50 Degrees of Separation

Hau Jambo (How Jam-bow – Hello Everyone),

The fan is whirling and oscillating away (Oscillating, that is a such a cool word! How come people don’t oscillate? We can gyrate…I think the jet lag is getting to me).

I am on the ground in Moshi, Tanzania, unpacking, organizing donations, luggage, Internet, food and schedules for the three weeks ahead.

Today, the weather gods have been good to me, it is cloudy with light rain. Getting acclimatized is so much easier when the full force of the African sun doesn’t come down on you Day one.

My journey started on the west coast of Canada with 5 Degrees, light rain and fog. Next came the wake up of walking off the plane to the Calgary airport arrivals tunnel with a snappy -25. Oh my! Finally, I stepped off the plane into the darkness of the Tanzanian night that smelled sweet and moist from a recent rain. 32 hours of travel passing over the equator and a 50 degree difference. Ain’t this earth kind of groovy?

Today, more reunions. They start with big smiles at a distance, a few tears for me and both of us hugging so deeply you breathe together and can feel the connection. Those are some rockin’ good hugs.

Vicky, our Project Ambassador came to the house to start my updates. We discuss the projects strengths and challenges. There are also quite a few day trips to coordinate around the market schedules. When asked about her schedule she graciously tells me that she is available for whatever and whenever I need her until I depart.

She is taking on more responsibilities in her own gentle way. She guides forward the project and its 22 women. She is assuming more responsibilities from Herieth (who moved to Dar Es Salaam however will be back later this month for two weeks). Being a member of Group A gives Vicky a unique perspective to share. We have learnt to trust each other by listening and questioning.

A new group of women have been identified in a small village at the base of Kilimanjaro called Materuni. There are 22 women who are showing potential. Vicky has already ‘warmed them up’ for my arrival. They have organized into groups with 3 leaders to represent them. Even the village officials know about the project and my arrival. We will work eight of the most needy women into the project this year. This village will make
Group D then E and F over the next two years.

I am gyrating oscillating with excitement as I wait to meet them later this week. (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

Mama FreddieDSC_0191.JPG

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