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Challenges and new NGO partnership

This week has been quite interesting. It had its share of highs and a few lows. Each day seems to present more challenges than the previous one. Perhaps I’m starting to feel tired or simply missing my family and friends. Despite having lived here for a while and believing that I understand the Maasai culture, I don’t always fully appreciate some of their customs. Recently, I started asserting my preferences, which has left them bewildered. For example, when I drive to Arusha (a two and a half hour journey), I inform others of my exact departure time instead of waiting for them. Surprisingly, their punctuality has improved since some missed out on the free ride due to their habitual lateness. I wish I had implemented this strategy earlier to save myself frustration.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit a Neema House in Arusha, which is referred to as rescue mission instead of an orphanage. Neema House is operated by a retired couple from Temple Texas who are in their early 70s but still going strong. They care for 35 abandoned babies, aged newborn to three years old. Despite their heartbreaking stories, these children now receive love and care in a clean and safe environment, surpassing the norm for Tanzanian children. The work here is truly humbling.

In addition to caring for these babies, Neema House also sponsors 11 children in the surrounding area. We plan to collaborate with them to provide support in terms of food distribution and building relationships within the community. There is a water project on the horizon where our experiences, both positive and negative, can potentially contribute value to their efforts.

We have also collaborated with another non-governmental organization (NGO) on a water project. It is in the process of being justified and will be submitted for approval in the upcoming week. If it receives approval, we will proceed with implementing the project for the communities in the Longido district. This project is highly beneficial as it will provide access to clean water and introduce innovative farming techniques to the area. Implementation starts in April when I return from visiting family.

The drought continues. The area is brown again and the livestock are getting weak. Despite this my partner would like to buy more cattle as they are very inexpensive now. I do not agree with his plan as I do not believe that the land can support more cattle without supplementing their food. If we have to purchase additional food the animal cost rises and we would make no money or could even lose the entire investment. Maasai seem to only look at the positives when it comes to cattle and if things go bad they just say pole, pole. (sorry or too bad). They are a resilient tribe and if things go bad they pull together and start over.

I’ll return to the States in March and can’t wait to see my family. Once I’m back in Tanzania, I’ll be occupied with solar and water projects. Hopefully, I can make living in the Tanzanian bush more like living in a gated community in Arizona. We’ll see.

I wrote this six days ago and am still trying to publish. I need to get better reception where I live. We finished our proposal with the large NGO and am hoping to hear soon if we move forward or not. I am very looking forward to visiting family and friends in a few weeks.


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