8 June 2012

Dear Friends,

It is now 2:20 p.m. on a pleasant/warm Friday afternoon, 8 June. A week from today would have been my brother Fr. Peter’s 82nd birthday. Sad to say, he only lived to be 61, but packed a lot into those years.

I wish that I had some astounding news to tell you, such as that we have found funding for our hospital or at least for our operating suites building. Sad to say such is not the case. At least we have the foundation in and hope to get a rough floor poured soon in the 110’ x 47’ foot building. People that pass by to look at the rather large foundation are very hopeful that someday they will not have to go to far-away hospitals for operations that are costly, not only for the operation but for the multitude of bribes that have to be paid. We don’t hope, we pray to the Divine Mercy and trust that He who actually owns all of the money in the world will find us worthy enough to share a little bit of it with us. Some day we will have a first-class hospital at a fraction of what the same hospital would cost in the States. “Jesus I Trust in You”.

May 2012 will be a month to remember as it is the first full month in which we saved numerous lives by giving blood transfusions. We run into setbacks quite often, but occasionally the setbacks are more than compensated by miracles. There is nothing else you can call our being the only Health Center in the Shinyanga Region (like a small Wisconsin) that can give blood transfusions and the only Health Center that has been registered with the Bugando Blood Bank near Bugando Referral hospital in Mwanza. Just yesterday Stefano and our Lab Technician Mushana went to Mwanza and back, taking bags of blood and returning with enough tested good blood for as many as 40 children.

Finding donors is a new challenge for us. It will take time for people to get over the fear of giving blood. We do our own testing and do not have to depend only on exchanging blood at the blood bank. I have talked about being a donor many times in our churches and with some success. I will be doing it for many years to come.

As can be expected in early June, we seem to be coming into the dry season. Some people lucked out on their crops but in general it has not been a great year, although it looks like the cotton crop will be fairly good as cotton can withstand dry spells better that other crops. The roads were badly damaged by heavy rains and even when dry, they are rough and tough going. I went to Isanga outstation yesterday. I could not get there by car during the rains and even now that it is dry, I had to use 4-wheel drive to get through the washed out gullied paths.

I can no longer do road work except here in the growing, bustling town of Nkololo. Over the years I have put in several miles of roads in town but stopped that when we expanded out health work. Now that we have electricity coming soon and have better leadership, people are collecting money to pay for making more roads here in town. This is a great awakening that has taken years to come. The growth of Nkololo is made possible by the roads that we spent years constructing that have opened the area up to business.

You have been and continue to be a part of the growth of our parish of St. Peter’s and that of our town of Nkololo. I will tell you more about it when I begin my visits to churches in July and August. I expect to set foot in Wisconsin on 21 June and enjoy the longest day of the year. I will be beat from the long journey but am looking forward to it. I will spend a few days visiting and doing some hospital business before I head for the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers.

This year’s visit to Wisconsin is going to be a real challenge. Please continue to keep me in your prayers. You may think that I don’t need them. I know better.

I want to get this sent quickly as my computer has not been very nice to me today.

Cell phone when I get to Wisconsin is same as last year 608 306 1582.

Love and prayers, Father Paul pefagan@gmail.com

#SongambeleHospital #Wisconsin

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