Birthday Chicken in Pommern

Happy Birthday, Stefan!

It was a chilly, overcast morning, but Mama Tony’s breakfast of porridge, pancakes, bread, and fruit prepared us for the day. Kassidy was happy that Mama Tony had more hot chocolate mix in her larder. The reading of the journal reminded us that yesterday had been another good day. Edward asked us to review the goals we had set on the first day, and Kassidy and Stephen read them for us. There was general agreement as each one was read.

Edward commented that he thought there was 90% completion. Then we split up for our assignments. Kassidy, Sue, and Stephen stayed at the mission house to sweep, wash, and whitewash the lower wall on three sides. The results are great, and they/we hope the following teams appreciate the work. Elizabeth, Melissa, and Greg walked toward the school where they met with the children. The activities varied from recap, to dancing (the hokey-pokey led by Greg. Good on your resume?), to board work with math problems, to computer work, to farewell gifts and good byes. All this in three hours. Stefan and I went to the clinic where we waited – and waited for the HIV/AIDS clinic to open.

Edward peeked in the window and said he didn’t want us to get bored. He took us to the area where trees were being cut down and boards were formed. Items will be made for the church. The clinic finally opened.

Stefan helped with notations, and I pulled files, reviewing the numbers as Mama Petra read them. The filing system worked beautifully! For lunch we had pasta with eggplant sauce and doughnuts. After lunch Stefan and I went back to the clinic, and the others – after a break – went to the garden and prepared the area by making mounds, working in the ashes, and marking the rows for the seeds. Kassidy sorted seeds, and the others put them into the ground under Edward’s direction. Then we all walked through the cornfields to the home of the oldest woman in the village. She and her daughter graciously us into their home. Edward told us a little about her life then and now. We brought them a greeting and expressed our thanks for their hospitality.

celebrating a volunteer's birthday in TanzaniaWhen we returned to the mission house, some of the children came for a game of Frisbee with Elizabeth, Melissa, and Kassidy. Greg and Stephen joined their Tanzanian friends and were treated to a demonstration of intricate hair preparation. I had an interview/conversation with Pastor Jane of the Lutheran church. The rest of the group went to observe and listen to the choir.

In the evening we celebrated Stefan’s birthday the Tanzanian way (a roast chicken with a candle) and the American way (a cake with a candle). Edward spoke to the departing three (Elizabeth, Melissa, and Greg), thanking them for their contributions to the program, and each of us expressed personal greetings. In the morning I will report on who was present top bid them farewell.

Another day awaits all of us. What will it bring?
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