Once upon a time I had thoughts of writing a newsletter telling about Christmas and the New Year in Tanzania. Now those events are history and I’m more interested in the present and future. Right now, it is about 90’ F in our office as the sun has come down south and is streaming through 3 big louver windows that face south. I’ll be happy when it starts moving north again and the sun is overhead. The evenings are longer now as it gets dark about 7:30 p.m. and sun up is later being about 6:40 a.m. Recently, we had big rains totaling 5 inches in 2 days. I did manage to get to our eastern Center of Ng’wasinasi last Sunday before the 2nd big rain came. It was sort of scary with all of the rumbling and wind. There was some damage to houses in town. The road to Ng’wasinasi, located by the Serengeti, was hardly passable so I may not get there again for awhile.
We are doing as much work as possible, considering our limited funds, building our operating suites, building and preparing the site for future construction of the Songambele hospital. We have not yet found a donor or donors to get our project moving more quickly.
We ran into a problem with the rafters for our 47-foot-wide theater building. They are made of very heavy hardwood, resulting in the heaviest and biggest rafters we have ever had to lift and put on top of a building that is 14-feet high, including the foundation.We managed to get one out of 16 rafters up, using our front end loader with a boom and lots of manpower. It took 4 hours to succeed giving us some doubt about lifting up the next fifteen rafters!
Then one day I met one of the managers of a sub-contractor of the Tanzania Electrical Supply Company, TANESCO. I asked him if we could hire one of their trucks they use for loading heavy rolls of wire and putting up electrical poles. When they were working in the area we helped them out in various ways. He said that they would come to our rescue when a truck came into the area. That day was two days ago. Monday we were able to get 12 rafters up on top of the building and yesterday the final three. We still have a major task of raising them upright and putting them into place, but the worst is over.
We have also started to put up a small section of the wall that will surround the future Songambele hospital. I had not planned to build it yet but we had some problems that necessitated beginning it now. Nkololo is a rapidly growing town and we needed more security and less traffic. Last year we received permission from the village to close off a road that ran right through the parish property. In order to do so, we agreed to build two by-pass roads. That we did. Now we are building a wall using cement blocks and tubing.It will be 7 feet high. We have also trimmed a lot of trees increasing visibility in the area where we have our Doctor’s house and a workers house.
These events may not be very exciting, but they are big steps in our preparation for building a hospital. What we are really in need of now is to quickly build a simple building to use as a ward. We have added beds but we still have so many inpatients that we have to put two in a bed depending on the age and sickness. We can hardly keep up with the demand for blood. 30 units only last a few days. Lots of demands on our time, resources and energy.