Brian has just started a visit to Tanzania to see how things are going and the make sure that the donations are used to greatest effect. As his trip continues this section will record where he goes and what has been done as well as give a flavour of what Tanzania is like.
The purpose of this visit of REMIT Founder Rotarian Brian Stoyel of the United Kingdom is to visit various locations where REMIT projects have been active over the last twelve years and to renew his many acquaintances and supporters here in Tanzania.
Under the direction of Tanzania coordinator Rtn Faye Cran and three outreach Directors Freddy (Moshi) Boniface (Arusha) and Jitu (Babati) they have arranged interviews with Health Directors, local Mayor and suppliers.
Tree planting residual house spraying and distributing nets have all been a part of his itinerary. With the strong support of local Rotarians, Rotaractors and Community Corp leadersThe REMIT programme has supplied over
500,000 nets helping daily to save lives.
Safely arrived. Now experiencing first four hour power cut. Raining this morning now beautiful sunshine.
Working on filming schedule with helpers and local Rotarian friends Faye & Boniface. What lies ahead? Rain - sunshine, Rotary meetings, Mosquito repellent tree distribution etc
The view from Faye's balcony.
The purpose of visit to check that REMIT programmes are working effectively in our partner villages.
To establish links with existing and potential projects with the help of Rotary and Rotaract clubs.
One of t he things that we always need is visual material, images and film, to advertise the successes of REMIT and the scope of what has to be done. We are shooting an informational video of all aspects of the REMIT programme.
Our new promotional leaflet appreciated for the bright colours DAY 1 Filmed the loading of mosquito repellent trees, safely looked after during the dry season, into our Rotary truck and now ready for delivery tomorrow DAY 2 Overnight rains plus power cut suspect this is going to be a daily occurrence.
Morning came with electricity for 2 hours before another whole morning powercut.
Day 2 started with a visit to Meru Peak school. A private school set up with the help of Maxine and myself five years ago to serve a rural community for children between the ages of 4 and 20. More news later.
Lunchtime visit to the Rotary Club of Arusha Sunrise (Saturday lunchtime club for young members) to discuss a large Global Grant between Arusha Golden Sunrise and other RIBI clubs.
Traveled out to Elera area to distribute 500 repellent trees to the Mayor of the area. Physically planting trees not easy in drenched soil but we managed.
Everyone very appreciative with "We thank you very much May God look after you all"
Our delivery truck could not get backup the hill because of the slippery slope so it was Get the big vehicle to pull him home.
A full enjoyable day.
Day 3 update on blogging Brians travels.
1. An early start for breakfast on the verandah and then off to Elera to distribute bed nets.
Today we were supplying single bed nets and there were plenty of customers.
As customary there is always a small charge to accept the responsibility of owning the nets, this time approximately 70p each. The local Head man was in attendance to help distribute to those who could not afford this contribution. All money raised goes to purchase more nets. When collecting a net everyone was given a coloured leaflet telling them what to do and an informational leaflet on Malaria in Swahili, this is in addition to speaking to everyone about Malaria. Rotaractors and Rotarian Boniface on hand to help distribute. Michael, Faye's son drove the truck to the village with the nets.
2.Along the main road to Patande to view Rain harvesting projects in a school and Blind/deaf institution. All tanks were full because of the latest rain. There is flooding in some parts of the area.
3. Maji ya Chai our next stop to view my first encounter with Tanzania back in 2000 when with a Rotaract Overseas Project team we built classrooms, still in use, and later in 2003 a library now stocked with books,and the community hall. Rotaractors !! you would not recognise the village now the school is bigger with boarding facilities and the surrounding village expanding. Our projects are still very much in use and well looked after.
Nearly stuck in deep water through the floods but our vehicle negotiated successfully, thank you Samson our driver.
4. Viewed Meru Peak Hospital my first port of call back in 2001 to see how we could help the Malaria situation. The response, supply bed nets please.
5. Went onto view projects at Kitefu Kindergarden Primary and Secondary instigated by New Zealand Rotary clubs dotted around the area - classrooms, rainwater harvesting, toilets, kitchens etc. all again well looked after.
6. Onto the Street Children project still going strong as well as the Upendo leprosy project. The leprosy project where my real interest started in Africa after they had a fire, PDG 1290 Norman Proctor visiting the area saw the need to rebuild and thought it a good project for Rotaractors so the association began, the newly appointed Sister was delighted for me to visit them again and it gave me the opportunity to purchase another Masai belt which they make on site.
7. Stopped off at Meru Peak animal sanctuary for a quick 'soft' drink and to see Zebra, Crested Cranes, Ostrich, peacocks and amazing Colobus monkeys flying through the trees returning home for the night - hope I have them on film!
