“Begin as you plan to continue,” we have said for years on New Year’s Day.  And what would that be?  My day began as it usually does by being licked in the face by James, my dog.  We walked in the early hours and saw a reddish sky (red sky in morning, sailor take warning).  Rain is predicted for our part of the country.  I checked the weather report in Dodoma, hoping their rainy season is doing just that.  The report is a bit different from ours because rain is life to them.  It read like this:  Saturday:  30% chance of precipitation ~ water equivalent of 0.06 inches.  Sunday: 20% chance of precipitation ~ water equivalent of 0.01 inch.   And so it went through the week, sometimes just saying: “water equivalent: “trace.”  The students from Msalato are on break and have gone to their shambas to till the soil (ground like stone) and plant their crops.   Alex Mshoka  soon to graduate and whom Jessie and I have sponsored for 3 years wrote that his wife is cultivating a smaller area this year.  He is working on his thesis.  He wrote that “the weather situation is not showing or giving us hope although we believe that God will bring us rain.”   Scary, isn’t it?  Faith in the Creator, also.

I checked the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor this morning hoping to see news of joy, something to make me want to welcome this new year with hope for a better world.  The news was pretty much the same: explosion on a  plane, floods in Australia, war, car bombs, the Royal Couple not wanting servants, “lame-duck” stuff.  The only thing I read worth sharing was from an editorial in the NY Times and I quote:  “Last night was a night of banishing regrets.  Today is for wondering how to live without new ones, how to do right by ourselves and one another.”   The key words for me were to do right by one another.  That is a good way to begin and hopefully continue.

Happy New Year to our faithful readers.  Tally

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