We realized that we haven’t communicated what we have actually been up to lately, so we’ll give you a brief overview.
We are continuing to visit the 11 day centers that BCC has in 8 parishes. We have been told that “when you’ve seen one center, you’ve seen one center.” We just finished visiting our eighth center and we could not agree more. It is very interesting to see how different each center is based on location, size of the building provided, and the number of children who attend. The last center we visited is managed by a woman with incredible enthusiasm. She and the children had a song for every activity they did. The children beamed with smiles and clapped along as they all sang along. It was great to see all the children having so much fun through music! Below you will find a few photos from this center.
Along with Deacon Kaaya, the director of the Building a Caring Community (BCC) project, and Barb and Rich Carman, we just completed a three-year strategic plan for BCC. The plan is hopeful and full of activity for all of us! There is a component that advocates for children with disabilities to be served in public schools, a plan for an alternative health insurance plan funded through BCC for the children, and plans for building a social business that will be located in each of the 11 day centers.
Electricity is proving to be sporadic and irregular at best. There truly is not a pattern for the power outages, but thankfully we rarely go more than 12 hours at a time with no power. The electricity has not been a major problem, but it is a major reason we have not been able to communicate with our families and friends as often as we would like.
It has not been all work, introductions, and strategic planning! Last weekend, we visited a Mt. Kilimanjaro base camp where people prepare to hike up the mountain. While we were there, Jesse, our friend and regular safari guide, took us to a representation of an old Chagga village. The Chagga people were a native tribe who lived on the mountain side. It was a great history lesson! We will have a full blog post about our experience at the Chagga village either later this week or early next week!
John has been practicing driving the Land Rover on the left side of the road with a stick shift. He says that driving on the left side of the road is not that difficult as long as you remember which way to look first at an intersection. Considering the manual transmission, left handed stick shift, driving on the opposite side of the road, round-abouts, bicycles, people walking on the highway, and general lack of rules for vehicles, general consensus is that he is driving fairly well!
We’ll continue with periodic updates – electricity permitting! Please let us know if you have specific questions and we’ll be sure to answer them! We have so much to share, but we’ll spread it out over time so that you don’t have to read a novel today!