With the school being closed, December has been very calm. In the beginning of the month, most kids went back to their respective families for Christmas. Only Doris, Jesca and Magreth stayed. With only three kids left, Tawny, me and the kids all moved back up to the main house where Joyce and Kaaya stay together with Corfield. Calvin also joined us, as well as two other cousins of Corfield’s so all together we had 7 children up at the main house.
The children who went home were very excited to spend Christmas with their mothers and/or other family members. Thanks to many generous donations and with fewer kids at the orphanage, we were able to do some fun activities with the ones who, for different reasons, chose to stay at Peace Matunda for Christmas. We took them Christmas shopping, braided their hair etc. It felt very important to spend some quality time with the kids who didn’t get to go see their families and we ended up having a great Christmas together.
Tanzanian Christmas is traditionally celebrated on the 26th of December, American Christmas on the 25th and the Swedish Christmas is on the 24th… so we decided to celebrate 3 days of Christmas. The 24th was spent at Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge where we had lunch and used the pool. On the 25th, we were invited to Havilah Village Children’s Home, an orphanage close to Arusha National Park. We had a great time having lunch together and playing with their kids. On the 26th of December we had a calm day at home with gift exchanging etc.
Peace Matunda received a lot of donations before Christmas. Kathy Franklin has continued with the calendar selling and also raised money at schools etc. in Esterhazy. Ex-volunteer Heather Campbell also raised more money through a used books sale. Furthermore, we received a very generous donation from the Hope family that came to Peace Matunda with the Unique Expedition group in September last year. In terms of donations, the greatest news this month is that the givemeaning.com money has reached us! After a lot of waiting, postponing, organising and endless of help from ex-volunteer Andy Rosenhek we finally got the 17,000 Canadian dollars that have been donated over the past year through givemeaning.com. Thanks to this money, we have been able to start building the next school building. We will have another classroom, bedroom and more showers.
On behalf of staff and children at Peace Matunda, I want to say thank you for all the support that have been shown and given to us during 2008. We wish you all a happy new year!
Kaaya by the new school building