Farewell, Connie & George

March 28, 2013 5:59 pm Published by

A day wasn’t enough time to say goodbye to JBFC’s latest long-term volunteers. After hugs, tears and well wishes were exchanged at JBFC’s flagship campus in Kitongo, half a dozen residential girls went with Connie Blaum and George Landrum to the airport 45 minutes away for a final farewell.

“There are no words to describe how sad I am to leave JBFC,” Blaum stated. The Louisiana native served as an art teacher at JBFC’s Joseph & Mary Primary School, a hostess and kitchen manager at JBFC’s restaurant, Papa’s, as well as took on a variety of other roles.

“We have become a family in the past year with the girls and staff,” Blaum continued. “It has truly been the best year of my life.”

In addition to acting as the guest coordinator, teaching a public speaking class at Joseph & Mary’s secondary school and starting a book club for the JBFC residential girls, George Landrum’s skills on the soccer pitch will be sorely missed by the JBFC girls. 15-year-old Neema Ramadahni, who is captain of JBFC’s girls soccer team, tearfully told Landrum how much she will miss him at soccer practice.

“We are all incredibly sad to see both George and Connie leave Tanzania today,” JBFC Executive Director, Chris Gates said.

“It was a very hard goodbye, because they have become a part of our JBFC family throughout this past year,” Gates continued. Their presence will definitely be missed, but we will always remember them by their footprint they left on JBFC.”

“George and Connie have added a great deal of light and laughter to the JBFC campus,” added JBFC Assistant Director, Kayci Hebard. “The girls and staff have grown to love them both. They are leaving big shoes to fill.”

When Blaum and Landrum decided to spend a year abroad, they originally were considering  a program in the Marshall Islands. But a conversation with another JBFC volunteer changed their plans. Landrum calls his time at JBFC the experience of a lifetime.

“For any of you who have either the time or means to contribute to JBFC, I encourage you to do something, anything, to help improve the lives of these girls and this community,” he said.

“You don’t have to be a specialist to make a difference. I am a ref and business major and I was still able to contribute, improve, and bring joy to the lives of these 43 young ladies.”

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This post was written by Mainsprings