8. Then onto Upendo dispensary to speak with the pharmacist about local Malaria treatment - rapid testing, diagnosis and tablets to help the fever 9. Throughout the day there is much evidence of Rotary Clubs from Canada, New Zealand, RIBI working together to provide a better way of life for Tanzanian children and helping to save lives.
In between I telephoned Luke, our Grandson to wish him a happy 10th birthday.
Early start tomorrow for Moshi to meet a Health Minister and more projects and filming.
Good night from a humid Tanzania which favours those flying insects!!!!!!!!!
An early start today as we are going to Moshi 75 Km away from home. Before we depart we hear there is a national bus (minibuses) taxi strike because of the harassment given them by traffic police. This makes our journey easier and quicker, but still the police are there on the roads. 1. Faye introduces me to Rtn Freddy Monyo the Moshi coordinator for REMIT his connection in the past with local council eases our passage through the forthcoming meetings 2. Meeting. With Dr Christopher Mtamakaya in charge of Health matter for the Municipal
2. First appointment with the Moshi Municipal Director. Shaaban Ntarambe nothing changes pleased to see us and grateful for our initiative to help Moshi and Tanzania
3. Meeting with Dr Christopher Mtamakaya in charge of health matters for the Municipal, various graphs on the walls of his office display this fact.
Spoke about various projects and importance of constant change in residual house spraying chemicals to combat the resistance set up by the mosquito, currently using three types. The four strategies used by the Municipality after net supplying being a) Spraying b)Environmental Management c)Diagnosis d) Treatment. With REMIT nets at State boarding schools and hospitals.
4. Left his office with Mankato who is in charge of the Malaria Control Unit
5. First stop Pasua Ward for House spraying under the care of John, a Young Citizen who has been around the ward speaking to everyone collecting names and house details. We then set off with three sprayers and we are invited into homes to view the operation. Very effective the mosquitoes actually try to getaway from the spray. Young and old show us their houses. Good to see nets hanging in the rooms.
6. Miembeni Ward to meet with a Rotary Community Corp group set up for the malaria operation. This group about twelve in number go around supplying and helping local Villagers to care for their trees all very proud of their success.
7. Miembeni Ward to see how trees planted last November as small shoots have developed now about four feet tall.
8. Called into the Municipal store to see a locked garage where spray canisters and liquid are stored for safety in this vicinity Miembeni - Majengo - Mjimpya
9. Very enjoyable lIght snack in a Evangelical cafeteria of which Freddy is a member.
10. Back to meet Faye at the chicken factory before journeying home
11. Stopped at Maji Ya Chai Rotary Community Corp to look over the Women's farming cooperative of which Knei is now Chairman -the only man amongst 32 women. Sweet potatoes were dug the like that would not pass any supermarket test in the UK but tastes very good.
12. Time to change before visiting the Rotary Club of Arusha Mount Meru with Rtn Mustafa a long time friend of mine in these parts.
The next section!..
Let me first finish off Day 4...
I attended the Arusha Mount Meru meeting last evening to be informed it was a Business meeting therefore no visitors were permitted. Mustafa arrived and quickly put that right!!
From there on -- please tell us about yourself!! Meeting continued Please tell us more about REMIT - a slip of paper appeared in front of me "Please tell us your views on the Rotary Foundation". So I had a good evening and received a rousing applause. At the end of the meeting very favourable discussions continued.
When we went to leave the hotel the heavens opened and floods were the norm walking through 6 inches of water in places, an Indian meal was offered and readily accepted. The journey home was even more dramatic with torrential rain and power cuts.
1. Meeting with the Arusha City Council had to be postponed until tomorrow - council duties
2. Visit to Lebolosi Primary / Secondary school to view rainwater harvesting and vocational studies for young destitute girls for tailoring, dress making etc. English is the medium of learning as dress patterns are English! On this day the sewing machines were being used for the first time, great excitement and we collected two knitting machines for future use. A request from the teacher for a security door to the classroom to ensure the machines remain safe and do not have to be carried around the school. Cost approximately £150 any volunteers just an email to me will suffice.
3 Visit to the local young councillor a potential Rotarian and helper at the above school also supporting mechanics, hairdressing lessons hopefully more to follow
4. Visit to A-Z our net suppliers. Since my last visit they have moved into a new expansive factory where the machines work 24/7 employing some 8,000 local people, really a state of the art set up. Mr Patel family owner shortly retiring back to India near Gujarat and we hope a future Rotarian, rest of the family remaining to continue the excellent work
5. Collected 1000 nets from A-Z for distribution this coming weekend. I returned home with the truck only to be subjected to more police stops and suddenly torrential rain so much so we were unable to get the vehicle up the rutted track to our house. The 4x4 managed the task later in the evening dragging our truck with the nets.
