Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Legend of Pancho Villa

This is Pancho Villa, one of our Rhodesian Ridgebacks. He came to live with us about a year ago (October 2010)and is a full brother to Hector. When he arrived, he contracted Parvo and came very close to death. Two friends who were visiting at the time, laid hands and prayed over him. He recovered completely and has become quite a character.

Because one of Pancho's older brothers had an aggression disorder, his overzealous behavior gave us cause for concern, so we determined it was probably best to neuter him. Ed assumed the procedure was much like that of cattle and pigs, but was told by a veterinarian friend that was definitely NOT the way to do dogs.
So, she invited us to sit in on a couple of procedures at her clinic in Arusha. She showed us exactly how it was done, gave us both a little hands on experience. Snip, snip, cut, tie, stitch....very little blood....seemed simple enough. When we finished, Dr. Lieve sent us on our way back to to Dodoma with surgical supplies, sedatives, and post-op medication. Everything we needed.

By now, Pancho is 10 months and weighs about 80 pounds.
Thank goodness there are no pictures to post from the operation.
With Pancho sedated and asleep and our trusty guard, Amos standing by, our veranda became a surgical theater......and as the procedure progressed resembled those you see on television shows like ER or Grey's Anatomy. You would have heard the following conversation.

Me: Looks good..(as I am tying off an artery).....(pause)
Oh, Ed, that's a lot of blood....(pause)
Where's all the blood coming from?......(Ed still hasn't said a word)
This isn't good, Ed.
Ed....something's wrong.....(by now,the blood is squirting out and is now all over me, Amos, and Ed.

Amos: Babu (Ed) this is very bad......(Ed is still silent and working)

Me: (Panicking)...Ed, we need to call someone.

Ed: (Rather brusquely) Debra, this is Tanzania.....there is no one to call. Tie off the vein again.

Our poor little Pancho.....and there was nothing to do but stitch him up and wait. Amos was pacing around the veranda, shaking his head and saying "Babu, this is very bad". By now our houselady, Emme, has joined us and is wringing her hands. Pancho is resting and, thankfully, breathing. Emme and I lay hands on him and pray for healing. I went a step further and put on a CD with healing scriptures being read in both ENGLISH and HEBREW. Emme and I sat and waited for about 3 hours with the scriptures being spoken over him. It wasn't long before he began to stir and, understandably, he was a bit shaky. By the following day he was moving around and eating well. Ten days later we removed his stitches and he's been great since.

His bark and growl are still not quite as low as his brother, Hector, though.
This is Pancho today.

Psalm 36:6 (NLT) You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.

Lunch in Chloe's Garden

Sunday afternoon, we were invited to have lunch in Chloe's garden. Chloe is a delightful young woman from Belgium who is working as a speech therapist here in Tanzania. We have met her at several international gatherings and she has become one of our "adopted" family. She has, not only, mastered Kiswahili in a few short months, but also has learned the Tanzanian version of sign language.

Chloe is also a vegan, which is no problem for me. Ed usually likes a little more protein with his meal, but he joined in and ate everything served.

Other guests included a Caroline, a medical student from Holland, and Judy, a special needs teacher from England.

We heard rumors that Chloe's specialty was baking breads. She didn't fail us today and made croissants for the first time. She was so proud of them and made sure photos were taken as proof of her culinary abilities.

We've learned in Tanzania that it's not the elaborate meals and beautifully laid tables that make a difference in getting together. Pots of beans and leftovers have often been on the menu. It's the time spent in sharing one another's company that makes our gatherings truly memorable.

Acts 2:46-47 (NLT) They worshipped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity--all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people.

To Blog or NOT to Blog....That is the question

So take a look at how long it's been since I posted anything to this blog. I loved doing it, but 2010 got a little crazy and I just fell behind. Plus, Facebook seemed to be a great way to stay in touch.

But then, I realized there are so many of our friends who don't Facebook and, so don't get updates on what is going on in Tanzania.

Another reason is that a blog gives a little more insight into what life is like for these Texans in Tanzania.

So bear with me as I get started again...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tanzania 2010

The last 6 months of 2010 was crazy. I will try and do a better job keeping the blog current this year. Here is the video we created re-cappping the year.

We want to thank everyone who has given so unselfishly to the OMEGA projects in Tanzania.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Meet the Trimble Family from St. Paul Minnesota. A 10 year dream of a family mission trip to Africa was realized this summer. There were many obstacles the family had to overcome, but
They raised funds to install windows at a church in the village of Ntyuka.  The entire family went to work installing windows, patching with mud mortar, and then painting.
It was not all work and no play, as the family organized games with the village children each day.
The happiness stimulated in play carried over to their work.
Posted by Picasa

TEACH IT TEAM-Journey's End

After 2 weeks of hard work, the Teach It Team, set off on safari in Mikumi National Park.
It was a great safari which sported a rare shot of a lion soaking up the warmth of an early morning sunrise. He wasn't too excited by our presence. In fact this was one of the few shots I got with his eyes open.
The team then opted for a day trip to the island of Zanzibar. It has a completely different feel than mainland, Tanzania. After touring a spice plantation and the old slave market, they strolled through the market.
The streets of Zanzibar are narrow and many passable only by foot.
Back in Texas, Susan will return to her home-bound teaching, Heidi to her 2nd grade classroom, and Sara will continue her teacher training. All agree their lives will never be the same.
Posted by Picasa


The Teach It Team came bearing suitcases of books. When combined with many other books already donated to the Safina Street Network program, they undertook the job of cataloging over 400 books, building and installing bookshelves, and opening a new library for the street kids.

The new bookshelves were funded by the Teach It team and built by Ed.
They filled every possible corner and space with shelf space, anticipating a room one day filled with books.
Susan, Sara, and Heidi did a great job on the library, but their passion lay working with kids at the center.
Susan loved spending time reading and working with the Safina nursery kids. Heidi spent a great deal of time working with the older boys on their English skills.
Sara was a great playmate for the kids.