Friday, June 27, 2014

Serving at the New Life Band School...and making new friends!

The past couple days have been very busy. I get up in the morning, have some breakfast, take a quick bucket shower and get changed. Around 9:30-9:45 a.m. we load into Deo’s van and make the drive to the New Life Band School.

Yesterday (June 26) we began the process of putting up a couple new whiteboards in the school. We have this amazing paint that can transform brick walls into usable whiteboards. 

We did have some trouble today (June 27) because we did not have primer to put over the first layer, and the paint was not working over just the first layer. By applying about five layers of paint, it got to a point where it just might work. But then one area developed a bubble that popped. 

The whiteboards are a great help to the school. The paint was donated by 360 degree coating. It is a huge blessing because it lasts much longer than the whiteboard the New Life Band purchased last year.

Trish Helland and Kaity Klemp painting
The white board cost 500,000 shillings (a little more than $300 US) and after one year, it is badly deteriorated. There are holes in the board from where they had to nail it to the wall. The corners of the board are curling and it is wearing off from the back, which is just thing cardboard covering a metal frame. In comparison, Hope 2 Others put up 7 whiteboards in 2011, and they are still working amazingly well.

I was also able to meet with many of the students, and had a great time. One student, Anna, asked to comb my hair, and when she was finished, I had a splendid hairstyle. She is one of the girls in Leah Narans’ Medical Sciences and Lab Skills class, and I agreed to let her attempt to draw my blood. She did an excellent job and successfully drew a vial of blood.

Another girl, Evelyn, drew my blood today. I called her Dr. Evelyn and had to take a picture with her. 

Dr. Evelyn draws my blood.
After I was finished getting my blood drawn, I heard the most amazing and beautiful sound. A couple classrooms down, probably 40-50 students had crammed in a room and were singing. I managed to shoot a couple minutes of video of one of their songs. Internet is kind of slow over here, so I am not sure I will be able to upload it until I return, but I will give it my best shot.

The students absolutely loved my phone and camera, scrolling through my many photos, and even trying to take a few themselves. Esther, another student, asked me to show her how to take pictures on my Canon. I showed her the basics and she went around and took photos of her classmates. She did a great job for a beginner. 

Students singing at the school
As it turned out, one of the students at the school was also named Rachel, and I insisted on getting a picture with her (Rachel meets Rachel!).

When my camera was returned to me, the other students clamored for me to take their picture. They loved posing for the camera. At one point, I had about three students all asking to have their picture taken. I was torn on who to take first, and one of the students yelled “Madame” to get her picture taken. Before I knew it, the van with the rest of the people in my group was driving down the road. The students are like “Bye” and I said goodbye to them and hurried over to the van. When I got in, Trish was like, “We were going to drive to the end of the road.” Such nice groupmates. (;

Rachel meets Rachel
After our third day working at the school, we stopped by the food market in Arusha. Jane Krogstad was determined that we should pick up chocolate sauce and bananas and have a banana split for dessert. We not only picked up bananas and chocolate sauce, but oranges and avocadoes for fresh juice (Elisa Deo makes AMAZING juice!). 

Right now, Jane Krogstad and Kaity Klemp are enjoying a fun game of UNO with Elisa’s boys, Dennis and David. Although Trish Helland misses her grandbabies, she has decided the boys are going to be her “African grandbabies.” 

We should be going back to the New Life Band School tomorrow, and at some point in the next couple days, checking out the Arusha market for jewelry, cloth, carvings and more. I am very excited to go shopping! Also, our fearless leader, Karen Klemp, and fellow nurse Amy Martin should be joining us tomorrow. Finally, our group will be complete!

In the past couple days, I have noticed some cultural similarities, and many differences. Check back tomorrow if you are curious. And if you want to know right away about new postings, follow my blog!

Spending some time with the New Life Band School students.

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