Soon it Will Be Our Last Night in Ipalamwa

Rain, rain, rain…you came during the day to wash away the dirt and at night you fall on our roof to help us sleep.

We gathered for breakfast and Harran had one last Ipalamwa meeting with us before he had to travel to Iringa. As always we shared stories and we laughed and laughed. A silent moment took place in my mind s I looked around the room at these wonderful people I have been with for the last few weeks. I realized a part of them has weaved itself in my being. I felt very fortunate to have met all of them as well as the others who live in this special place. However, it is not yet time to think about leaving as this day has been designated to painting a gift for the students. In one of the classrooms we painted, we decided to paint a tree on one of the walls. (The tree the students and we stared at every day.)

The “Singing Poet” (Bill) went to church to share one last service with the villagers and say goodbye for all of us. The “Talking Machine” (Eloise) took a day of rest in order to have all here energy for her last class on Monday and get better as she was not feeling well. I went to sketch the tree on the wall.

It felt so nice to create this piece of inspiration and memory for the students we came to love. We hoped that the addition to their classroom would always remind them of the importance of learning and challenge them, as well as, continue to be the amazing people they are.

I spent all morning sketching and I was even able to begin a little painting before lunch. Mama Toni cooked another great meal and during our meal we decided to paint some more and then join the villagers at the market. This market only happened one Sunday of every month. We were excited to take part in the monthly event.
When entering the classroom to continue painting, we found that the paint was missing. Searching and searching for the paint we, sadly, found out later in the day that someone had taken it. Because of this terrible act the students will be left with an unfinished wall. This is very sad and disappointing.

Instead of completing our surprise we went to the market and were welcomed with big smiles from man of the students and villagers. The market was full of colors and amazing sounds—music, voices, footsteps, laughs, etc.
In the afternoon, before dinner, or dear, dear friend Mohammed came back. Eloise and I were so happy we ran to greet him. It is just not the same without Harran, Mohammed and Roger. (Whom we found out was continuing his travels, as he was feeling better.)
We ate and after dinner while Mr. Mheni was trying to come to say hello and we were trying to make it back to our rooms, we were surprised to find out that the outer area of the dining area was flooded!

Mohammed, of course, jumped right in and saved the day as always. He and two students (one was Titus) jumped into the water and placed big cement blocks down for us to walk on and be safe from the muddy water. They are so kind! As the water tried to capture us in its grip, the grip of the people and their kindness won [smile].

The night came to an end by us all saying “lala salama” through our speaker system. Soon it will be our last night in Ipalamwa.

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.”

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