KRISMASI NJEMA! (Merry Christmas in Swahili)

Dec 15th, 2015 | By | Category: Newsletters, Updates
The walls of the building have been repaired and reinforced, and window bars have been installed. The gravel pile is being moved to the latrine (on the left).

The walls of the building have been repaired and reinforced, and window bars have been installed. The gravel pile is being moved to the latrine (on the left).

I love this time of year, when the old year starts to wind down and preparations for Christmas begin. The goodwill and cheerfulness of the season warm my heart. This Africa Village Project “Christmas card” comes to you with best wishes for a very Merry Christmas. May all the joys of the season be yours.

I’m very happy to let you know what the AVPA has accomplished in this year. You might remember that we have been renovating the building on the land we bought in August 2013. The land was a huge expense for such a small organization as the AVPA ($9,000 CDN), and then the renovations to convert the building into a medical dispensary cost at least as much. It has been a long, slow process over several years to raise these funds. But we are delighted to tell you that the electricity has been installed and the building has windows. The renovations are now finished!

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This worker is plastering the outside walls in preparation for painting.

Dale and I were thrilled to see the building when we went to Tanzania in May for our triennial visit to Okaseni Village. As always, it was wonderful to see Melki, the village mayor, and Salma, our assistant. They have worked with us since the beginnings of the AVPA and have since become dear and trusted friends. The first place they took us to when we arrived in the village was – of course – the dispensary building.

We were absolutely delighted to see the renovations. (Check out the May 2015 posting to see some “before” pix.)The ramshackle old building had been structurally reinforced and the interior reconfigured into four rooms, including ones for consulting with patients and for storing medicines and supplies. The workmanship of the renos was basic but well done, and there was a grace and beauty to the building with its pleasing proportions and attractive details.

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Dale takes a picture of the (almost) finished dispensary when we visited in May. The small building on the left is the state-of-the-art latrine. At that time, only electricity and window panes were still needed.

Many words and messages of thanks for the dispensary came to us from the villagers. They were so appreciative, telling us that it is a dream come true for them, that they had never hoped the village would have its own dispensary. Of all the projects and ventures that we have worked on in Okaseni, the dispensary building has by far garnered us the most appreciation and gratitude from the villagers. It shows perhaps how critical accessible health care is to them and how desperately they need it.

We are now working on getting supplies and equipment for the dispensary. Basic equipment like chairs and tables, storage cupboards and a small refrigerator are needed, as well as medical supplies such as blood pressure cuffs and thermometers. Please donate today to help us purchase these items. The villagers will be very grateful for your kind generosity. It literally means life to them.

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Melki and I on the front porch of the dispensary. Some of the charming detail work can be seen, as well as the impressive metal door.

Asante sana! (Many thanks!) Krismasi njema!

 

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