Bahati was brought to Maasai Girls Rescue Center (MGRC) years ago by her grandmother who could no longer care for the vision-impaired child.
I had the honor of becoming Bahati’s sponsor and have visited her twice in Tanzania – in December 2020 and April 2021. I saw how she had progressed over those few months, though she was still very shy, probably wondering about me.
With help from Boniface Plasidi – my guide, driver and a member of MGRC’s Tanazian board – I took Bahati and three of her friends to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. We visited the volcanic Ngorongoro Crater and saw wild game animals – elephants, lions, hippos, hyenas and jackals! It was fantastic!
I brought 100 balloons along with me for the girls. The next day, we had a party at the center, with food, cakes and games. I took photos of the girls with a Polaroid camera and gave them the pictures. Bahati enjoyed the celebration and I got video of her singing and smiling, which made me so happy.
I have supported several children in that part of the world in recent years through several organizations. As a donor, I like to visit to see what is going on. On my first trip all I could do was cry, it moved me so much. To see these little kids, how little they had, yet how happy they were. It opened a whole new perspective to me.
When I was young, my mom, who was a teacher, made it a point to bring people of different races and backgrounds into our lives. As an adult, I was a single mom who raised two boys alone. I was active in politics and worked 20 years at the Wisconsin state capitol.
Now I have remarried and live in Scottsdale, Arizona. I do daycare at church. I love kids.
I would urge anyone to get involved with MGRC, as a sponsor, volunteer or visitor. You have to go there to understand it. There are no words to explain it.