Sunday, May 31, 2009

Simba Rock

Simba Rock is a big attraction in Dodoma. It seems everyone has climbed it at one time or another. When asked if we had climbed it, we both responded "no" and that we probably would not. Imagine my surprise this morning, when Ed announced he wanted to climb Simba Rock "while it was still cool". I really didn't want to do it, but decided I would go along. We live about 2 miles from the base where the climb started.

We struck out on our own and followed trails up to the ledge marked in the photo. There is a way to the top, but the trails we had taken seemed to dead-end.

This is a picture of our neighborhood and after zooming in, we could pin-point our house. Ed did go a little farther up than I did, but his trail was a dead-end.

Because our kids would never believe we made this climb, we took this photo from where we ended up.

Would we do it again? Who knows?
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Desperate Times...Desperate Measures

No tortillas in Tanzania..........I had to learn to make them myself after promising 3 hungry male volunteers Mexican food on a Saturday night.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Five Months In Coming

When we left the states in late January, we knew this year would be the beginning of our involvement in water projects in Tanzania. This entailed getting things tied up in Babati, making the move to Dodoma, getting pumps and pump parts, and purchasing Bibles to be distributed at the site where work would be done.

With all the pieces in place, today, May 25, 2009, Ed was able to repair the first pump in the village of Kikuyu, near Dodoma. Pastor Paul Sandamu informed Ed of the problems with the pump, adjacent to the local Church of God church building. The pump had apparently been non-operative for 3 months. After collecting the parts, we headed out to Kikuyu.

The repair itself was easy, but it had incapcitated the pump to the point villagers were seeking water sources from traditional methods (i.e. springs, and hand dug wells)


The kids were excited about the pumps and once the water started flowing, they got involved.


Pastor Sandamu prayed over the repaired pump and blessed, as well as assisted in passing out Bibles to those who came. The women came bringing their buckets and were excited to get their own personal copy of the Bible.


This picture said it all, as this "mama" left with her 2 sons, her water, and the "living water".

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

We Mean Business

When it comes to water projects.......

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Open for Business

Our work with water projects will be in partnership with Lance Whyle (San Antonio) and Living Water(Houston). Through a new NGO (non-governmental organization) established here in Tanzania, Ed and Lance will be up to their necks in water. There are so many aspects of the program, but one of the basic is the securing of pumps for installation. Lance works tirelessly in the US raising funds for drilling and the equipment to bring water to Tanzanians.

This past week, a container from India arrived in Dodoma bearing 100 pumps, pipe, and all the related equipment. It was a great day. We had been warned that these containers often sit in port for months on end and had been prepared for a long wait. Thanks to a wonderful shipping agent who sits with us on the Board of the NGO, the container sat in port only 2 weeks.

The container arrived from the coast on the bed of an "18 wheeler". Once the contents were removed, a crane was required to set the empty container in place.


Then everything was re-loaded.


We are now "open for business".
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From Texas to Tanzania----THE WORD

Before we returned to Tanzania earlier this year, friends from Aldersgate, our home church in Lubbock, Texas, responded to a request to help purchase 1000 Bibles to be distributed at water project sites. So many were excited to be able to make a contribution, resulting in enough money to purchase 1300 Bibles in the Kiswahili language.

After placing the order 4 months ago, we were able to finally pick up the order this past week. This picture was taken after 1/2 of the boxes were unloaded.

Thomas, our "watchman", worked hard unloading the boxes. When we finished, Ed gave him a Bible. He was thrilled and in his broken English expressed that "Jesus is the light of my I can show others the Word of God".

Thank you Aldersgate.
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Karibu Nyumbani

Everyone is always interested in where we live, so here are some pics of our new "digs" in Dodoma.

We were blessed to be invited to occupy the home of Mike and Heather Webb, Church of God missionaries, while they are in the US for 8 months. They literally emptied closets and bureaus, so we would not be living out of suitcases. The home is 3 bedroom, 2 bath, with a large kitchen, dining, and living area. And yes we have "western" toilets as opposed to the Tanzanian-style.

