Monday, August 31, 2009

Animal House

Our water work took us all over the Dodoma area the past 2 weeks. Just as soon as one pump was installed or repaired, we went to another, working all day long Monday-Saturday. What a blessing though to see these people so happy to get their water. In return, we have been blessed with to be a part of their celebrations as they offer traditional music and dancing and always a gift of some kind.....a Maasai shuka for Ed, fabric for me, a bag of bell peppers.....and a few........(ahem) animals.
Three goats, 2 roosters, and 1 hen.
The first chicken we gave to our guard and house lady, thinking they would cut it in half and put in their pots. They decided to take it to one their homes and start a little chicken business.......and low and behold, we had a rooster to add to their chicken business the next day. And then another rooster......which Ed processed and put into our freezer.
And the goats?.........
GOAT #1 was pregnant, so we took it to the street children ministry, thinking they would enjoy taking care of it.......sure enough, they are thrilled and it is cohabitating peacefully with their dog.
GOAT #2 is in the freezer with the rooster..........and we are having some for dinner tonight.
GOAT #3 served as a "seed" for some widows in Mpunguzi to start raising goats. We are anticipating future goats will be added to their collection

Ed, his "shuka" and Goat #2

Me and chicken #2

And the rooster that crowed at all hours of the day and night..........and ended up in the freezer.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Bubble Trouble

When working on water projects, sometimes there are so many people around to help, there is nothing for me to do, but take pictures. There are always children there to see what is going on, so I try and interact with them. Having a bunch of bubble gum did a great job to break the ice with this bunch of kids in the village of N'ghon'hona. My bubble blowing abilities generated lots of laughs, especially when one really big bubble popped on my face. That is not broken veins on my check in the is bubble gum.

My first reaction was to use the bubble gum and dab it around on my face and get it off........but considering all the hands I had shaken earlier, this simply was not an it stayed.

I just could not communicate to these precious children the art of blowing a bubble. One little girl caught on to the "stretchiness" of the gum and before we knew it everyone had their gum stretching it as far as it would go.
I can still hear Mama scolding me for doing this.

This brought back so many fun memories of blowing bubbles, popping them, getting the gum out of my hair, off my face, and going to sleep with it in my mouth only to find it my hair the next morning.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Here's Yer Sign - #6

Most "hair salons" in Tanzania are decorated with lavish paintings of people with all kinds of "looks". I've seen depictions of large women and men, elderly people, children, and always tough looking guys. Frequently the sign will read "saloon" rather than "salon".
This particular building caught my eye recently, in the village of Ihumwa, near Dodoma.

Take a closer look at the guy on the right......I'm not sure if the spot on his lip was painted there intentionally, or if it's a chip in the paint.......maybe it's a "fly on the wall"........or a fly on his lip.

Do you think he'll get it?????

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Little Things = Big Problems

Sometimes the smallest things lead to big problems. The protective casing over the base of a pump in Mzakwe was not kept tightened and somehow this coin became lodged in the riser pipe where the actual pump is housed. Over 1 year ago, the rod which lifts the pump broke and there has been no water since, resulting in long walks each day to retrieve water.

After disassembling the pump, the rod was taken into the village where it was welded and re-installed into the borehole.

As word spread through the area, buckets were lined up to be filled.

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Gone Fishing

Finding the wells to work on involves more than just getting a person to go with you. Sometimes it involves actually digging through overgrown brush and getting it cleared away before work can even begin.

Once the brush was cleared, it was determined that the pump had dropped into the well and needed to be 'fished" out.

And "fishing" involved this handy-dandy tool made by Ed. I call it "Ed-gineered". The idea is to push the tool into the PVC pipe in the well, give a twist, and the "teeth" will grab the pipe and hold it as it is hoisted from the well using the tripod we carry in the truck.

Several hours were spent "fishing" then hoisting, but our attempts were unsuccessful because the pump was so embedded in the mud at the bottom of the well.

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Flowing Water

When we arrived in Dodoma and finally received the container of pumps and spare parts, Ed immediately began to network with the 3 area water districts. His pitch was: show me the villages, the wells, and the pumps and we can get them fixed and get water to your villages. The response he received was disheartening as the "officials" wanted Ed to pad their pockets for them to show him these work sites. One particular brazen official wanted him to pay the equivalent of $150. Ed got mad and walked out of the office.

Then we made contact with a couple of pastors who were excited to show him some places that needed help. Of course, the actual village officials were thrilled to get the help. All we needed was a introduction into the village from the pastors instead of the water district representatives. After putting on 2 pumps, the excitement began to build. Eventually, one particular job required a return visit to the office from which Ed made his earlier exit to get specs on the well. They welcomed him with open arms and have now assigned a man (who, by the way, Ed really liked from the start) to work with him and identify and do pump repair and installation. His name is Willie and he is passionate about getting water to these people.

So, for several weeks, now, we have traveled with Willie to villages in the Dodoma area doing just what we came to Dodoma to do.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Sent by my daughter-in-law, Christel, as seen on URBAN Dictionary.
Sounds like the cooking that goes on in our house.

