11/19/11 - Deliberate Acts of Kindness

Dear friends,

I have been the recipient of many deliberate acts of kindness in the last month. The Tanzanians I live and work with can’t reciprocate when I buy food, water or a tank of gas. But they still show me, in many ways, how much I am cared about. Here is one example:

We lost electricity the other night. This happens fairly often in Babati for no apparent reason and even more now that the rains have begun. I took my solar lantern next door where five students live with teacher Mary. They were glad for the light and we sat around telling stories and laughing while the rain fell. I showed them how to turn the crank on the lantern to recharge it manually and left it with them.

The next day, after school, Neema, Christina, Soamu, Hamisi and Haruna arrived in my rooms with the lantern, and brooms and rags. They told me they wanted to clean, then proceeded to pick up all my belongings, put them on my bed and get to work. They swept, filled buckets, mopped, scrubbed and squeegied the floors in my bedroom and living room. When done, they replaced everything and Christina zipped up every suitcase pocket, telling me, “Teacher–keep closed!!” This type of experience is not unusual, but it overwhelms me every time it happens.

Simon has wanted to take the children on a “picnic” to one of the national parks for some time now. It would cost 400,000 TZS for gas, water and food. However, things are very tight right now for Simon and the parents can’t afford to chip in the required amount. I asked the kids if they had ever seen the wild animals of Tanzania in Serengeti, Ngorongoro or Tanangire. No one had. When I looked at the exchange rate, 400,000 TZS turns out to be about $230. So, on November 24, Thanksgiving in the U.S., Amka Afrika School will take its first field trip to Tarangire National Park. A deliberate act of kindness on my part that I’m sure will be repaid many times in many different ways.

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you haven’t already done so, please consider your own deliberate act of kindness for Amka Afrika School. It costs so little to keep its doors open.

Just click the “Donation” page. If you earmark it for a specific purpose, I promise it will go to that purpose.

Here’s a breakdown of expenses:
Teacher salaries— $100 to $150 per month per teacher
Cook and night watchman–$50 per month each
Food for one week–$60 (porridge, lunch, and dinner for students living at the hostel)
Fuel for the van for one week–$30
New tires for the van–$400
Student tuition for one term (3 mths.)–$150

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