Monday, January 16, 2012

Almost Fenced!

Monday, January 16, 2012

We awoke this morning to a special treat: letters of encouragement from our penpals at Happy Hollow Elementary School in West Lafayette, Indiana!  The sixth-grade students in Miss Anderson’s (Shawny’s sister’s) class had written individualized notes to each of us that included inspirational quotes and words of encouragement to boost our spirits partway through our trip. 

We sat around the breakfast table and read some of them out loud, sharing the quotes that they selected and discussing why they might have picked them.  The video crew from yesterday had already done a shoutout to both Happy Hollow and Southwestern Elementary so their timing was impeccable.  We are happy and proud that these two sets of Indiana elementary students are following our travels and we hope that someday some of them will do service work in Africa and remember their time with our blog as we chronicled our work in Tanzania. 

Speaking of our work in Tanzania, we got to show off our progress at the schoolhouse today to Thomas (the owner of our camp) and to the pastor of the church with which the school is affiliated.  They were both very pleased with the brightness and cheeriness of the school and expressed their hopes that it would soon be full of students.  The priest blessed the school and us, thanking us for our work there. 

We headed back to camp for lunch, then waited for word that the posts had arrived.  The news came in the form of a huge truck pulling up to our gate, with the driver letting us know that all of our remaining materials were in the truck, including the posts, the chainlink, the wire cable that holds it in place and the barbed wire that will be placed on top.  He offered us all a ride to the worksite in the truck and we took him up on the offer.  We must have forgotten what a bumpy road leads to the spring, as we were bouncing around everywhere on the ride.  We survived it (laughing really hard the whole time) and finally got to install all but the last four posts.  Some of us also started stretching the chainlink itself and connecting it to the already-set posts from last week.  It is a slow job but we should have no trouble completing it before we leave Marangu at the end of the week. 

We won’t be at the fence site tomorrow, as we are heading to the school that we mentioned in a previous post.  There we will install the solar-powered water purifier that we brought with us from the U.S.  It is the same kind that we installed in Haiti last summer in three different places so we hope that our three veteran installers will be able to make quick work of the job. 

Tonight we are dealing with our first substantial rainfall of the whole trip.  We made it home from the worksite and the rain started soon after we arrived.  Our tents are holding up pretty well, though we have a few leaks, some of which are evidence of poor set-up technique and some of which are not.  We think we will survive.

Tune in tomorrow as we attempt to perform a water miracle at the school in Himo!


Oh no!  Many of these pictures are from the wrong day but it is too hard to move them.  Sorry.  Enjoy the preview of pics that go with the text from tomorrow's post.

A student's notebook at the school in Himo.

Everyone lined up to get water.


Kids waiting for lunch

The Sisters had the first drink of the filtered water.  

Our friend Samuel

Pull my finger

Josh glam shot

The school under desert skies

Wilson.  Period. 


  1. Sounds like everything is moving along just as planned (or hoped) - I love reading about the progress you are making with all the projects you have undertaken. How blessed are you and those you have supported. I miss each and everyone of you here at Saint Mary's but send lots of strength to finish your projects and enjoy the safari! Renee

  2. Hurray for the delivery of the supplies! It is so great to hear that everything is moving along and that you have all the resources you need to get this incredible job completed! Wishing you all the best of luck (and a little bit of patience) tomorrow, in the set up of the water purification system. It is a totally miraculous and memorable event once that thing is up and running! Keep up the amazing work and enjoy every single second. Lots of love and support have been sent your way.