January 25 — Made another trip to Moshi Town today to tidy up some loose shopping ends for the children, and to do some major banking deposits for secondary schools. It’s always much hotter in Moshi than up on the hills so we were baking as we walked around town. ‘Hustle and bustle’ doesn’t come near to describing the atmosphere. Some impressions: lepers on the streets begging, young men urging you to buy their wares, non-stop traffic noise, mamas selling mangos, avocados, bananas and so much other fruit, men frying bananas, roasting peanuts and slicing pineapples from huge loaded carts, men and women sewing on the sidewalk, taxi drivers everywhere coaxing you into their cars, phone time kiosks to load up your mobile with time strips, and here and there a glimpse of the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. There’s definitely less snow on top than last year.
Also on this trip we visited Magreth at her home to see how she is doing. She seemed happy to see us and proudly showed us some of the items of clothing she has made since starting her apprenticeship with a tailor. Her health is the same and she is still receiving treatment from local hospital. We also visited her the tailor, Joyce, who is training Magreth, at her shop. We negotiated another arrangement for next year including material, lunch and instruction for Magreth. When we told Magreth that if she worked hard and learned more about sewing we would buy her a sewing machine, tears came to her eyes.
Finally we visited Makunde Craft market which is just outside of Moshi and a quiet artist’s market where it’s possible to see some carvers actually making their sculptures out of ebony, rosewood, and jacaranda wood. We purchased some pieces for resale in Canada. I found a young man whom I met last year named Mathew. He is 20 and has finished primary school. Not being able to afford secondary school he has learned how to carve, and carve very well as I saw last year. I spoke to last year because I was very impressed with his skill and I gave him my email address. He did contact me a couple of times and this time when I met him I told him that I would be in touch about carving specific items for ABCD to pick up next year. I think we can promote his work in Canada, with his photo and story and be able to help him through selling his work for ABCD.