Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I want everyone to be sure and know that Ed and I DO NOT oversee the Safina Program (see the following post). We are, however, privileged to be around to partner with and support Safina Street Ministry personally and through our work with Omega Mission. There are other families in Dodoma who give of themselves also. The staff of Safina are "in the trenches" each and every day and continue to do an amazing job, working tirelessly for these children.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Prayers for Mathayo

The director's of the Safina Street Network work around the clock, challenged by countless tasks on a daily basis. When one child hasn't been around, Andrea and Patrick immediately go to work to find that child.

Mathayo's absence was no exception. Andrea eventually found him in the hospital. He had been beaten by a gang of boys and left to die at the rail road tracks. Injuries to his head and his back, left him unconscious and unable to move.

Hospitals here do not provide food. It is up to family members to bring food. No food. The day Andrea found Mathayo, the hospital had just then hooked up an IV. He had not been turned and his muscles were atrophied. He was slowly becoming conscious. Andrea and Patrick returned daily and fed him by hand since he was still unable to feed himself.

Safina only has approval to house children who are sick, so Mathayo, still unable to walk, was taken to the facility where he has been attended to by 3 older boys who live on site. Each day, they get him up, make sure he is fed and clean and then attempt to help him walk. Cha-cha, the oldest boy, has a heart for caring for the sick. Mathayo has made some progress walking supported on each side by another boy.

I had heard a new physiotherapist, from Australia, was now serving Dodoma, through the Anglican church, so I called Jane and found she was most willing to come do an evaluation on Mathayo. Yesterday, I picked her and her translator up and we headed to Safina. Mathayo was anxiously anticipating her visit.

All the boys gathered around and watched as Jane did an assessment and confirmed his back and possible hip injury, but feels recovery looks very promising. Cha-cha took in everything as Jane demonstrated massaging Mathayo's back, stretching, and other exercises. Jane will come to the center to monitor his progress a couple of times a week. I had pulled out my camera to start documenting his progress from the beginning and found I had not replaced the memory card.

The word has been sent out to the Dodoma "ex-pat" community to locate a walker for Mathayo. Prayers for healing are being prayed and we are convinced he will make a full recovery. Will you join us in praying for Mathayo? Also, in praying for the Safina program as they minister to the street children of Dodoma.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Creative Cooking

I love my man and when he's returning from a long trip, I love to have a good meal made for him when he gets home. Today was no exception. He's been in Babati (6 hours away) most of the week. In the freezer, I discovered some pork ribs from a pig we had butchered a few months ago and decided to do them up right.

I found a tasty sounding recipe and went to work only to discover the ribs wouldn't fit into my pan. So if you don't have "short ribs"...what do you do?........You make them into short ribs.

We brought a wonderful selection of new, SHARP, knives back from the States, only to be wounded numerous times by those slippery utensils. After slicing my thumb, I discovered, this shiny new knife was not what I needed to break those ribs.


Next, I retrieve my trusty panga (see the following story) from under the seat of the truck, wash it up good with bleach and start pounding away at those bones. This was not successful.

By now, our watchman is doubled over, laughing at me and I am all the more determined to get those ribs into a pan. I tell him to get a saw and he laughs even harder. Again, I go through the bleach washing and start sawing away at those ribs. It worked.

Ed will be home in just a few minutes and will be able to smell those ribs when he pulls into the drive way.
By the way.......I'm off to play Bunco, so he'll have to dine alone........that man that I love.
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Panga Protection

We recently had a flat on the hiway between Dar es Salaam and Dodoma. It's hard to find a "shoulder" or "pulling off" place , but this time, we were fortunate to find a little side road where we pulled over to change the tire. The area was a little isolated and not visible from the road. We have heard stories of people getting robbed, so I was already imagining all sorts of things.
Ed started to work immediately......just the way you would expect him to do.
I could hear voices of men in the bushes and could hear the the word "wazungu" (white people) used. got REAL quiet. And I got REAL scared. Ed just kept working.

So, I decided if he was going to be in a vulnerable position of changing the tire, I would protect golly.
So, I pulled out our trusty panga, unsheathed it and laid it in plain sight on the seat of the truck and stood close by. This should scare those thieves.

Shortly, 4 men appeared out of the bushes. All of them so drunk they could hardly stand up. Taking all this into consideration, I am pumped to defend us with my panga if called to do so.
The men stood (I mean swayed) around and watched Ed, trying to help, and then eventually stumbled back into the bush.
So, now the tire is changed and Ed walks around to his side of the truck and sees the panga.
"What's this for?", he says.
"To protect us", I say.
He just rolled his eyes, re-sheathed the panga, and replaced it under the seat of the protect us another day.
I love my panga.
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