Friday, April 3, 2015

“Reading a book is like looking through a window!” ― Zetta Hupf

Karen has a friend named Andrea Wall who works with Books for Africa and lives in Dodoma, Tanzania, about 600 kilometers from here (400 miles).  Andrea is always on the lookout for books that Karen can use in our preschools, and she recently received a big shipment that had seven boxes of preschool age books.  It only cost us about $70 to have them packed up in Dodoma and shipped by bus to us here in Bunda.  We picked them up yesterday, and you can see one happy Mama Africa (holding Sissie, her stuffed toy that can run and bark) and some of the books displayed on the table in the picture at the right.  We have many things here that we didn’t expect to find here, but books are simply not available, especially books in English for young learners.  Some things come and go, like bacon that was here for years and then disappeared three months ago.  Hopefully, somebody will eventually order some more because it is a big seller among us non-Africans.  However, books never have been here and never will be unless we work to get them here ourselves.  Some years ago, a group of very dedicated people from Methodist churches in Fayetteville and nearby collected over 30,000 books and shipped them to us by container ship.  Those books are now in a new public library here in Bunda and in high school libraries in Bunda and Musoma.  Several government officials tried to get us to give the books to them so that they could sell them.  We resisted, they fought us, but in the end, Karen prevailed and they went where they were needed.  We are so thankful to Andrea in Dodoma for assisting us in getting children’s books to our preschools.  Books are heavy and expensive to ship, so we count ourselves very blessed to have Andrea helping us.  The orphans who attend our preschools are the real winners, and they LOVE books.  They read them over and over and over again.  Say what you want about Kindle and ebooks, but the real things that kids can hold in their hands will never go out of style, not here, not anywhere.
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