I am going to break this up into two posts because it’s going to be image heavy! So thankful for my new camera I got this year.
January started with bringing Jennifer to school for the first time! I was so thankful to everyone who stepped up and contributed to changing her life. She was nervous, but so excited to finally get to attend school. Unfortunately in January, little Baraka also got very very sick with severe pneumonia, I spent a week in the hospital with him.
Otherwise, January was HOT! The kids at Neema spent a lot of time playing in the buckets of water outside.
FebruaryIn a lot of ways, February was a really hard month! Little Baraka who I had loved so dearly for his few months at Neema was adopted! Everything happened so fast I could hardly believe it. I struggled with was for quite awhile, even though I knew he was in a good place. I’ve run into his family in town a few times since Feb and I am so happy to see how they look at him with love! Secondly, Hannah left in February. Hannah had been living at the volunteer house/working at Neema with me since I had arrived in September and so it was hard to say goodbye but we’ve kept in touch and I can’t wait til she comes back.
I had a wisdom tooth removed at a dental clinic here in Tanzania (for about $25 USD), which was crazy. I also got to go on safari with a group of nannies from Neema House to Tarangire National Park. We saw SO many elephants and they were SO close to the car! Lastly little Sarah got adopted the last day of February which was a huge party and celebration. I love that family.
March brought the rainy season and 5 new babies to Neema! Dawson, Dorothy and Doris- all newborns – all came within a few days of each other. Matilda came a week later, and then later in the month Bakari, who was 4.5 months old, joined us. I cut my hair off again in March, ridiculously short, but I liked it. Elliot and Gloria turned two in March, bringing our count of two year olds to 4!
AprilIn April I started spending a lot more time with little Tumaini. His development was seeming a bit delayed so we worked on a lot of exercises together. Midway through april he came down with severe pneumonia and was in the hospital for a week, it was so hard to see him like that as a little 4 month old baby. Thankfully he made a full recovery.
In April we also welcomed beautiful little Zawadi. The circumstances surrounding her arrival were hard to swallow but she settled in quite quickly at Neema and these days she always has a huge grin on her face. We also started taking the oldest groups of kids out for outings in April, usually to a local restaurant with a small playground. They love it.
MayIn May Tumaini’s mohawk (or kiduku in Swahili) was is all it’s glory, and I LOVED it. At Neema, we received a gift of this electric car with no battery so the kids pile into it and some willing bystander pushes them around. May was also the month we welcomed teeny tiny 2 month old Phillip who only weighed 2.4 kg.Also in May, Elliot got adopted! Elliot was born premature and weighed just under 1 kilo. He was abandoned at the hospital and spent the first 4 months of his life there. Then he then lived at Neema until May when he finally got to go to his forever home! The 4 oldest (Franki, Gloria, Michael and Elliot) always hung out together, and awhile they actually seemed a bit confused as to where Elliot was. But everyone is doing fine now, and right at home in his family. Otherwise May had lots of baby time, especially with Tumaini and Gloria who liked to play my mini me.June
June was a busy month but I feel like I can’t remember a lot of it! We received two new babies, Mohammed.and Rose June. Tumaini got his first teeth, and I got my Tanzanian driving license. Little Debora got adopted.I said hello and goodbye to many volunteers. Michael mastered jumping on the trampoline and loved it. I went on a long weekend trip out to another orphanage called Siouxland Tanzanian Educational Medical Ministries, and it was a great time of rest and playing with their kids there. We also watched a LOT of world cup soccer.
STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO! (July – December)