Saturday, December 10, 2016

Moshi Week 8&9 Flurries of activities

10 December 2016

I cannot believe that we are back in the United States again—from a warm, but not unpleasant about 85 degrees to 15 degrees.  Yes, friends, 15 in Boone this morning at 6:15 am when our jet lagged bodies finally got out of bed. This is a lengthy blog!

The last week in Moshi was a flurry.  I had meant to be able to post blogs throughout the last 10 days of our living in Moshi, but it was a continuous bustle, and packing is never an easy experience for us, even though we bring very little home with us.  Though my mobility was limited during the entire trip to Moshi, I found that the trip has been rich with friendships, new and old, and that the mountain continues to be spectacular despite the profound loss of snow, and that there are things that that all the mobility in the world cannot replace.  Perhaps I found a new appreciation of life in general.  Looking back, I think about the ability to skype with our two daughters, granddaughters and their lovely husbands, the new meaning within our church community and the respect I have for the members, my appreciation of the new askaris who by in large have been fantastic in their energy and patrol of our small quirky 1960's compound, for our friends who care for our house and yard and the growth and sweetness of their children, for our fantastic project the KCMC/Duke Health Collaborative, as well as the KCMC college and all the staff that has made such a change for the medical students, for the youth and the Community Advisory Board who are enthusiastic and seem genuinely interested in the breadth of health research going on in the project and the hope for future treatments for a variety of health problems, for our yard, our hash friends, the book club, dear Sabini who daily kept me going at 7am swimming lap after lap with some new stroke or leg kicks, for our wide scope of friends young and old.  It has been a full visit. A big welcome home to the freezing cold!
I loved finding a third Patricia in Moshi.  She is a member of Book Club, as well as now part of our Saa Mojas.
Sabini was ever the patient instructor.  Helping us out, giving newer harder strokes to do.  Thanks and see you in January.
My disastrous fall was the result of Patrica #2 and Sophyia in perfect synchronized swimming. Unfortunately with the lag on my Powershot, I couldn't get their arms when they were perfectly together.

Eric of Saa Moja's had learned to swim up to 16 laps from not swimming at all the first day I came to the pool.  I guess that is the Lawyer in him!
My physio-therapist Dee Dee Whalen created more miracles for my leg with her great deep tissue massage and reassurance that I would get well.
Who gets excited about autopsies?  Well, Ann Nelson does.  She was helping out the young MD's who are here working on the extremely interesting autopsy study.  You have to understand that autopsy has as many myths in Tanzania as in the U.S., but it is so important in understanding the causes of death here.  Even with rudimentary equipment the autopsy can be done, and Ann threw herself into the work.  She was an entertaining house guest at A-5 and even more a fine pathologist who gave terrific encouragement to the team.
My same Masai Mama came to sell jewelry.  She likes to sell at the International School at their Christmas fair, but I know that most of the money she makes, won't stay in her pocket for her family, so I always invite her to my house.  This time, Rose and Pauli served her tea and cakes.  She sat with me inside the house and outside, and all was quite nice.

The chair of Pediatrics Anne Reed came for a visit with her husband John Pat.  She is fantastic.  A secret woman of power.  She joined the other "women of power" for dinner at El Rancho (Indian cuisine).  A fine group.  Sara Urasa (head of hospital) Blandina Mbaga (Project Coordinator & KCRI director) Mary Celine Msuya (Director of Community Health) Anne Reed, and Aisa Shao (Pediatrics).

There are no more city wide celebrations of World AIDS Day, per the order of President Magafuli who states that it is a waste of money.  So, we each celebrated in our own way.  I remembered memories of those who had died with my scotch-taped pictures of quilt pieces at church prayers, my first visit with KIWAKKUKI to a new house built for an orphan (Esther) who was being taken care of by her very impoverished grandmother (both soon died after the house was constructed because AIDS medicines were not free at the time), and my own memories of my mentor Jeffrey Wayne Davies and the work of our Duke AIDS Clinic, both of which shaped my life forever.

We had flurries of dinners before we left.  Pictures of Former Dean Mteta's house did not come out, but the new, thoughtful and compassionate Executive Director of KCMC/KCMCollege, Gileard Masenga and his wife Mary did.  Their house is warm and comfortable just like the two of them and their children.  Of course, we could not survive without our Deputy Vice-Provost Ahaz Kulanga for many reasons, not the least of which was that he drove us to both homes after dark (a feat in Moshi when it is off the Arusha-Dar Highway.

I could not believe that the last hash in Kibosho featured this funeral vehicle.  Farewell Funeral Services.  Imagine!
Pastor Tony Foreman hared the hash.  There are so many reasons why we love him...He took this one on and apparently it was hard.  I couldn't walk it, but I heard!  He is with old friend Susie who is visiting Moshi for a month.
William Howlett (neurologist) and Mike Mayes, heading many college projects (sadly Mike leaves the beginning of January along with family Anna and their 3 sweet girls)
Backsides of 3 guys, good friends.  Greg, Phil and John.  I'm sure they were philosophizing about deep thoughts. hmmm.
This hash in Kibosho featured baby Madeline the most popular person clearly there.  At one point so many children were grabbing to hold her that I yelled ACHA! (Stop!!! For real!!) so that Catherine could get her baby back.  Madeline was totally unfazed by the whole experience.

The Cathedral of Kibosho stands proudly to announce not just its faithful followers, but the incredible beauty of the village and the surroundings.  I particularly am fond of this picture of the Virgin with the kids playing soccer beneath it because of our friend Guido who had run up to Kibosho and thought he had seen the Virgin in the flesh (umm dehydrated?)
One of my favorite new askaris is John in the back.  He is standing with his colleague and the one of the oldest gardener in the compound.
Kili was out beautifully the final day we were in Moshi, It is a magnificent presence for us.
So here we are, back in the US.  Our second night home and here is the temperature outside and inside in Boone.  We are cool enough for sure.