We spend a lot of time on the screened veranda which is furnished with both a hammock and hammock chair.

Ed helped Mike complete the kitchen re-model with the installation of a new sink, while Heather hurriedly grouted the new tile. They left the following day and haven't had an opportunity to enjoy it.

The back yard is small but has a great view of Simba Rock, a natural landmark and popular climbing location.
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House Guests

Along with the great house the Webb's have provided, we have a few house guests......

Gussie, Sam, & Kona


Our Resident Reptile
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Bug Off !!!

The manufacturers of "bug spray" in Tanzania take their job seriously. This would scare me....for sure.

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Safina--A Week Later

The following post "Come As Children" tells the first part of this story. So keep reading......

Here is a picture of the following weekend after the director received money to complete the fence. The property surrounding the new Safina Street Ministry location now has a chain-linked fence.

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Come as Children

As OMEGA project managers, we have recently formed a partnership with Safina Street Ministry, for the street children here in Dodoma. Future OMEGA teams will support the ministry by raising financial support and traveling to Dodoma to give of themselves. Safina feeds nearly 140 children (mostly males) living on the streets of Dodoma. Many of these children have been orphaned, or abandoned. Safina's primary aim is to get these children placed in the home of a relative or into a foster home. Even with these attempts, many are still living at the dump, bus stand, or sleeping in ditches at night. Safina provides one significant meal a day for these children, which is usually comprised of beans and rice. They seek medical attention if necessary and try to find means by which school fees can be paid.

In the coming weeks, the ministry will relocate to a larger facility which will require a great deal of work before they can actually move in. With this new location, there is the possibility there will be a place where the kids can shower and where the sick can have a place to sleep.

We had the privilege of spending some time with the program several times since we have relocated to Dodoma. A few weeks ago, we joined another American family, 3 American single volunteers, and a guy from New Zealand for a work day at the new facility. The lot is overgrown and a new fence is needed. Through the day, we trimmed hedges and placed 13 fence posts in concrete.

It was not so much the actual work that was accomplished, but just the fun of joining with others in this effort. What impressed us the most was the work done by the children. Not just the street children, but the 3 children of the American family also. They worked tirelessly all day, hauling trash, rocks, shovels of cement, and digging holes. The hearts of these children were so pure and dedicated to getting the job done. Not one word of complaint was uttered. Not only are these children giving their time, but they commit a large portion of their allowance to be set aside for a fund for medical treatment for the street children.

As they worked, children from the neighborhood appeared and wanted to do anything to help. These guys were truly "little...maybe 3-4 years of age. If they could carry a rock, they were thrilled. One little guy carried cement by the double handful.

Is it any wonder Jesus asks us to "come as children"?
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Not "Good-bye"

As we made preparations to leave Babati and move to Dodoma, we had the opportunity to get together with friends who have been a part of our lives during the past 3 years. These people have shared their lives with us, invited us into their homes, and made us feel a part of life in Tanzania. We have experienced births, deaths, and celebrations ranging from Rhamadan to Christmas to birthdays to just "hanging out".

A common Tanzanian expression is "You are warmly welcome". Without a doubt, these people have made us "warmly welcomed".


Gratefully, we did not have to say good-bye.....only "tutaonana" (see you).
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Down Dodoma-way my blogging has taken a while to get I will go back a month or so and tell what has been going on.

We moved south to Dodoma to be more centrally located to work on water projects. As some of you may know, prior to coming to Tanzania, we sold everything and basically came with 2 suitcases each. As we have made trips back to the US, we have accumulated a few things. To say the least, we were shocked when we got ready to move and found that it took our Landrover and a Ford F-250 to make the move. Where did all this stuff come from? I won't go into detail, but will say that the move went smoothly.
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