August 9: FIND CUISINE: To create a fine meal using random items around the kitchen . This includes never before used spices and the culmination of three different pasta noodles and a can of diced tomates thus creating the pasta stew mess.

Stephanie: "What you cooking there?"
Nadine: "Some randomness with pasta. Kind of like a pasta stew. But messier."
Stephanie: "I love your find cuisine, Nadine."

Only the conversation in our house would be something like this:
Ed: What you cooking there?
Debra: Some randomness........we'll wrap it in a tortilla, and season it with hot sauce, and maybe even dip a little in some Ranch Dressing.
Ed: I love your find cuisine, Debra

MMMMM, good!!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Yes, Even in Tanzania

Tanzanians love Barack Obama. His pictures are everywhere.

This is a huge "18-wheeler" dripping with patriotism.

Sign painters are even advertising they can paint Pres. Obama's picture for you.

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Here's Yer Sign #5

Seen at Mikumi National Park Entrance.
Other parks clearly state "Trash In / Trash Out"
I think the "spell-check" wasn't working when this sign was made.
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Friendly Pepper Upper

I have been drinking Dr. Pepper since I was a little girl. My precious Uncle Price had a Dr. Pepper bottling plant in Pecos, Texas. Dr. Pepper, along with Nehi Grape were the only beverages served when we had family gatherings. I have never strayed from my faithfulness to DP and was appalled when my children, at some point chose the other "coke" as their beverage of choice.

Each time we return to the US, business at Sonic increases as I make my daily run for my DP with "good ice". I heard rumors, which I came to Tanzania, that Dr. Pepper was spotted occasionally in Nairobi, Kenya and sometimes in Dar es Salaam. After 2 years, I made my first trip to Dar es Salaam a few weeks ago. We happened on a small grocery store that caters to "ex-patriots" and imagine my surprise when I found Dr. Pepper in a 1.5 litre bottle.....priced at $5. I could only bring myself to purchase one bottle. It tasted so good..........more like the Dublin Dr. Pepper we get in Texas. I did my best to stretch it out over several days and it eventually went flat............but even that was good.

"I'm a're a Pepper.......wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too???"

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In the Yard

There are so many beautiful plants in Tanzania. Many plants which are common house plants grow wild here. Lantana, which is a common bedding plant in Lubbock, grows wild on the road side in the greener areas. The same with the purple variety of wandering jew. Ficus trees are huge trees, not the small silk or plastic versions we use in the US to fill in an empty corner in a room.

In the yard of the house in which we are living is a huge poinsettia tree that blooms year round. They were especially beautiful this morning.

I had never seen a franjipani bush before. I know it must be related to a magnolia or gardenia. The fragrance is amazing. One bush grows outside the living room window and in the evening when there is mild breeze, the room is filled with the perfume from these beautiful blooms.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lubbock Team---Don't Forget Safari

I thought I was just about finished documenting the visit from our girls from Lubbock and totally forgot about the safari. This safari was a first for all of us as we paid our first visit to Mikumi National Park.
The open safari vehicle was lots of fun.

We had spied a pair of lionnesses early in the morning, sunning under a tree. On a late afternoon drive, the two stood and walked right over to where we were parked by a our "open-sided vehicle", I might add!!!!
This particular lady, stopped right next us, laid down and proceeded to stretch and roll. She was not interested in us in the least.

We reached Dar es Salaam and were able to spend a few hours on the beach of the Indian Ocean before catching their return flight.

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Lubbock Team--The Work Continues

Lubbock Team, the Safina team sends their greetings and wants you to see that the work is continuing on the roof. All the wood in the rafters has to be treated with "used motor oil" to combat termite and Pastor Patrick and Andrea and undertaking the job themselves.

Do you recognize that smile?

Andrea in know she must be hard at work.

The completed trusses........ready for "mabati" (metal sheets).

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Lubbock Team-Raising the Roof

Everyone wanted in the picture as the team said their good-byes on the last day of work.

The Lubbock team raised funds to build and erect trusses for a roof on the center's 2 story building. There is extensive renovation to be done before the building is usable.

Ladies, you did a great job "raising the roof" in Tanzania.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lubbock Team-Bus Stand Boys

Many of the homeless children in Dodoma hang out at the bus stand. There are opportunities to earn a coin or 2 and then the boys will rent a room for the night for around $1 usd. Often there are handouts. Sometimes they get drugs.

Once a week, the team leaders of Safina go to the bus stand to check on the boys there and spend time with them. They love the attention and the fact that someone cares enough to check on them. Because these boys had been around the team from Lubbock through the week, they were thrilled when they showed up for a visit...............

And to share a cup of "chai" and "maandazi" with them.

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Lubbock Team-Walk in My Shoes

There was no "fluff" as the team from Lubbock went through their days working with the kids from Safina Street Network.

The team went to them where they lived

Where they hang out

Where they played

And where they were given a hot meal each day

Taking home with them the knowledge they made a difference in these children's lives in Tanzania.

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