always say hello to strangers or initiate conversation with people but most people think that is wierd. And yes, I do agree that im a little off beat, but either way it is seen as a negative thing. Well, in Tanzania if you do not greet people as you pass, visit neighbors for no reason, or visit for dinner it is considered to be extremely rude. The other night Randy came into to town and we went out to dinner for some "kiti moto." It translates to "hot seat" but it is just pork. When we walked in we wanted to eat outside but I began to greet a young couple and they invited us to sit down. If we didnt sit, we would be rude "wazungu" so we sat with them and im so happy we did. They are a young married couple who are teachers at a nearby school and they are in town for grade reporting (right now students are taking national exams). We sat and talked with them for like 4 hours and we immidiately hit it off. They invited us on their school field trip to the Ngorongoro Crater next week. Well i am the kind of person who loves the spur of the moment decision to just get up and go with a crazy idea. I live for it. Right now I am trying to the get the approval of PC staff, cross your fingers for me.
What is so awesome is that if randy and i choose to sit outside we would not have met such interesting people. Here, when you greet someone it can go on for like 15 minutes (no lie). There are so many amazing people you get to meet, just like the old lady i mentioned in my last post. Living and working here is very difficult at times and volunteers naturally question their decision to come and continue. It is the expection of the people you will meet and the experiences you could gain that truely keep me going.
final thought: forget what mom said and SAY HELLO TO STRANGERS....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


so i just wasted about 2 hours of my life trying to figure out how to get pictures online. I should have done all of this in America. I still have no idea how to put them all up at once. I only managed about 20. sorry, they are all random. The picture of my arm is when I had bed bugs. One is of my homestay family. most are Mikumi and the ones at the end are my new house. Enjoy the choo picture!!! ill try again soon...