Jessie and I have been very quiet lately. For one reason we were having blog troubles AND we did not go to Tanzania in 2018.  Thanks to Wes and Anna Smith we are back on-line.  Not hearing from us does not mean we have not been busy on this end of the pond.  There is much good news to share.  Since 2008 our “Board” has been Jessie, Bill Rose and me (Tally).  We were told we needed a “real” board.   Even though we have done very well thanks to you for your support we have basically been flying by the seat of our pants!  We now have a Board of Directors that consists of four very capable people plus Jessie, Bill Rose and me.  The idea is to get our name beyond Pinehurst with hope that more people will want to support this cause. Stay tuned, we are currently working on a new logo and our blog becomes our website.  The learning curve is daunting for this octogenarian!

We have just received another grant from St. Luke’s Foundation, Salisbury, NC for $25,000.  This is the 9th or 10th grant from their foundation.  The Village Chapel in Pinehurst has pledged $500 a year as part of their outreach program.   The people of St. Thomas’ in Sanford and St. Mary Magdalene’s in Seven Lakes continue to support us.   Then there are the faithful donors from Emmanuel.  We have said over and over that any amount is welcomed and every penny counts.

We are returning on July 5th for nearly a month and we have two young men going with us.  One is Jessie’s nephew who wants to learn to help those less fortunate than he.  Also going is Tim Sayer, a well known local photographer and videographer.  He plans to make a video of the work we are doing which will be helpful for our presentations.  Eventually it will be on our website (blog).  (I’m hoping they will help with my luggage!)

The pig and goat projects are successful and going well.  Our newest project is providing solar lights to rural villages with no electricity. The solar kits are made in Charlotte and believe it or not the company has an office in Dar es Salaam, the business capital of Tanzania.   We no longer teach ~ empowering women is now our focus.  This impacts health, education, nutrition and gives confidence to the women that they are not second class citizens.  Melinda Gates believes that empowering women will change the world.  Jessie and I are not out to change the world ~ just to give our friends in Africa a leg up as the saying goes.  One woman whose husband had died said she and her young son could not have made it without the pigs.  You would be amazed if you knew what the women have done.  A pastor cried when a solar kit was installed in his house, saying he had read his Bible and written his sermons for 40 years by charcoal or kerosene  light.  Jessie has said many times that we have won the birth lottery.  I will not promise a daily blog until we get to Africa.  We will be in villages this time and travel many miles to install the kits.  Pray for us please!  We just want you to know what is happening and encourage you to check in with us.  We also appreciate your comments.

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The first 3 photos are of the interior of the Pastor’s house.  The woman is pouring water for us to wash our hands before eating.  Chickens, cats, and other animals wander in and out.  the floor, walls, etc., are dirt.  Am hugging Ezreda after giving her a gift for all the work she has done over the years in Ikowa, getting the women’s empowerment program going.  Outside photo is of Hilda, Tally, Ezreda and me in front of the pastor’s house which is made of mud bricks.

Am still struggling with how to down load photos and videos – The woman who owns this pig told us it has saved her as her husband had died.

 Yesterday, we went to Handali A & B,am writing this on the steps of the office as we do not have WiFi where we art staying.  Therefore, names of people and places will be devoid in this posting as I did not want to carry my diary up to the office.  Tuesday and yesterday, we received payment from groups started last year, see the pile of Shillings in photo.  The stories of success are thrilling.  A Pastor’s wife in Handali sold two grown pigs, and was able to buy cement to make large bricks to build their house.  A child in Handali is going to University, some have bought cows, in Handali B, they are building a large new church, photos will come when I figure out how to do that.  Also, the Ikowa Parish has grown from 4 churches to 10! In Handali B, the women leaned from the women in Hondali A how to organize the pig project and we all set to go when we gave them the money yesterday to begin.  75 women in Handali B will start today by buying some of their pigs from Handali A women.  Today will also be a long day, visiting more villages, and tomorrow we meet with the Bishop, then go to buy the goats.  Pray for us, we are having to pick up five male goats from IKowa to take to Handali, and 5 male goats from Handali to new villages,  I asked the Handali women to mark their goats so we don’t get them all confused. We are going to do this differently in future, as Hilda and I have to take too much time struggling with sorting goats!!

 

St. Andrews of the Pines in Wyoming, sent $3,000 to Bishop Stanway Primary School.  They are in great need even though enrollment is up.

 

Sunday am meeting with the Head Master of Jubilee High School to talk about the partnership with The O’Neal School in Pinehurst.  So, a full week, but oh so good.

 

Jessie.  Tally is not comfortable with the keyboard of my MacBook Air, so will blog on her computer when we get home. We have tons of photos and videos hope to post.

Jessie

We are having major internet problems here.  And, am not able to post photos for some reason.  The system for that has changed and the internet is so slow – it reminds me of dial-up days, when we would turn on the computer, then go and make breakfast!  It takes a minute to download an email.  OY!

In some ways, it is nice.  No news to get frustrated about…

Yesterday, we went to Ikowa Village, the first village we started the Women’s Empowerment Projects. These women are dear friends of ours now, like family.  I have many photos to share of our time there, if I can get them into the post.  If not, when we return will post them.

The group which was started there last summer, repaid their loan so we can start a new group. It was grand seeing the changes in this village since 2009.  Many of the homes now have metal roofs.  The church walls have been stuccoed and painted, the windows dressed with fancy ironwork and they have electricity.  Some of the homes have electricity as well.  The grid has finally reached Iowa.  The Iowa parish had 4 churches and now they have 10.  We talked with a young widow with small children.  She said that the pig project as enabled her to take care of her family, she was so worried after her husband died.

They told us most of the children have or are attending Secondary School, two are in University.  The goats have worked out well, they like having the milk, and they use the manure for their gardens.  We will give a more detailed report on the goats later.  We then went to Makoja village, got back at 7:00 pm.  Tomorrow more villages, and Friday as well.  Saturday morning, will meet with the Bishop, then go shopping for goats.

It is lovely being back, the familiar faces here at Msalato, going to tea at 11:00 with the faculty and staff.  The sounds of chickens all day, Roosters doing their arias, birds chirping, colorful lizards dancing up the outside walls of houses.  The street dogs roam full of purpose on their rounds seeking food.  We leave water out for them.  A teacher and his family moved back to Kenya and left their cats behind.  One of the cats comes by our house every evening and meows loudly demanding food.  We comply.

The campus is like a small village, you walk about and stop to talk with people, we wander in and out of homes – “Hodi” – “Karibu” – share meals, we are having six for dinner tonight.  Will try again to load photos.  Bye for now, Jessie

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