Downloading the Internet when I was home in Wisconsin didn’t seem very fast compared to other peoples’ computers, but talk about slow! I almost gave up getting anything to happen on this computer! Anyway I am grateful that we have email. Things like this remind me that I am back home in Tanzania!
I arrived in Dar es Salaam Friday night, 28 September, on schedule. I spent the next two days at the Tanzania Episcopal Conference Center at Kurasini in Dar es Salaam. Our Doctor, Helena Sindano, was there on business so we had a good chance to visit and get caught up on happenings at Songambele Health Center in my home parish of St. Peter, Nkololo.
They have been very busy ever since June when we were registered by the Ministry of Health as a Group B2 laboratory and permitted to give blood transfusions. We have already saved numerous lives. This is late Saturday afternoon now. Just last night 8 people received blood transfusions, mostly children with severe malaria. We could save many more lives if our operating theater building was finished and complete. We have the wall up and will put a roof on it when possible. However, I did not come back with major funding, which was a disappointment to the hospital workers. We will begin a 9 day novena to the Divine Mercy tomorrow asking our Lord to help us find a funding agency or charitable organization to help in our efforts to save lives.
On Monday, 1 October, Helena and I flew to Mwanza, where we were met by Stefano and our student doctor Samweli James. I was very happy to get my 3 suitcases with 60 kilos of needed items back safely and without paying overweight on the Mwanza flight. I had lots of sutures from Global Links, John Deere tractor parts, a great assortment of garden seeds, Divine Mercy cards and pictures, plus other useful items.
From the airport we went to visit my Bishop, who is being treated for cancer by Bugando Referral hospital staff. He needs the help of our prayers. Please include him in yours.
This coming Monday we have a busy day ahead of us. We have to be prepared to receive the Freedom Torch that is being raced through the country. It is the torch that was carried to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro when we became independent on 9 December 1961. This is the 3rd time that they have come to our Center, now parish of Nkololo. They will unveil two plaques, one on our new laboratory and one on the housing for our 292-foot borehole.
It is a great privilege but a lot of work with some anxiety, to say the least. We will have many, many government and party officials here. They will have a program and then the village will serve food. They estimate that they will feed 250 people, including school choirs, etc. We will really have to get a move on after we finish our 7 a.m. Mass so that we are ready for them at noon Monday.