February 2024
« Dec    

Friday to Saturday

Louise is back in Songea in order to send an email to ask for funds for Nacoda, blog,  and perhaps to buy some more material to make into trousers. The price of material is much dearer than last year but it just means we will have to ask for a bit more for the finished garments.

Yesterday was really hectic and we took a variety of different forms of transport to get where we needed to be. First a very busy dala dala to Peramiho from Namanditi. In order to fit in it was necessary for Louise to stand leaning forward with her head over the driver and with her legs like a corkscrew and balancing on on foot. There was scarcely room to breathe. When we arrived in Peramiho 20 minutes later we had to wait for the pick up truck which has neither brakes not hand brake and a gear stick which lifts out. Despite the apparent need for what we might think essential parts it has instead been given a new coat of red paint which makes it look ‘brand new’.

With everyone holding on tight to whatever they could we set off in the back of the truck along the rough track road to Magima. When we arrived Alice took time to inspect the kilns and the new clay. Once two of the workers arrived they discussed making experimental tiles with different clay mixes and these are to be ready by the time Alice returns to Magima on Monday. Alice also got a chance to meet up with Nasibu and to arrange for him to visit us at Namanditi today.

We set off back along the track to Peramiho and Louise lost her cap as the truck was traveling fast and she was standing up looking at the view along the plain. Ntimba slowed the truck by gearing down and a boy came running having retrieved the cap. He was delighted to get a few hundred Tanzanian shillings for his trouble.

When we reached Peramiho we found a group of six very subdued children from the school there two of whom were to go back to the hospital for an injection and the others; Claud, Rose, Fidea and Baraka who had medicine needed taken home to the school. The sister stayed with the two Witness and Elize who needed further treatment and Valerie, Louise and Alice got back into the pick up truck with the four who were to go back to school to the bus stop in Peramiho.

While we were waiting Alice took off on a piki piki (motor bike) to find an old man in a nearby village who made huge spoons for making ugali. Valerie and Louise stayed with the children and managed to get them on the next dala dala. It was the usual squash and for most of the journey a large traditional shaped mama rested her very large heavy bag on Louise’s head. Fidea was sitting sleeping  in Louise’s lap and it is amazing how trusting the children are here that they allowed Valerie and Louise to escort them back to school safely. We had a moment of anxiety when a man put Baraka out of the window a stop early at the school when we were heading for the hostel but Valerie managed to get him back.

Soon after we arrived at the hostel Alice arrived proudly carrying her giant spoon and we all walked the children to the school. By this time it was dark so we took out torches. We arrived at the school to find the children being fed around the kitchen sitting outside on what was a warm evening.  There was the usual excitement on our arrival with the children wanting to sing songs and play with us. We didn’t stay long as we were all feeling tired after out travels and returned to the hostel to eat rice and aubergine stew and have an early night.

This morning we all slept in and decided to have an easier day. Valerie has started making her hats and has finished one for an example. Nasibu has arrived with Elize and so Alice plans to spend some time with him. Meanwhile Louise, Malaika and the teacher Julius have come to Songea to shop for food etc.  Alice and Louise also spent a short time at the school in the morning with Ntimba to see the bricks being made and to discuss the next building stage. 

Ntimba is keen to speed up the work and hopes to lay the foundations for the first purpose built dormitory. He is really impressed by Jonathan’s drawings and planfor the school layout and recognises the logic in keeping the buildings closer together.



1 comment to Friday to Saturday

  • Sharon

    Wow, lots of great stories and progress in a short time, it’s great reading about it, really beneficial to people who are interested and connected with Ruda. Look forward to seeing photographs too. Take care…Sharon x

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