Greetings from Sr. Mary
Greetings from wet and rainy Arusha! I am writing to thank you for your March donation to Emusoi. All the students who were at Emusoi for Easter break are now back at school. Our pre-secondary students have just finished their second round of monthly tests. They promised us that they would do so much better than the last month, since those were their first exams. We shall see; but we don’t have their results yet.
As I mentioned, it is quite rainy in Arusha. We are coming to the end of the long rains, but they don’t seem to be stopping. Last year, we had drought and this year, there is too much rain. It has rained almost everyday or night since February! These rains have caused floods in many parts of the country. They have also caused a number of deaths. We heard about 15 people died around Dar es Salaam. Some were taken by the water as they tried to cross swollen rivers; others were in houses that were destroyed by the water and others in cars taken by the streams.
In our area, there have been a number of deaths of children who were washed away as they tried to cross rivers. We are near Mt. Meru and water coming down the mountain has carved out deep gorges and gullies. They look so harmless in the dry season; there is no water in them, but during the rains, there are flash floods and they turn into raging rivers. Children attempt to cross and they are taken away. Just yesterday, two children died in a nearby village.
Announcements are made on the radio for parents to watch over their children and in some places schools are being closed during heavy rains, but still people die. The rains may be too much for the crops in the fields. Since the rains were early, farmers planted early and now the crops are water-logged. Please keep these poor people in your prayers as they struggle with unpredictable changes in weather patterns.
Our girls are safe and warm in their dorms and classrooms, but many have colds and coughs and chest problems with the chill and the damp. We all brighten up when the sun comes out and dries us out.
Our girls who finished secondary school last year are anxiously waiting for selection to advanced level studies and to the time to apply for colleges. We are waiting for the government to open the time for applications and to publish the qualifications students need to apply for different professions. These courses will begin in July or October. Next week, our Form 6 students in Advanced level studies begin their national exams. They will be coming back to Emusoi when they finish and then begin applying to University and Diploma courses when their results are announced. Our work never finishes as these students finish their courses and move on.
We often hear from our students when they finish school and they tell us about their work or when they are getting married. Sometimes they come with their children and we begin to see our “grandchildren”! It is very nice. Many of these young women are opening their own pages on Facebook and they also comment on pictures and stories of the Emusoi students. Let me quote a few of them (with a little bit of editing):
“May Almighty God bless you all workers in Emusoi Centre for the good work you’re doing. For sure I will never forget your care, love support and everything that you provided for us all. Sr. Mary and all donors stay blessed.”
Another: “Our Emusoi Centre is doing great!! Am one of Emusoi students taking a degree in environmental sciences at Dodoma University! May GOD guide you in every step you achieve. Love Emusoi with all staff members. Thank you for educating us millions of different girls from pastoralists as well as Hadzabe and others. Stay blessed, Sr. Mary!”
Often these graduates ask God to take care of me and to grant me a long life! If they had their way, I would be here until I was in the hundreds! This shows how grateful they are for all the Center has been able to do for them. But we can only help them as much as you are generous. Your gifts and donations give us the ability to help them and in turn their families and then their communities. We all thank you so much. Please don’t get tired with helping us. You all are in our prayers. May God bless you all!
Sr. Mary Vertucci
Note: All donations should be sent via Maryknoll Sisters, Box 311, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0311. Checks need to be issued in the name of “Maryknoll Sisters”, with “Emusoi Center” written on the memo line. Please include a note designating the gift for Emusoi Center, Arusha, Tanzania. You will receive an acknowledgement from Maryknoll which can be used for tax purposes. I will also send you a thank you from here. If you do not hear from me, let me know about your donation. It will take 2 months or so for me to get news of your donation. EMAIL ADDRESSES: If any of you would like to receive this newsletter by email, please send me your address.