Archive for the ‘food supplies’ Category
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Two nights ago we spoke on the telephone with our H4C partner in Sakila, Tanzania. We have known each other for twenty-two years. We have visited Tanzania and toured the educational, medical, and water sourcing projects there more than that many times. We have stood by our African friends during times when there was rain and during times when there was no rain. Now they find themselves in one of those times of “no rain.”
We asked questions about water shortage, the severe drought affecting the Horn of Africa, and water rationing. These are the answers. “We give two gallons of water to each family per day due to the shortage of water in the whole country. We do not know how long the shortage will last but we will say until it rains which may be in October or earlier. We have lost all beans (crop), and half of corn…we will need about 200 bags of corn and 150 bags of beans. We will need about $20,000 to buy diesel, beans, and corn.”
“Hakuna Maji…Hakuna Umeme” translates from Swahili to English as “No Water…No Power” and the connection is that electricity in Tanzania is driven by government owned Hydro-Electric Plants.
One nation separates Tanzania from the miserable suffering in Somalia. That neighboring nation is Kenya to the North. It is too late for the hoped for arrival of rain to ease the affects of the drought this year. Funds are needed now!
Hope For Change International is setting up a fund, “Food in the Famine”, to be sent to the Horn of Africa. Visit our web site www.H4Cinternational.org to learn how to donate. Click on the FOOD DONATIONS button if you do not see the “Food in the Famine” section yet. Every $$$ will make a difference. All donations will go completely and directly to meet the needs of East Africans.
Well, this picture of an avocado tree will have to do until our African traveler sends me the “actual” image of the avocados that he has to dodge while he ambles along the village paths. ”You have to be careful when you walk under the trees because avocados are falling from trees and will hit you on the head.” Do you think this image is big enough? As I look at it, I feel like ducking under so an avocado doesn’t fall on my head! James has not been on the Internet or our blog publisher, WordPress, long enough to send “his” picture to me. But ~ it might be coming in the next few days and then I will replace this image ~ or maybe NOT!
Here’s some very good news ~ the well-driller from Gillette, Wyoming, whose real name is Trusty, arrived on June 26th (or thereabouts) in Sakila, Tanzania. Trusty’s plan is to drill twenty or twenty-five new wells within the two weeks of his stay. Factors such as drilling in the right spot and breaking of equipment will limit the number. James tells us that, “Each village is very joyful when they see the well-drilling rig come to town.” Here’s the bad news: Trusty and his trained African crew are up and out drilling wells but they are not having success. Despite digging deep in two spots they have not found water. This is disconcerting and has praying people doing just that ~ praying that they will find water.
Here are some other facts:
1) Three containers arrived with food, medicine, drilling supplies, educational materials, building materials, clothing, etc…
2) Elementary school registration begins this week; additional sponsors are needed or the number of students will be cut back.
3) The orphanage has had its needs met.
4) There has been good rainfall so that the corn crop is going to be good!
Our Hope for Change African partner, Eliudi Issangya, sends his smiling “thank you” to everyone who has contributed to the ongoing projects that supply water, medical care, educational opportunities, and trade training to the people of Arusha Region. In a future blog update we will tell you the state of affairs of “New Hope International Hospital”.
There’s another picture that James has to send me ~ when he delivers those pencils to the students of the elementary schools in Sakila and Arusha.
Please visit our web site www.H4Cinternational.org and also send us your comments ~ we’ll be happy to hear from you. ~ Sarah
The countdown until James’ departure for Africa on June 16, 2010 has come and gone a week ago. Earlier today, Wednesday, June 23rd, we spoke using his Motorola phone with a SIM card. James is adjusted to the environment in Sakila Village, Tanzania. As his wife, I was relieved to hear that!
Since his arrival, there has not been electricity in the village, or more accurately, the supply has been intermittent. James does not forsee having electricity to power his lap top or the Internet until next week. In light of that I will post these “send-off” pictures in the meantime.
When I spoke to our African H4C partner, Eliudi Issangya, this morning he was exhuberant when declaring that, “James had arrived safe and sound. ” Eliudi will host James during the visit without the help of his wife, Mama Helen, who died on February 2, 2010. She will be missed greatly.
