Wednesday, April 22, 2009


It has been a while since I gave a general update, so here we go! The rains are here - occasionally - but when they are here, boy does it get muddy! Luckily I know how to drive in snow and sleet, with black ice - which is the equivalent to the kind of mud we have here. The corn is growing but everyone is still holding their breath to see if the rains will last long enough to have a good harvest.

Last weekend, Minnesota International Health Volunteers (who have an office here in Karatu), held their second annual Run for Malaria - a half marathon aimed at raising awareness about malaria prevention and treatment. The Olympic teams from Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda all came to Karatu to run from the gate of the Ngorongoro Crater into Karatu town.

It was tons of fun! I was at the finish line to cheer everyone on! Dr. Frank and one of our nurses were there as well, providing medical attention to those in need!

Here is a picture of me (with our friend Paula) and a local "crazy woman" - there is no better way to describe her. She wears goat skin and this tribal mask, and tries to frighten small children. She found Paula and I to be fascinating. I was wishing her goat skin skirt didn't smell quite so much!

Other than that, things here are great! Frank and Susan depart this Friday for 7 weeks of fundraising in the U.S.. The FAME staff and I will hold down the fort while they are away! We will miss them, but we wish them luck!!!

People have been emailing me and sending me messages inquiring about the adoption process. First of all, THANK YOU to everyone for your love and support. Especially to those of you able to support my parents back home! Things are going well - so far, so good - slowly, but that was to be expected. No return date as of yet. The rest of April and all of May will be important - lots of court dates. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

Lots of love, Meredith

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yet another new scholar

Thanks to the amazing generosity of Emma Olson and her mother, Dr. Mary Ellen Shields, yet another Tanzanian child in need has been granted a full scholarship to secondary school!

This is Zawadi (which means 'gift' in swahili). Zawadi was accepted to Edmund Rice, a very prestigious private secondary school in Arusha. Zawadi is 15 years old and just began Form One in January, after completeing government primary school in Karatu.

Just this past weekend, Zawadi visited me while on his Easter week of vacation. He presented me with his report card for the last 3 months of classes. He is doing exceptionally well! His teacher reports that he is doing "fantastic work," and that he "has a great way about him!"

Zawadi is excelling in math, one of his favorite subjects. But most impressive of all of his scores were the ones for creative thinking, independence, cooperation, responsibility, and attitude! We couldn't be more proud of his performance!

Thank you Emma and ME for making this happen!