I am writing this from my house in the pages word application software on my Mac. I will try and cut and paste when I get on line and can access my blog. Since I am not a techie I am not sure if it will work but it is better to try than to wait until I get a strong and long enough connection in the bush.
This year has been very interesting from my perspective. Living in Tanzania has been great. I always loved the outdoors and this country is an outdoors-mans paradise. My main focus was starting our NGO. My partner who is a native Maasai is also my good friend. He has been invaluable in teaching me the culture and explaining why things are done the way they are with the Maasai. I had many ideas and plans that I thought would be possible to accomplish the first year but I have learned to take one day at a time and accept what progress is made daily.
The first project we undertook was a grocery shop. The shop is doing well. The people are very happy they have a place to buy their groceries and recharge their cell phones, without having to travel twenty or so kilometers for these basics.
The second project which has turned out to be the biggest challenge was our bore hole. We have waited over eight months and still no water. We have finally contracted with another firm and am hopeful that we will have water in the next month or so. This has been a very dry year. Our area went six months without rain. We have been blessed to have the rains finally start. Many people lost livestock due to the draught. The livestock are recovering now and the people can start to make a little money again.
We have begun several other projects with widows from our area. Our goal and stated mission is to lend a helping hand and not just give handouts. We are encouraged by the progress the women are making in producing profits for themselves in such a short time.
We have been meeting with several larger NGO’s who have projects in our area that fit with our organizations goals. We are in discussions with them about partnering to provide local project management and support.for their project.
Christmas was nice as I stayed at the Boma and relaxed. I enjoyed the time alone to reflect on the past year and pray for the coming years adventures. I missed my children and grandchildren. I promised them I would return for a visit this spring. I miss them and wish some day to be able to bring them here to see this wonderful place. Christmas in Tanzania, at least in this area, is celebrated similar to that in the States. Church, then a family gathering to eat and enjoy each others company. The biggest difference is no tree with tons of presents under for the kids. The big gift for the children is a set of new clothes. I remember as a child how disappointed I was to get clothes for Christmas instead of a toy. Toys are not big here in fact you do not see any at the Bomas. Commercialization has not come to the bush yet. Maybe because they are blessed with not having electricity and thus no TV.
I have made many friends in the area and am enjoying being immersed in the Maasai culture. They are a very interesting people, friendly, kind, generous and very helpful. I especially enjoy trying to have a conversations with them at the shop. I am language impaired and most of them speak no english. It makes for a very colorful exchange.
I am looking forward to the new year and the opportunities that lay ahead.
I will try and write more often if this works.