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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Work, work, work.

It's been a busy few days; much of our time has been spent creating our final report to our host organization (TPSF, the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation). We met with our hosts again on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam until late into the evening, then spent much of Wednesday driving back to Tanga.

Thursday and Friday were spent working on the report. Even with varying experience writing in English, each member of the team is producing well-written, ready-to-include material. We're up around 55 pages so far, we're going to do an "organizational checkpoint" on the paper this afternoon to see what we need to move around for better flow.

We plan to have our final version done on Tuesday ... we'll send it to a colleague in Dar who will print the reports for us ... and then we need to convert the information in the report to a set of charts for a presentation on Thursday. (Wednesday, we drive back to Dar es Salaam.) Friday we'll have a debriefing with the local IBM team, our friends from Digital Opportunity Trust, and then have a dinner with all the subteams and all the host organizations (and will have about 10 minutes to present highlights of our work).

Yesterday, we spent the day at the Casa della Gioia orphanage here in Tanga as our "service day" while on assignment. Members of our team helped prepare lunch, clean, do laundry, shine shoes, and lots of other tasks, mostly working side-by-side with the kids. After lunch, the kids put on a singing & dancing show, we talked & asked & answered questions (for example: this orphanage takes kids no matter their religious affiliation; the local Muslim orphanages take only Muslim children), and we gave them some things they had requested for the orphanage. What a great day. We provided the funds for lunch, and they opened their home and their hearts to us.

A 14-year-old girl (great singing voice, fluent in both Swahili and English) said in closing, "As you have given to us today, may God give to you." You can't ask for a better benediction than that.

Here are a few pictures that I was particularly happy with from the day:

Garland and Sister Sofia before lunch.

Sister Sofia and two of the 36 kids there (ranging from age 21 days to 21 years). Plenty of love & hugs for everyone.

Garland and a sleepy friend.

Beautiful singing & speaking voice, 14 years old. And great at slicing tomatoes.

Radka succeeding in wearing out one of the kids playing, then became a makeshift pillow.

Ying Ying and Marta communicating in the universal language of "tickling".

1 comment:

  1. Dear Rob,

    Thank you so much for this wonderful article about Casa della Gioia. FYI we are now setting up a website: