As I prepare to leave for Kilimanjaro airport and return home to America, images of the last 5 weeks come to my mind’s eye:
Our group arriving in Africa amidst wind and dust and a night sky heavy with a million stars, all bearing silent witness to life come and gone and come again. Here, the ground and the air and its people reflect our common origins, rooted in ancient times.
The many faces of Uru’s children: cautious, curious, smiling, laughing, welcoming, singing. Faces of this earth’s future, we work to leave the world a little better than we found it, for them.
The awe inspiring Mt. Kilimanjaro coloring all of life, tempering Africa’s heat, and still offering some glacial melt for water. It is this water that now runs deep, deep underground, that we have tapped for the Grandmother Well at Kimocholo.
A celebration of the ‘first water’ from this well, drank and shared with our group and many villagers, all blessing and giving thanks to the good God and for everyone’s fruitful efforts here and in America… for water and friendship.
Breathtaking views from Uru’s hillsides, overlooking fields of maze, small homes and huts, and Moshi town far far below.
Red clay roads full of rocks and holes and trenches, obstacles to certain movement, that became absolutely impassable with the onset of any steady rain.
Boisterous and quiet moments alike in the Ngowi home, full of love and family and gratitude for ‘all that is’.
The times of mourning for the loss of Alphonse’s mother, 104 years old and the oldest grandmother in Uru. For me, she was a friend and the African face of our Grandmother Well, an image of all the world’s women who work so hard for their families and children. It was a privilege to know her and an honor to be part of her passing, as we reflected on her life and the love she left behind. May we all be inspired by such perseverance and wisdom and service in the world… for her family, her community and in recent years… her ever present prayers for water.
As I say goodbye to the people and places who live on in my heart, I add my prayers to Justina’s prayers, for a good life full of love and hope, dignity and respect, in our global family of humanity. May God continue to bless us all with health and happiness, even as we give thanks for the challenges that make us stronger. And so it is, Amen.