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December 2015 Update

Dear Friends of the Children of Tanzania,

Mary Ellen Kitundu writing

I know all of you are rushing around getting ready for Christmas. I can just see all the activities and the children waiting impatiently for Christmas. And all of us here in hot Tanzania wish you a Merry Christmas. 

All is ready and we await with bated breath the opening of the clinic. Each room is clean and everything is ready. The last of the computers are being installed. The lab equipment (which was safely kept in Dar is arriving to a sparkling clean laboratory. Staff is all hired. The beds are all made and the stockings hung by the chimney with care. Whoops, no chimney here, but you can imagine our waiting impatiently for Tanesco to finish the last details. While we are ready, Tanesco is not. Now they say January 4th is the day the lights will go on. Apparently the men have to finish climbing all over the poles, get it approved (over the holidays! and then the lights will go on. 

We are waiting with cameras!! In the meantime, we are clearing the grounds around the clinic, planting grass and flowers, fixing the road, etc. It has been a long painful wait for electricity. At one point we actually thought we could open in May, but delay after delay has occurred but we finally see "the light at the end of the tunnel." Our new president has stimulated a speed up in the work of the electrical company, for which we are very thankful. 

And we are also very thankful for all your patience as we continue to construct in a difficult place. But we and you have succeeded!! 

And all the questions from the children and adults around us as to when "exactly" are we going to open will cease as we open the doors! One official as he walked into the exam room said, "A sick person is made 70% well just by coming into this room!" We would not go so far as to say that! But people are impressed by what has been achieved. 

Next for the new year is the building for the digital xray that the Rotary has donated. Ground has been broken for the state of the art Birthing Center. The Neonatal Plans are finally made. It will be a busy new year. While this phase is almost finished, the hospital is not. But you can be proud of what we have achieved together. 

Thanks to all of you and Merry Christmas, 

Sincerely, Mary Kitundu
President of IHP-US, and IHP-JEMA-Tanzania

Denny Lofstrom writing

Paula has had her back surgery which went very well with fusion of 3 vertabrae laser widening of 6 foramina and ablation of 2 bone spurs that compressed the S-1 nerve rootlets that resulted in weakness of the feet and inability to stand on he toes. Being a professional level, tap dancer (in my opinion better than Lawrence Welk dancers) this was most distressing and has improved already this soon after surgery. 

Paula has complimented me on my post-op care of her. She told me, “For an 87 year old doctor, you’re not a bad nurse.” (Thank you, I think?) 

I have always been appreciative of nurses who give good nursing care. Paula wil be allowed to travel as soon as she is off of pain meds and the neurosurgeon estimatd she will be able to drive in 4-6 weeks after surgery. 

Because of her broken right arm (a humoral head fracture) post-op recovery has been a bit more painful for her than we anticipated, but we will be back on our fund raising travels soon, going south to Florida first. 

We hope to see many of you in our next 3 months of travel. 

Merry Christmas and wonderful holidays to all and God bless you.

Denny

Paula Lofstrom writing

You have all been so kind, so generous, and so giving to IHP and to each of us. Thank you. 

As Denny went into great detail, I have had back surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN that went beautifully. All went beautifully and I’m recuperating now at the LaQuinta Motel that has a shuttle that goes daily to Mayo so Denny is getting his yearly check-ups done, too, and I can walk the halls with my walker, further and more frequently every day to regain my strength. We are truly, truly blessed and so appreciate your care, concerns, and prayers. It all worked. 

Mary Ellen sends me the exciting pictures daily of the progress at Zinga. Your donations have made all of this possible, you know. It is YOUR building, it is YOUR generosity that will be assisting God with the healing of small, hurting bodies. You have used the gifts God gave you to help make the world a better place. 

We will continue our fund raising schedule starting January 10th in Florida. Our friend Lynda Sardeson, diabetic nurse educator who has been to Zinga, will accompany us, help with the driving and do the lifting for us. 

As you can see by the accompanying photos, your donations have built an extraordinary first building of The Children’s Hospital at Zinga. 

We need you to keep giving so we can keep giving so the children of Tanzania will have the hopes and expectations of good health that we take so easily for granted here in the U.S. Your gifts inspire us to keep going, to keep asking, and to know that this is God’s work and it takes each one of us doing what we can to take care of each other. We are all God’s gifts to each other, as His son was the gift to all of us. 

Merry Christmas May 2016 shower you with the blessings you deserve as you have blessed others. Joy – to the WORLD!

To continue the work of IHP, please send whatever you feel best about sending to: 

International Health Partners, U.S.
1811 So. 39th St., #36
Mesa, AZ 85206

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Call Joyce at 480-540-9317