Friday, June 13th
As of today, there is a piece of land in the Siha District of Kilimanjaro with KASI’s name on it. Cue excitement! I would love to write about everything that happened today because it was pretty amazing, but we have to go out and celebrate. So briefly…
There are six districts in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania with the newest one, Siha, just added in 2006. Henry arranged for us to meet with the new District Commissioner to see if she might have some land for us to build the new KASI facility. On the drive there Henry let me in on a little secret (the District Commissioner is his younger sister!)
It was a beautiful drive up to her office and even more beautiful driving down the meandering grassy lane to her house, sunflower fields flanking both sides. First I had to sign her official visitor’s log which made me feel pretty important considering the President of Tanzania had signed just a few pages earlier. Apparently the color of the signature signifies how important you are—the President signs in red, members of Parliament in green, and everybody else in blue or black.
Like most Tanzanians, Annarose, the Siha District Commisioner, was such a warm, welcoming person. Henry and I told her about our plan for the new KASI facility and about the funds that we have already raised and she was really excited. There are very few schools for disabled children but one of the best ones in the country is located in her district. So Annarose was very enthusiastic about building her district as a hub for all of this activity.
She has to look at her maps and figure out exactly which piece of land she can give us, but she said by next month we will be able to come and look at it and start working. The only condition is that we have to plant some trees—she really likes gardens, much like somebody else I know! The district is right inbetween Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru so it should be pretty spectacular on a clear day.
I can’t believe this all happened so fast. I expected to spend the whole summer searching for a piece of land and we already have one. Next week we’ll continue planning how to spend the funds from GlobalGiving. I can’t wait!