Thursday, November 29, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

My first Thanksgiving outside of the U.S. was a great one thanks to the IRC staff. We chose to celebrate the holiday on Friday instead of Thursday so they could have a nice 3-day weekend.

As you'll see in the photos below, they made quite a feast! The good food and company made for a wonderful, relaxed 2-hour dinner.

Sara made biscuts!!! These were wheat biscuts--my favorites ;-)

Since we weren't able to get a turkey, we had chicken instead. Priya is ready to kiss the long neck of the bird!

This is the group we celebrated with from left to Right: Stephen (a retired doctor from Vermont), Gisa and Vatchagan (an Armenian couple), Sara (6-month employee from the mid-west), Priya (grew up in India with her medical missionary parents), Lara (from the east coast), and Rich (bball player from the midwest and Priya's husband).

Our meal: chicken, stuffing, biscuts, sweet potatoes, and cornbread...greens and carrots were on the table...we had pudding and mangoes to finish the meal...notice that there is NO RICE in the mix ;-) Though I do like rice, it was nice to have a meal without it ;-)
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Monday, November 26, 2007

Eva's Birthday

This lovely lady just turned 6 years old!! We still haven't found birthday candles, but she didn't seem to mind ;-)

In this picture you can see (from left to right) Franky (Eva's eldest brother), Sadam (next-door neighbor), Tabitha (friend of mine), Eva, and me :-)
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Monday, November 19, 2007

Camp Consolidation

These are picture from Kanembwa Camp, the camp which is being closed. Roughly 10,000 are being moved to Nduta Camp or to Burundi. These are photos of the people moving to Nduta camp.
Families must destroy their homes before they depart becuase the land is being handed back to the TZ government and they want to regenerate the forests here. In order to make space for trees, the houses must be taken down. Refugees are burning and tearning down their houses. Pictured above is a group of houses and you can see that the roof of one is on fire.

These children are waiting with their parents and belongings for the moving trucks to come. The trucks will take them to Nduta where they will live in temporary shelters till they erect and move into new, temporary mud shelters.

Loading belongins onto trucks...

A partiall destroyed house.
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Friday, November 16, 2007

Camp consolidation

Currently TCRS has two camps, Kanembwa and Nduta, but we are in the process of closing Kanembwa camp and moving those residents to Nduta. Anywhere from 800-2400 people are being moved each week.

The new Nduta residents must start their lives over again. They stay in temporary shelters while they build mud houses. This process is expected to last 5 days, but it's taking longer because of materials shortages.

Children at one of the temporary housing centers. Most of their parents are either cooking, cleaning, or building their new mud house.
Children in the foreground and two of the six shelters in the background.

The inside of one of the shelters. Mats and matresses line the walls. Possessions are stacked in the middle.

The wood pile in the foreground is a combination of shutters, tables, and chairs that the refugees brought from Kanembwa. In the background you can see cloth tents. Some of the refugees erected their own shelters outside of the large tents.
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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Beautiful Faces: Part II

Shots of Burundians preparing to return to their country...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

IRC Youth center at Nduta Camp

These are pics from the youth center the IRC runs in Nduta camp. At the center, kids can play games, listen to music, and recieve training of HIV/AIDS as well as microenterprises. They do a great job of providing a space for girls, who are often pushed to the margins.

Children of youth who attend the center. A woman who attended basket weaving at the center displaying finished products

Same woman from a different angle

Woman participating in hair braiding lessons. Essentially they are training to be hairdressers.

Women attending cooking classes at the center. They are learning to make bread.

Same women.

Women observing the cooking classes.

Women observing the cooking classes.