6 Spent the evening with Simon and Kate at Faye's. Simon born Tanzania is an inspirational artist of African wildlife www.abrushwithafrica.com Just take a look.
7. Rain has stopped and we have power, welcome to Africa.Click for large version.
Next section, day 6.
No power cuts today but rain at times.
1. Started the day by saying goodbye to Simon and Kate with the promise of them seeing me at D1175 conference next year as one of our speakers.
Excellent news and a plus for REMIT as in all probability Simon is going to devise a wildlife Malaria Christmas card for us as well as some of his paintings proceeds going towards malaria projects here in Tanzania
2. I was then invited to visit the Cultural Heritage Centre for Africa in Arusha.
With my personal guide I was shown numerous exhibits in a superb gallery it was interesting to hear various stories and I could liken it to my Chiefs Chair with its intricate carving also the Wahari game played so fast by all Africans it would seem. Then into the African gem centre with a story that Tanzanite would not have been the Tanzanian stone had the ruler at the time permitted another earlier sourced gem Tsavorite to be recognised. instead that gem was given to Zambia.3. A rough country drive with Michael at the wheel to finish his work deliveries and collect money owing for a sausage maker. Our final stop at the factory was fascinating as I was able to recall to the owner that I had prepared sausage skins with my grandfather years ago when he owned a casing factory. My Auntie Betty Tavistock Inner Wheel member and my Cousin David past member of the Tavistock Rotary Club continue the business today
4. Eighty km drive to Arusha for their 4.45pm meeting. Great opportunity to thank members for their REMIT help over the years and in the future. Area coordinator Freddy, Area Treasurer Mukesh and member Lucy were in attendance to be thanked personally for all their help. One of the new members has a waste management business with which Rotaract could be associated. This would work nicely with a Rotary Community Corp for her workers to join.Again I was asked to say a few words about Foundation and the value to the club and projects
5. The drive home was as hairy as ever at this time of night - bicycles with no lights, cars and trucks with no lights and those with lights always on main beam, indicators not being used as ourselves in the UK but if signalling right it is OK for you to overtake !!!!!! two massive lorries broken down at different locations and being repaired in the middle of the road with piles of sticks and grass in the road to act as warning signs, police road checks together with people, cattle and bicycles heavily laden with grass for the cattle feed.
6. Just received Rtn Boniface's Global Grant application for the RC Cheltenham's REMIT project 'Serving Children under 5 in Tanzania'. A little light reading before retiring I fear.
All good fun, tomorrow is another day.
Best wishes to everyone from Tanzania, Brian.
The days seem to go so quickly here we are at Day 7 and having received the election results I trust most of you are satisfied !!!
Proceedings today ------ first and foremost to buy a pair of trousers !!
with the travelling, rain and mud conditions are not ideal or clean !!!!
1. A meeting with Rtn Walter Maeda a REMIT helper and member of the RC Arusha. We reminisced and I thanked him for his support
2. My next meeting was to present a Paul Harris fellow award to the owner /editor of the Arusha Times those that have followed REMIT will know we frequently get coverage in this weekly local paper. William was pleased to help us and always willing to receive copy. A good connection.
3. A cultural visit to Meserani Snake Park, quite scary to think these things are all around us. One had a nickname Seven steps! before you are dead, if you are lucky it is usually less than that as the pain is not nice. The sanctuary does carry anti snake bite serum for them all except one !!!! Also in this sanctuary a Masai cultural show very informational. Our two guides were excellent.
4 Back to Eriteri to supply the community with more repellant trees. All sizes gratefully received
5. Off to Olaasiti to visit two vocational projects Hairdresser and metal fabricator. Along the same idea as our sewing girls of earlier in the week. The hairdresser tutor was very timid and as she is dealing with Masai women will have to harden up a bit. The metal workers were a complete disorganised mess you can guess my instructions to them through Joyce the Ward Community Development Officer - Get the workshop tidy with shelves, racks and then you will see what you are doing and get rid of the rubbish! That is very hard to say in Africa as everything has at least five lives even rubbish. A strong Rotary connection which augurs well for another new Rotary member.
6. And yes the heavens opened and the heaving market place became deadly quiet and yet people were still wandering the streets in torrential rain - our journey back up to Faye's was as always very slippery and interesting
7 During supper we had a power cut
Best wishes to everyone
A very hectic couple of days with fantastic outcomes Day 9
1. A 7.30 am start from Arusha to Magugu some 180 km away the usual police checks eventually arriving around 11.oo to meet with Rotarians from the RC Babati and REMIT coordinator Hon.Jitu V. Soni. We were greeted at the health centre by hundreds of villagers, elders, councillors and anyone of importance. Thereafter it was speeches, more speeches and more speeches all praising rotary, REMIT, Babati & Dev Manik. At 12.15 I handed over the centre equipment to the Director of health representative and centre Doctor.
