Hello this Friday afternoon, 02 Dec. 2016 from a soggy St. Peter Parish in Nkololo. Yesterday at 5 o’clock our visiting charismatic leader had just started the afternoon session of teaching and healing when the skies let loose a torrent of rain and continued for a
long time. You can imagine the noise of a heavy rain on a metal roof with no ceiling boards or insulation. No one could hear anything except the pounding rain on the big roof. We’ll try again later on this afternoon.
Lots of activity here at the parish these days, mostly due to ongoing building, repairs and remodeling. There is no end to changes as we continue to make the transition from what was a dispensary that was later upgraded to a Health Center to that of a Hospital. When I began building Songambele Dispensary back in 1994 I could not foresee that someday we would have a staff of 50 and be saving lives in a modern operating suites building.
My number one goal was that our hospital would be able to do Caesarean Sections. It was heart breaking to have women come here only to be told that they would have to make an expensive 15 mile trip over rough roads to a District Hospital. They feared the poor reception that they might receive and the ever present requests for a bribe from shift changing staff. Sometimes they were told to go on to the African Inland Church hospital 30 miles up the road. As I write this sentence, the 23rd baby in four months is being delivered by c-section in the OR of our operating suites building. The Doctor on duty today is Helena Sindano. She is a woman from a small village by the Serengeti Plains whom I put through medical school. Miracles are all around us so often if we take time to see them. Many other operations have been performed since the first “lipoma” on June 1st. 2016.
You will be pleased to see a colorful touch of service that we now offer. When I arrived in Mwanza upon my return to Tanzania the end of September, Stefano and I went shopping for a 3 wheeled Bajaj, (Picture attached) a common versatile taxi in many Asian countries. We painted “Songambele Hospital ambulance” on our bright red Bajaj. For 23 U.S. cents we take Songambele patients home or pick them up anywhere in our growing town of Nkololo.
I will also attach some pictures of the (MCH) Mother Child Health Clinic that we are building. Mother and child services are a must for every hospital. We also finished an expensive incinerator that is required for every hospital. Of course not every place in Tanzania follows the rules but it is not helpful in getting recognized as a well run institution. Our facilities are in compliance. Next week we have inspectors coming from the Ministry of Health and this week we had assessors from the Christian Social Service Commission. The
y will give us a report sometime in January. Thanks to all of you we have some outstanding buildings and services. God Bless you all!
I will try to attach pictures of another project that we have started, a fish farm. Lake Victoria has been and continues to be drastically overfished. The price of any fish is very high for most people and the size of the fish is considerably smaller than in past years. Stefano has his fish farm going now and I have ours under way. Mine is smaller but I expect to raise about 500-600 Lake Victoria tilapia, one of the best.
The final good news is that I now have an associate pastor, Fr. Matias Mashaka Erasto Kibonabona, better known as Padri Mashaka. I baptized and married his parents way back when. I baptized Matias as an infant and I was involved in a yearlong preparation for his ordination to the priesthood at Old Maswa Parish in August 1997. Our present parish of Nkololo was an outstation of Old Maswa at that time so coming here is a “homecoming”. I am looking forward to improving our pastoral service. I have been limited in getting to some outstations ever since I stopped riding my motorcycle. I will also be freed up to spend more time working with our hospital staff and my construction crew.