Departing Moshi, Tanzania

It is the day before my departure and I leave with mixed feelings. I have made friends here, truly, that I know will be friends for life. Who knew… that half way around the world and in completely different cultural surroundings, connections of mind, heart and purpose could run so deep!?

This trip has been very successful, in ways that we did not anticipate. Friendships, organizational accomplishments with local ward and villages, shipping dilemmas clarified, tax waivers begun, assurances of safety at Parliament and Ministry government levels and a greater understanding of cultural and family histories, that still shapes decision making today… all are invaluable and key to implementation and sustainability of this Uru Water Project!

Our wonderful Mt. Kilimanjaro climbers and film crew, of course, accomplished AMAZING personal feats in their push to the top. I and countless others, in Uru and the USA, are forever grateful for their commitments and some very real suffering, to benefit this project’s fundraising efforts. Ranging in age from 19 to 72 years old… a needed correction of Mama Florentina’s age, by the way!… this group has truly set a standard of selfless service for collective good, that will reap benefits in the lives of many.
With thanks, may God bless them all.

We have received donor support from family and friends, pledging in the names of our brave Kilimanjaro climbers. Additionally, we are receiving donations through our WelIs For The Grandmothers program, in which donations of $2000. gathered individually or as a group, may be made to create a well. These Grandmother or Mother, Grandfather or Father, Brother or Sister wells, will honor our own loved ones who have sacrificed, worked hard or inspired us. Their efforts or ideals have made our lives better… just like the countless grandmothers and mothers who have carried water and sacrificed in Uru, working to sustain and improve the lives of later generations here. AGAIN, we celebrate the generosity of people, who hear of the needs of strangers and make their problems their own.
With thanks, may God bless them all.

ICBD faces some challenges still, in raising the remaining necessary funds to bring the first 25 bore holes into reality this August, as promised. We have all worked so hard and come so far, that I MUST believe the additional monies are on their way even yet, from people and hearts not yet known by us. I am looking forward, in this respect, to returning home to share more deeply of the wonders I have seen here, the possibilities and the great opportunities we have… to create something unimaginably important and lasting and real here!

Lastly, I bring with me stories written by the Uru children, of their challenges and hopes concerning water. I also have a precious ARMLOAD of drawings, that transcends our language barriers. These careful and loving renderings tell their stories with humor and truth, of their daily and life threatening dilemmas with unclean or no available water. Some of the adults have been so inspired by my invitation to share stories of water and Kilimanjaro, that they have formed a Storytellers Group and have begun interviewing ”the old ones”, gathering the folk tales of water and Kibo, the mountain, that are an inherent part of Uru’s ongoing story of Water and Life.

Before “the oldie ones leave us”, as Salome says, we are gathering the people’s stories to preserve for Uru’s children… and now the children of America, as well. Kilimanjaro is a world heritage and some say the beginnings of humankind are here, so these stories are OUR stories, too. And what I REALLY love, is that ICBD and the Uru Water Project, are part of this long and amazing historical shaping of life on Kilimanjaro now, too! With thanks, may God bless us all.

Barbara Joye

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