Tanzania Diary: August 16 (night)

After a spectacular day of safari on the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater, our four-by-four split off from the others as we headed back to the guest house. Marianne and I planned to pay our respects to Project Rhotia in the town of Karatu. Ray Kronquist of Santa Clara, who provides support for this after-school computer skills program, had asked us to drop in on its founder, a retired teacher named Martha Shoo.

We had in mind a short visit that would not impose too much on the three other volunteers in our four-by-four, all tired and anxious for a shower to wash off the safari dust. They intended to stay in the four-by-four while Marianne and I delivered Ray’s modest gift of solar-powered lights.

But one cannot easily turn a meeting with an African into something perfunctory. We drove up to the squat, one-room cement structure housing Project Rhotia’s handful of computers long after four o’clock. By now, Marianne and I should know Africa well enough to have anticipated what we found: Martha, her computer skills teacher Judy, and fifteen or so uniformed teenagers waiting to greet us with bougainvilleas, songs, speeches, and a tour of their little building and a slightly larger one under construction next to it, which they hope to move into within a few months. The thought put into that welcome shamed the minimal effort Marianne and I had made to visit.

None of us stayed inside the four-by-four.—Don Stoll


Marianne in sunglasses and two of the volunteers who visited Project Rhotia with us: Eileen Hodson (on her second trip with Karimu) and Carolyn Leone



About Don Stoll

Don and his wife, Marianne Kent-Stoll, are co-founders of the Karimu International Help Foundation. They established Karimu in 2008 at the request of the people of Dareda Kati Village, in the Manyara Region of northeastern Tanzania. Karimu is devoted to working with the residents of Dareda Kati in order to satisfy their development needs, as defined by the villagers themselves.
This entry was posted in Africa, development, poverty, Tanzania, volunteering and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Tanzania Diary: August 16 (night)

  1. Linda says:

    always a surprise

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