January 2020
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Only a Few days before we leave

So much is going on just now it has been difficult to get organised for the trip to Tanzania but I have finished work at college for the moment and now have three free days to get sorted. Alice unfortunately is moving house again and she will be extremely busy all weekend trying to get settled in before we leave all early on Thursday morning. I have my big suitcase ready to pack but have still to decide what clothes I will take. I want to make sure I leave room for some extra things that our friends will find useful.  I am taking a borrowed Video recorder again even though I haven’t been able to do much with the  film  I  took last year and I will pack my digital camera to get up to date pictures of the school and to take photos of children who are looking for sponsors. 

I phoned the Millinga family in Peramiho using skype to explain that there will now be six of us coming to visit. Alice’s friend Lorna has another two friends, Gillian and Wendy, who will be flying to Tanzania on the same day and they also want to spend some time at Peramiho and help with the projects.  Gillian is an accountant so I have asked her to bring some ledgers and hope she will be able to teach the people at Magima and Namanditi how to use them to keep detailed accounts for the Magima tile business and for the school. Ralph is keen that we try a get a group together to start up a coal business so we will also try and make progress with that while we are there.

 When I spoke to Ntimba he asked if we could bring over a football for a small group of lads who are keen to start a team – the world cup fever has apparently reached as far as Songea. I managed to get a football from a sports shop yesterday which  the sales person assured me will be able to cope with rough ground and a pump since apparently if you don’t deflate it, the ball will swell up and burst when you take it on the plane , having it flat also means it can more easily be put in a suitcase.

With only a few days to go I have to confess I have done very little work on my Swahili. The weather has been so warm and sunny in Dundee that I have been getting my garden tidied instead of sitting at the computer studying . Fortunately for me the Millinga family speak excellent english but I had hoped to learn a little more Swahili so that I could talk with the children I meet -I will take my phrase book with me and try to swot on the plane

 The school furniture and computers are still at the farm – we have completed almost all the packing but we have not been able to orgainise all the correct paperwork –  it will have to wait until we get back before we can send it off in a container. It is essential that the paperwork is all done very carefully if we want to ensure that it gets through customs at Dar es Salaam without any difficulty, so there was little merit in sending it off in a rush.

We will try to keep this blog going when we are in Tanzania. It should be possible when we are in Dar es Salaam but it gets much harder to find access once we have travelled to Peraniho in the South. We did find a place in the nearby town of Songea last year but the machines were antiques and it took nearly an hour just to get into the website – so it won’t be easy.

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