On a personal note, I am writing a daily journal of “life at home” while James is in Africa. We’ve never taken the time to count the exact number of trips he’s made and the number of our goodbyes. The estimate of twenty-one or so has served to make the point that he has gone there a lot. On “Day 3″, which was last Friday, I pulled out James’ old U.S. Passport and attempted to count the Tanzanian, South African, Mozambique-ian (heh-heh), and Kenyan visas stamped on the pages. I wasn’t able to do it which was daunting for me since I love to count things. Anyway, he’s been using his new passport since the trips in 2003 so I would only have half the number anyway.
Here’s a shout-out of “thanks” to our H4C Philippines Director, Paul Grimsland. Paul drove James to JFK on June 16th and there’s a good possibility that he will be making the trip down to JFK again when James returns. Don’t tell Paul I said that though.
Paul is punctual and reliable and a good friend who’s heart burns for doing what he can to provide educational opportunities for impoverished youth through our child sponsorship programs. I can tell you that Paul loves these kids! By way of making that point, read some of his MBELE! blogs posted earlier in the year. (See the archive box up above to the right.) Another tremendous friend, Vinnie Smith, has altered his work schedule many times in order to transport James to and from airports. Wow, personal drivers sure make the difference in getting started from home and getting back to home.
This backpack in the picture above holds a lot of pencils, more than one thousand, and a lot of caring by the students of Radnor High School which is located west of Philadelphia in the great state of Pennsylvania. I plan on writing a blog titled, ”The Journey of the Pencils”, to tell the entire fascinating story once James sends me a picture of the recipients in Africa. However, this will be the first “thank you” to all those PA residents who assumed a role in this effort to demonstrate concern for the children in an African village school.
Finally, H4C sends thanks to all of you who financially support our water, medical, trade-training, and educational projects in Africa. If you are newly learing about HOPE FOR CHANGE please visit our web site www.H4Cinternational.org and learn more.
Sarah Anne Smith
In 1996, my friends Chuba and Tiala Ao opened a children’s residential school, referred to as an “English” school, in Mokokchung, Nagaland, part of the Northeast States of India. Hindi is also taught to all students. Currently, the enrollment is 430 children ranging in age from four years old through eighteen. Today I spoke with Tiala and her daughter, Sentila, who now runs the school since her father’s death in July, 2005. Sentila and her husband, Moa Jamir, are among our HOPE FOR CHANGE partners in India.
Last year Monsoon brought rain during the second week of April which was much earlier than 2009 and 2010 when the school campus was parched until mid-June. Generally, the “dry season” lasts for four months from January thru April and everyone watches the skies over Mokokchung for the winds of Monsoon to bring the big, dark clouds. However, in order to “harvest” rainfall from the sky, the bulging clouds must stall long enough to deposit the rainfall in the existing roof reservoir. When they don’t - the school staff must purchase bottled water.
Rainfall in 2009 was too sparse; in the final analysis rainfall in 2010 was too much ~ crops were ruined. Too much rainfall also brings sickness ~ epidemics of malaria, cholera, and typhoid. Sadly, immunizations are few and far between. Rainfall last year was moderate.
During the months of February and March and early April of last year, school administrators had to send their chief driver, Bahadur, to town to buy water every day. Actually, Bahadur made the 5K drive twice a day never knowing for certain if the town supplies had run out or not.
Now look at the picture up above. Tiala is standing next to a case of twelve 1-litre bottles of water. Add 7,988 litres to that case and you’d have the amount that Bahadur hosed into the truck ‘s water tank each morning and afternoon during the dry months ~ 8,000 litres of water a day. At the present exchange rate the purchase price comes to approximately $ 17.40 per day plus the cost of diesel fuel and Bahadur’s pay. That adds up to just under $130.00 per week and close to $520.00 a month.
I can think of better uses for the school’s precious operating funds. So can Tiala, Moa & Sentila. Placing more children in the classrooms and dormitories comes to mind first ~ local children who long for the type of accredited education provided by the school.
Here is good news ~ there is a solution to having to buy 8,000 litres of water a day! Moa, the school’s resident engineer, has a plan to build a second “Roof Reservoir System” which would harvest rain from the heavens during the rainy season. Enough could be collected, stored, and filtered to see the campus residents through next year’s dry season. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!
You can read all about the details of this system and the modest cost on our web site www.H4Cinternational.org Click on the Current Projects Tab and then the Engineering icon and scroll down to “Nagaland Water Reservoir System”. Construction can begin as soon as the funds come in. Donations may be sent via U.S. Postal System to our Lake Katrine address or through PayPal on the web site. Please note that PayPal deducts a processing fee.
Yours for Hope For Change,
Sarah Anne Smith