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It is all in how it is said

It is all in how it is said

Communication is critical when trying to work with people. A team member must be able to communicate effectively if the work or project is to be completed successfully. I am a problem in this area. I have been in Tanzania living in an area predominately Maasai and have not learned either Swahili or Ma (Maasai language). I have been depending on various people some who learned english from me to translate for me. There are times that I am sure what I say and what is communicated from the interpreter are not even close to the same. This leads to some hilarious and some frustrating situations. The good news is the work is getting finished, and the people I work with are very tolerant of my shortcomings. I am asked by so many people, the police, friends, neighbors, why I do not learn their language. I try to explain I have a language block and have had all my life. I am told I am just lazy. Maybe so but I still have not been able to pick up more than a handful of greeting words in both languages. It makes for a good laugh from my friends and some raised eyebrows from others. It all works out in the end. Maybe someday I will clear this language block and then my neighbors and friends will be sorry as then I will not stop talking and they will not be able to talk in front of me like they do now. It goes to show it is all in how it is said.

The cow barn is complete!

MGRC new dairy cow barn in Tanzania
  The new cow barn
One of two of our dairy cows
Mrs. Jay, the white cow
Our unnamed dairy cow
To-be-named, the black cow

The dairy cows are adjusting to life in their new home. I am trying to learn how to care for them. I get a lot of input form my friends as the Maasai love cows. The cows are due to birth in late September and early October. The girls will then be able to get milk every day.

The kids are on school holiday for a month

Some want to go home to see their families and others want to stay here. We will be providing summer classes for the ones who stay at the MGRC. When school resumes seven of the young girls will start attending a private Christian english medium school run by my good friends Steven and Agnes Kiruswa. The school is next door to the MGRC and classes are small. I tried government school with an after school tutor but was not satisfied with the results. The young girls will benefit greatly from the smaller class size and the Christian and english courses. We will continue to tutor them in the evenings and expect to have good communication with their teachers so we can focus on the areas that the individual girl needs help with most. I am very pleased that we can support this change as the girls will build a stronger foundation in which to grow into their full potential.

I am thinking of a return trip to the States

I have several people I am discussing this with but I need to work around the cow birthing and make sure all is in good shape before I go. The MGRC staff is learning and adjusting to my OCD way of doing things. I joke but sometimes I feel sorry for them as the cultural differences are great. Some things that are important to me are looked at by them as silly or they ask why. I just explain that I am a bit difficult and they then laugh. I am so thankful that they are tolerant of my peculiarities.

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