Tanzania Diary: June 29

Our Tanzanian Board member, Joas Kahembe, remained concerned this morning over the whereabouts of some of the construction materials that we need in order to build the village’s new bridge.  This construction project may be as important as anything that Karimu has ever done along with the people of Dareda Kati Village, which gets cut in two every rainy season by the overflow of an ordinarily tame local river.

Joas was already worried about the construction materials when our volunteers stopped by his guest house in Babati, late yesterday afternoon, on our way from Mt. Kilimanjaro Airport to the village.  He had not heard from the truck driver who was bringing the materials from Nairobi, in Kenya, despite originally having been informed that the truck might arrive as early as the previous day, June 27.  By the time we talked to Joas at his guest house, the company that sent the truck had finally called him.  Yesterday morning, June 28, Joas was told, the truck had left Arusha, a hundred miles from Babati.  But our two buses full of volunteers left Arusha at noon, and here we were.  Where was the truck?

So when we heard the company’s explanation, this morning, of the truck’s slow progress, we expected Joas to relax.  The truck is carrying materials for several different jobs, in different towns; unlike our buses, the truck could not take a direct route from Arusha.

I did not hear the relief in Joas’s voice that I had expected, however.

“I need to let the driver know that he must arrive here before the middle of the afternoon, but his company has failed to give me a phone number for him.”

This went right over my head.  Why was it crucial for the driver to reach Babati before mid-afternoon?

“The people I have hired might start drinking.  If the lorry arrives at three or four in the afternoon, they’ll be useless for unloading the materials.”

I want Joas’s pessimism to be unwarranted, apart from the matter of when the truck will get to Babati.


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.
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