Sunday, August 17, 2014

Kicking and Screaming

Greetings from New York City, my dear readers!  Bet you all weren't expecting that one!!  I am more than pretty sure that what with my busy months of June and July (travel, illness, wageni, personnel changes, general busy-ness, etc.), I neglected to post that I would be coming back to NYC for my annual stateside sojourn in search of funding.  Oopsy.

To be honest, this year's trip crept up on me pretty quickly as well, and I was so busy last month that I didn't even get to update the blog as much as I would have wanted.  But that's okay, it just means that my first bunch of posts from the U.S. will be chock-full of Tanz stories, of which there are many.  For the next 3+ months, I'll be splitting my time between NYC and DC, networking, researching grant opportunities, taking care of financial matters, and addressing other non-program-related aspects of Toa Nafasi.  Holla back if anyone's in the New York or Washington areas and wants to get together.

Anyhoo, a couple weeks back, I wrote about the first few wageni who rolled through the Project but since Kelly and Andrea, there have been many more, the most notable group being the Cartusciello family, comprised of Michael Sr., Tina, Sophia, and Michael Jr.  Michael Sr. is a tax law friend of my dad's and, upon hearing about the Project from him, expressed interest in being a part of it.  His wife, Tina, was also enthusiastic having a background in special education herself as well as being a speech pathologist.  College-age daughter Sophia and high school athlete son Michael Jr. came along for the ride.

In a lucky coincidence, my own auntie, Danna Peterson, and her teenage son Philip, had also planned a trip to come see the Project at the same time, so I was able to combine the two family vacations into one super-sized one, the likes of which National Lampoon would have been proud to behold.  We planned a week for both families to come out to Msaranga Primary School and hang with the kids and a week of safari so the visitors could see all the natural beauty that Tanzania has to offer (ahsante sana, Pristine Tours, for helping with that jazz!!)

Originally, the boys, Philip and Mike Jr., wanted to run a brief sports camp with the Standard Ones for the week, but the Muslim holiday of Eid interfered and with two days off from school, we had a very abbreviated time to play.  Still, I think we managed to make the most of the short time we had and both families had a lot of fun teaching the kids kickball and playing soccer.  As Angi was still in-country for their visit and Evelyn volunteering with the Project, they also got to be part of the family fun.

There are tons of photos and videos from the visit, so I'm splitting them up into sections, and just posting the sports items this time.  Next time, you'll see the kids playing with Legos (donated by a friend of Angi's who works for The LEGO Group, ahsante sana, Lego Company!!) and Sophia making a new friend.  Until then, check out the "kickin' and screamin'" below!

 Philip plays a little one-on-one with Milulu.

Young Mike gets in on the action.
 And you thought World Cup was over....

Mike Jr. getting ready to "pitch."
 The ball in motion.

 Mike Sr. and Sophia watching from the sidelines.
Vumi helping to explain the game of kickball....
after getting the explanation herself!
Kickball Cartusciello-style.
More from the Cartusciello/Peterson/Rosenbloom/Stone-MacDonald/Keane/Temba family vacation next post!

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