After passionate speeches (Mathew translating the Swahili ones) in front of a crowd of some smiling and some bewildered village elders, parents and children, we were presented with a gift of two hundred pounds of potatoes and our vehicle “walked” off the site surrounded by a group of colourfully dressed women chanting and adorning the car with plants and flowers. It was an amazing experience – a first actually.

chanting women "walking"
our vehicle from the site

And now, back to the hotel where...

...we ate Carlos for dinner

The stay at the hotel this time was more enjoyable than previous ones. Security had been tightened up since my room was broken into last trip. But it was high season with a lot more tourists staying here, as well as new NGO's with their various projects projects. The highlight was meeting a lively group of young Germans who had been on a whirlwind tour of Lutheran church facilities. It was the birthday of their director Wolfgang and to acknowledge his work in Tanzania, the local church gave him a goat which the group named Carlos. Carlos was a bit of a problem for sensitive Wolfgang; he was not comfortable with Carlos' supposed demise of being served of dinner. To add to that, Kerrie Robertson, a long term hotel guest working here with an NGO developing programs for HIV infected village women, took a liking to Carlos. And she would have daily visits to ease his loneliness while tied up at a tree near her room. So Carlos was spared…at least while the Germans were there. But on the day after they left, the staff inherited the gift and with the least bit of hesitation, decided to treat the remaining guests with the popular Tanzanian delicacy of roast goat. After a few mouthfuls during that evening meal I gagged when someone whispered…"That was Carlos". It was strange and somewhat sad to have eaten something with a name, but more so for Kerrie to have lost a friend as quickly as she had found one.

So now its back to Canada to continue with fundraising to help with the Gongali laboratory building as well as our other school projects that need us to continue with their building program. We are getting busy, but I’m lovin’ it!

Alan

End of Update

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