This year, I was not able to get supplies from Jerry’s Artorama.  Five years ago they gave a generous donation of supplies which lasted four years!  I figured I would buy supplies here in Dodoma.  Well!  The water colours here are made in China, and everything made in China is horrible in terms of quality.  They make goods for export to Africa which are so low in quality that nothing lasts.  Door locks, handles, plumbing supplies, toilet seats, lighting fixtures, anything electric, cars and buses.  One would not be ABLE to find such crap in the US, anywhere.  The paints from Jerry’s lasted for four years with many classes.  These are the rectangular tins with the colors in a row.  I bought water colours here which looked kind of the same and they didn’t last through ONE CLASS. AND, they cost just as much.  Poor Africa, it is criminal.  Even their medicines from China are diluted or fake, and they do not have any government agencies here to monitor such things.  People who are for less government, let me tell you – be glad for the EPA, FCC, FDA, Consumer Protection Agency, otherwise, the greedy people win.

Anyway, had to change game plans and there is a woman here named Marian McChesney, who has been a children’s teacher for over 20 years.  Marian came to the rescue.  I have always said I am a teacher with NO qalifications or experience, I mean I don’t even know what I don’t know, and that is bad.  Marian came to the rescue today and took over the last two classes where we had no materials left.  She played games, taught games and songs, riddles, did a play, then had them all draw pictures with colored pencils and write letters to children in New Zealand where she is from.  The children there will reply, it should be fun for both schools.

After the classes, the teachers and Head Master gathered and gave us a report on the school.  They were especially proud and grateful for the school bus.  They asked for contact information for donor so that they could write and thank him.  KARIMU is sponsoring 10 students, and they gave us the photos of these children to bring home..

Was trying to put together a surprise birthday party for Tally tonight, but one of the women that I asked to make a cake, brought it over last night and said “here is the cake”, so that ended the surprise, but it will be great fun anyway.  We have a bunch of Muzungus and Tanzanians all going to the Pizza restaurant to celebrate Tally’s 79th!

bye for now, Jessie

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