So many things have happened since I wrote to you before Easter that I can’t remember them all. They are already history! I will simply mention two things that have and will take much of my time for the rest of my life.
I have many concerns that occupy my thoughts and work every day, however the two that get and need a lot of thought, prayer and time are the Diocesan Shrine of Divine Mercy here at St. Peter Parish and the major development project, the Songambele Hospital.
I will begin with the Hospital. Master of Architecture, Southern Ellis has now graduated from the College of Architecture at Texas A&M U, specializing in medical facilities. You may remember that he came to visit us before Christmas 2010. His project for his finals/thesis was to design the Songambele Hospital here at St. Peter parish, incorporating our present medical buildings and designing the numerous new ones that will be built after we get funding. You will find the excellent site plan attached as well as three 3D computerized pictures of a small section of the hospital. The people in the pictures are for real, they are neighbors.
(My computer just crashed again – thank God that there is an auto-save or I would just give up as it happens all too often. I am going to bring the computer home and see if I can get it fixed)
The following is a note from Southern Ellis that was included with the pictures that I have attached.
Dear Father Paul
As I mentioned I am working on a website to combine all of this stuff (video, design, your story, and photos from my trip) with a link to the Roads to Life fundraising site which should be great when you come back to the US. We can also talk about creating some brochures, cards, etc. for you to pass out on your tour of churches.
Southern Ellis LEED AP Master of Architecture College of Architecture .
Texas A&M University (210) 422-2149
Isn’t that great news. I have very limited connection to the internet, but most of you probably have high speed access of some type so you will be able to visit Southern’s website and use the link that will take you to our roadstolifetanzania.org website. Hopefully I will be able to work with the web site designers and add more information this year.
The big challenge ahead of us now is obviously fund raising. Now that we have designs and models we will need cost estimates. There are so many things that are involved besides buildings. We will have to fence in the area of the hospital as is done all over Tanzania to cut down on losses and to have some control on who is inside of the compound. We will have to dig a well, put in an electric pump, then lay pipes, build tanks and water storage facilities. We will also attempt to save as much rain water as possible. That will involve a lot of eaves troughs, underground pipes and underground storage. We expect to get 240 v. electricity from TANESCO, (Tanzania Electric Supply Co.) They advised us that they would be working on it this year. However the supply is not dependable at this time so we will have to have back up generators. We will also install a second lighting system in all of the buildings using solar power. We have no equipment for the two major and one minor theater. We will also have to install air conditioning.
One of our major expenses in the beginning will be salaries that will be included in our funding request as we cannot make enough profit to pay expenses until we get numerous patients and hopefully a good reputation that will draw people here. A big attraction will be visiting doctors. I am right now finishing a house for two visiting physicians/specialists that have self contained bed rooms plus a living and dining room and a small porch. The solar wiring is installed and we are putting the foundation in for a 3000 liter water tank that will be filled with water from the metal roof. Visiting Doctors are still a dream so the house will be used very shortly for staff housing for one of our clinical officers who has to move out of the main house when our Dr. Helena finishes her internship any day now. The second room in the house will be for our new Lab Technician who will come at the save time as our Doctor Helena. Staff housing will continue to be a major part of our program. Without good housing we won’t be able to get/keep good staff. And good staff is essential to our program.
We have finished the major construction of a very large laboratory. We will be moving into it before too long. We will know better our needs once we have moved in and see what furniture etc we are lacking so that our carpenters can get busy building the proper items.
I thought that I had enough money to hold me over financially until I got home and began my church talks in mid July but inflation and unexpected big repairs to tractors, truck and pick-ups have left us with little to get us through the next month, not to mention over $6 a gallon diesel fuel that has taken a bigger bite than expected. That brings us back to the First concern, our Diocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy. On the bottom of the image of the Divine Mercy are the words that Christ himself said were to be inscribed on the painting “Jesus I Trust in You”. I know that what we are doing is God’s work as we are here to lover and serve others in body and soul. We have done pretty well on the “soul” part but have a ways to go on the “body” needs.
On the Sunday after Easter we had our first Diocesan celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday that actually started at noon on Sat. and went all night (I faded out at 2 p.m.). Our Bishop Aloysyius Balina said the Mass on Sunday. I had a Mass later Sat. aft and then Fr. Renatus who came to help me had a Mass at 10 p.m. Sat. night.
We are now having a 9 day novena in thanksgiving for the successful celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday by over 1000 people from various places, also included in the novena are prayers for the success of Songambele Hospital funding. We have made 15,000 cement blocks and have 100s of tons of sand – but it is just a drop in the bucket. We will be busy.