Our greeting from the women of Ikowa

Well, we arrived in Dar the afternoon of September 7th. Tally and I checked into our rooms and were asleep by 3:30 pm and got up the following morning at 7:00! Took the 11:00 o’clock bus to Dodoma, our 7 hour bus ride, and got to Msalato around 8:30 pm. No electricity, so we just crashed. Tom from Wyoming has joined us on this trip and it was fun seeing his reaction to the new sights and sounds of Tanzania as we bused to Dodoma. On Saturday we rode with Moses and his family to Ikowa, with his old LandRover packed to the gills, roof included with supplies and 10 people! And, this is a normal LandRover, not a big one. The photos show the greeting Tally, Ruth and I received from the Women of Ikowa! (Ruth is Moses Matonya’s wife and is from Ikowa as well as Moses). What a home-coming, I was so happy to see their dear faces, smiles, and share the hugs. We walked with the women to the village and Moses’ Mother’s house with much singing and drumming. After the ritual greetings were over, we went around to see all the PIGS! There are nine groups of women, each group had three pigs and had built pens to keep them in. Some of the pigs were pregnant and some had already had piglets. We went to each group and made a photograph with them and Hilda Kibea who managed the finances from Msalato. The best news is that they REPAID THEIR LOAN while we were there. There was a ceremony at the church on Sunday where they read the report and gave the money to Hilda. Now they will take this money and loan it to 54 new women. They plan to keep this going until all the women in the area are included. Will give you the totals on that later.

Sow with her piglets

One of the Groups

One thing which was really touching, the women couldn’t bring themselves to sell their pigs. The Pilgets, yes, but not their original pigs. So, they got the money to repay the loan through other means and the men helped them knowing that the piglets will bring income to the family. For the majority of women, this is their first opportunity to earn money and they are rightfully proud as we are of them. Every single cent was repaid. I will add a few more photos and then sign off for tonight. Jessie

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