Photos show more clearly, blood testing, sterilising equipment, temperature control, centrifugal,but we have established a good resource for the Villagers some 52,000 spread out around the area. They have a qualified Doctor and nurse responsible for the equipment stationed at the centre.
Speeches continued with soft drinks for everyone and Faye and myself were presented with Masai gifts. I am now an elder (with no encumbrances that I can see !!!!) with the name Ketaola.
Numerous presentations, drumming with very good singing brought the proceedings to an end. I think Dev will be looking down with great affection.
2. Rotary lunch with a few selected members. I made suggestions that a Jaipur limb Centre could be added to the clinic as there would be many recipients of our affordable limbs.
3. Back to the centre fortunately to just avoid the birth of a baby in the room where I was taking photographs just a second before. For the first time witnessed the rapid blood testing we supply with some lovely elderly ladies, although thankfully all proved negative.
4. Travelled back to Manyara 70kms for our supplying of nets tomorrow.
5 we stayed at Manyara Lodge overlooking Manyara National Park, wonderful, a huge place but because someone had hacked their booking system we had the hotel to ourselves with their 20 or so staff. The view was magnificent and comes highly recommended.
1. 6.30 start for breakfast so we could visit the park before our next jaunt.
2. The day was made when we viewed two lioness slumbering in a tree. A rare and wonderful sight. We were approximately 8 feet away from them for a good 30 minutes I hope the photographs do the experience justice.
3. Net distribution at Manyara village with a most formidable lady Councillor, absolutely fantastic she was and shows the need to use local people - she knew everyone and sorted them out admirably. Distributed some
1600 nets during the next three hours with the help of young Arusha Golden Rose Rotarians.
4. Journey back to Arusha was unpredictable as our accompanying net vehicle had been stopped in the morning and fined for no rear light !!!!! In the end as we were in convoy and our net vehicle had been stopped twice already on the return journey the driver ran the Police stop check!!!!! We then stopped to argue the case, well chaos, shouting but with Michael as our driver we got through - only a few k down the road all was stopped again a big argument ensued but I was introduced as an MP from the UK and with me handing my Mango fruit juice over all was resolved. Welcome to Africa
5. I then met in Arusha my African child 'Brian' son of Boniface and Iris. Boniface, ex Rotaractor, now Rotarian I have known for 15 years and Iris his Masai wife. We ate with them, played with Brian who is now three years old and had a great time, He is a lovely lad and the parents charming.
6 Eventually reached home about 9.30pm all exhausted
I hope you have enjoyed reading these tales as I depart tomorrow evening so there may be one more edition.
As always my best wishes for the wonderful work we are able to do here and for the appreciation shown by the recipients.
Final message of this tour
1.Early visit into a very hot Arusha to computer design a roadside replacement board (8ft x 3ft) for the Rotaract Overseas Project back in 2003, the old hand written sign has lasted very well.
2.Met up with Boniface to check on availability of more trees and nets for Manyara later in the month.
3.Stopped off at Upendo to take photos of the village dispensary and to meet another pharmacist
4.Returned home to start packing and saying farewells
5.6pm house departure to the airport for 9pm flight - sometimes the airport can get rather congested /chaotic !!!!
6.Met a group of lads waiting to go through security check who turned out to be the choir of Utah State University. When we reached the departure lounge an impromptu Afro singing session ‘flash mob’ was exhilarating. The acoustics were perfect. The choir only to be pleasantly and surprising usurped by a fellow passenger who just happened to be a professional female opera singer who also burst into stunning song – quite uplifting and just another of life’s one off experiences.
7.Boarded plane en route to Dar es Salaam when over the sound system the captain announced the choir were on board and invited them to stand in the aisles for a mid-air rendition which went down well with everyone, the flight crew had never experienced the like before, cameras, cell phones flashing and recording – mine as well.
So a fitting conclusion to what has been a very hectic 11 days.
My thanks to REMIT webmaster Paul for suggesting a daily update/record and as always my grateful thanks to Faye and her teams for pulling out all the stops to arrange meetings, trips and supplies etc
Proving yet again Africa can be full of surprises, fun, sadness, colour, disagreement, beauty, harassment, disappointment, friendships with lasting memories and it is so good to return to see all our efforts are not wasted but appreciated by so many. Yes we cannot help them all but to those we do help we bring a little happiness and hope of a better tomorrow.
Thank you to my readers and perhaps given time I will get my photos and video edited and I will be able to visit you and show you some of the excellent work The Family of Rotary continues to do in the underdeveloped areas of Tanzania.
Bye for now