Greetings from Sr. Mary
Easter Greetings to you! I hope you had a joyful celebration in spite of the pandemic and that you are enjoying spring. We are well here in Tanzania, in the middle of our rainy season. So, everything is very green and growing. I am writing to thank you for your donations made to Emusoi in March. They came at a very good time as I am just finishing up paying the first semester’s school fees.
The past month has been a very eventful time for Tanzania. In the middle of March, our sitting president died. It is said he had a heart attack. He had been absent from view for a few weeks and finally it was announced that he had died.
His death caused much concern in the country. There had never been a sitting president who had died; what as going to happen to the country? The Constitution states that he is to be succeeded by the vice president who will complete his term. However, the president had just begun his second 5-year term last October. His vice president was also a woman and people questioned if an African country would accept a female president.
Our new president Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as president a few days after the death of the president and she presided over all the funeral arrangements. The country seems pleased with her and there is peace in the country. All of us are keeping her in our prayers as she assumes the difficult task of governing the country in the midst of the pandemic.
Our pre-secondary students are working hard as they have settled into life at Emusoi. It is amazing how much they have changed and grown in the few months they have been with us. In the beginning, they were so shy, not sure what to call us or even how to greet us. Now, they run to meet me when I come from my house and fight with each other s to who will carry my bags! They even try to use the little bit of English that they have been taught. This week they are taking mid-term exams, so we will see how much they have learned since they came.
All these girls failed their Standard 7 exams; so the government said we can teach them and maybe they will show the ability to go to secondary school. We are hoping that they will do well and get selected for good secondary schools for 2022.
These girls have a lot to cover in this year. A few of them didn’t go to regular primary school, but they studied for 3 years instead of 7 since they were too old to begin school with other 7-year-olds. Many of the class are older, having begun primary school when they were older or some had repeated some years of primary school. Our teachers have a difficult job to get these girls ready for secondary school, but they girls are responding well to interest and care and being taught each class period which was often not the case in their village schools.
I thank you all for your generosity and support. You are the ones who are helping these girls and giving them a chance for a life they never imagined. Before Easter, two of our former students passed by Emusoi to greet us.
These girls had both studied vocational course in cooking after completing secondary studies. They did not pass well and so they only qualified for vocational school. But both of them are now working, One, Miriamu is a cook in a tourist lodge in the Serengeti and the other girl was not able to get a job in a hotel due to the Covid lay-offs. But she is now self-employed, preparing tea and bites and selling them in a little kiosk near the market. She even has tenders with some businesses providing them with 10 am tea break! Both of these girls have been able to help their families with their profits. They say that Emusoi has brough them far and they don’t know where they would have been without us.
And we don’t know where we would be without you and your generosity. Thank you so much; please don’t get tired of helping us. You and your family are in our prayers every day.
Sr. Mary Vertucci
PS: If there are any of you who get this newsletter by mail and you have an email address, could you let me know your address. That way, I can send it electronically and save on postage and printing costs. Thank you!