Life in Moshi

I am based at Mama Florentina’s home in Moshi, Tanzania. While Moshi is a town… soon to be a city, officially, I am told… it still has all the characteristics of a third world culture. Mama’s home is in the “best” part of town, but is conversely referred to as Shanty Town. That is a GOOD name, here. She has added several out buildings since our visit a year ago, including a “cow house” with a thatched roof and three cows, for milking. The electricity failed, again, yesterday. No one gets excited here. They calmly just light oil lamps and Matrona starts up the outside “cookers”, fueled by charcoal, to prepare the meals. We spent the evening sitting under the roofed deck, commenting on the nearly full moon, the possible early coming of the monsoon season, and sharing tales of childhood escapades. Mama Flo apparently was quite adventurous as a child, which truly comes as no surprise. Based on the tales, the only surprise is that she LIVED to tell the tales! My own tales of escape and daring pale in comparison to her life in Africa. But she seemed to enjoy them, anyway. It has been cloudy and periodically rainy for the last two days, hence the talk of an early monsoon season. The rain is a very welcome presence here in Tanzania, bringing relief from the heat and hope that water will soon run through the dried up creeks and furrows. All roads in Moshi, except for a few, very main thorough fares, are red dirt and quite rutted. When it rains, the roads become VERY slippery,...

Next Steps

Our group of Kilimanjaro climbers has returned to America, each to their respective states and homes. I remain in Tanzania until February 26, to follow up on details for placement of the first 25 wells. This is a time of great wonder and gratitude. Wonder at the continued unfoldment of international cooperation and sense of unity through our common purpose. And gratitude for the safe return of our group from their great adventure up Kilimanjaro… and their success in raising funds and awareness for ICBD’s immediate relief water project for Uru. We are very much closer to meeting our plan to begin digging bore holes this summer! I will continue to work through the weekend, going to the villages and walking the proposed sites for the first wells. We will be placing them at schools, clinics and community/church centers, for maximum immediate impact. I am looking forward to the walking… and climbing! Standing on the actual sites, beneath the canopy of rain forest with banana and mango trees and feeling the red earth beneath my feet, will bring this vision one more step towards realization. While life is, without question, very difficult here, Kilimanjaro is a respite of beauty and a promise of life’s provision. The people gather fruits from the forests, grow gardens of vegetables, and cut grasses from her slopes to feed the goats and cattle. I will look forward to time on this mountain and among her people, tomorrow! Barbara...

Amazing Safari and moving forward!

Life in Tanzania has continued to be filled with wonder. Our entire group spent two days on Safari, with an amazing number of animals seen and photographed. One land rover contained the film crew and the other had the rest of us playing tourists. It was really very funny to look up and see maybe six cameras at once pointed at each other… filming or photographing someone… as THEY filmed and photographed someone else! The good news is we have some truly beautiful pictures and film footage, for the documentary and to share when we get home. The landscape of Ngorogoro is so dramatic and utterly unique. It was formed by first a rift… a great chasm that opened and allowed lava to pour out onto the earth’s surface. Over time, the lava itself formed a volcano. Eventually the volcano collapsed in on itself, creating a great flat plain or crater, surrounded by a mountainous wall. As safari visitors we traveled first to the top of the crater walls, then descended over a rugged, sometimes slippery road to the plain far below. Once there, the eco system of plant and animal life living within this naturally contained environment, offered us an immediately apparent view of nature in balance. Predators and prey coexist, in largely plain view of one another. It was thrilling to see a pride of lions resting in the grasses, with a herd of gazelles grazing peacefully in the distance. If a lion began moving, the herd went on alert, gauging whether or not the movements were a threat. It was an incredible visual odyssey of life...

Another side of Africa

With a day’s rest and many stories shared, the group will now go on safari together for two days! We are being joined by the climb guide, Honest, and bringing the climb cook, Valance. We are all looking forward to time together and to the excitement of seeing and photographing the animals. This is a chance for everyone to connect to other aspects of the culture here… and to another whole terrain, plant and animal life. I will look forward to sharing updates on Tuesday! God bless. Barbara...

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