It’s been a few weeks since I returned from the states and wrote a journal entry. Karatu continues to be good to MGRC. Several of the local organizations have made contributions of food and cleaning supplies. Today, a very kind lady brought us a crate of tomatoes. She said that when her farm over-produces, she likes to donate to local organizations. We are very grateful for her consideration and kindness. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~Aesop
One of our house mothers and longest-serving employee, Regina, got married! It was a beautiful traditional wedding. I learned it was Tanzanian tradition for brides to have a send-off party at their parents’ house and then the wedding at the groom’s family house. During the send-off party, it’s customary for the bride to serve special guests a piece of the cake. It was an honor to partake in this custom.
Though the trip was long, I enjoyed it very much! It was great to return to Mairowa where I spent my first year in Tanzania helping a local school set up a 3-acre drip irrigation system. I was able to reconnect with many friends who I have not seen in years. I think the most difficult part of this trip was telling parents that they would have to register their girls with Social Welfare if they wanted MGRC to help them. Since most of them do not speak Swahili, Maasai tribe language is Maa, it was difficult to explain the importance and necessity for following this procedure.
Last week, I made a trip to the Ngorangoro Conservation National Park to pick up, Susan, a 3 1/2 year-old girl whose mother died in childbirth. Her baby sister, Bahati, will be living at Neema Village in Arusha – they specialize in newborn and infant care. The girls’ older sister, Naini, is already here at MGRC. If the baby cannot be reunited with family, we will take Bahati when she turns three and raise her with her sisters.
Life is good on the farm. We have been extremely busy on our ecofarm – which is great! The girls are getting fresh vegetables every day, rather than just twice a week. The cows are all pregnant, which has slowed down milk production, but we still get 23 liters a day. That’s a glass of milk for each girl – all 55 of them! The pigs have grown and should be ready for the freezer by the end of the year. The rabbits love the hydroponic fodder we feed them – so much so they have produced 40 offspring. The girls will have their first-ever rabbit stew sometime in December.
We have been keeping a spreadsheet with the yields-per-day from the farm which helps us to measure our productivity. We also use this as a tool for teaching the girls why growing their own food is less expensive and more nutritious than buying at the store. I love that our ecofarm continues to provide ample opportunities to teach our girls self-sustaining life skills.
Hope for the future. That brings me to our urgent need to break ground on the ecoVillage and secure the site with a parameter concrete/masonary fence. Once we get that built, we can start construction on the girls’ ecoHomes. MGRC girls and their house mothers are currently in temporary housing that won’t be available for much longer once tourism picks up. If you are interested in contributing towards our ecoVillage or would like to fund one of our projects, like the ecoHomes (this would include naming rights too!), donate here!