arrival of container: diana
Let me share the day with you all about the container. Leanne, Ange, Simon and I headed off to the Kenyan Tanzanian boarder to see the container. It arrived 2nd Oct, 10 days late due to clearance problems with customs in Mombasa. I was so sad that Harry and Sarah had already left Tarime, because we had planned so much aroung the contaier for them.
The container was designed and painted by the grade 7 students, Katie Woodruffe and Josie of the Launceston Church Grammar School. Alison Bassano worked tirelessly with her students to help fill, wash and sort things for the container. The girls from The Tarime Goodwill Foundation (in Tasmania), ie Penny, Sonia, Carol, Gill, Kate, Fiona and Lisa worked so hard and selflessly to get clothing, books, the ambulance, medical and educational equipment for the container. This would never have come together had it not been for their amazing work. Rob Van Der Elst from the Deloraine Rotary club worked along side all of us to help bring this all together. Rob did a fantastic job with organizing the shipment of the container to Mombasa. Rob and I had numerous texts and phone calls between Tanzania and Tasmania, trying to get the officals to release our container.
The day arrived at the boarder when I saw our brightly decorated container, covered with the smiling faces of the Grammar students. How it stood out in the dusty brown haze of the Sirari boarder. My eyes filled with tears of absolute joy and relief when I first saw the container. Omari was with me.
We had a busy day, because we had to unpack everything from the container onto a grassy patch, then unload the Ambulance, then repack the container. Dr Winani set 10 helpers with us. All I can say thank goodness for them and the hard work delivered by Leanne, Ange and Simon.
I was priveleged to drive the Ambulance out of the container, a magical moment. Without the generous help and support from Grant Lennox, Mark Strickland and Garry O’keefe for Tasmanian Ambulance Service this would never had happened.
Times like this makes me realize what fantastic people we have supporting us, how we all work together to help people with huge needs. It’s so rewarding seeing everything come together.
By the time we got official clearance of the Ambulance from customs, the hot African sun had gone down for the night, and the sky was softly illuminated by the small cresent of the moon. We were absolutey starving as no one had eaten sine 0700 hrs that morning. A eldery dishevelled local came up to us pushing a tin box filled with samosas, being heated by coals. He must have made a fortune out of us, because we only had American money and were so hungry, that we just ate and paid, ate and paid.
Finally, we were ready to leave for Tarime. Weary, but excited. Ange drove Leanne and I back safely to our welcoming hotel, the CMG. Lisa and Michael were anxiously waiting for us with our well earned sodas.
A great day.