Sunday, June 26, 2016

Amani Means Peace

This day began with a visit to the Amani Home For Street Children in Moshi.  Amani is an amazing outreach we have supported for years. Every child rescued from the streets and cared for at the center has a compelling, moving and often sad story to tell about their young life. Amani is a place where a new and hopeful chapter begins in those life stories.

If we had more time, I am sure we could have spent the whole afternoon at Amani interacting with the kids but we had to climb back in the van to head back up the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro toward Machame.

Amanda Kid 
We were on our way to visit several of the seven families who are receiving a safe and dry new home through Dave Dale’s Mt. Kilimanjaro climb fundraiser. The homes will be built as part of the Houses For Health program instituted and administered by our friend Bob Kasworm, the only Swahili speaking Nebraskan in the world and partner in my own Kilimanjaro summit in 2005.

Before reaching the Machame road, we turned off at Weruweru (say it three times fast!) and began sliding up the muddy road. This is a gorgeous area of vast coffee and maze fields. Dozens of people lined the muddy road carrying colorful five gallon buckets they use for picking coffee beans.

As the road grew steeper it became clear that our safari “Landcrusher” would have been a more appropriate vehicle as we nearly slid into the fields several times. 

We finally decided we were more than pressing our luck in the van and sent Dave up into the hills in Bob’s four wheel drive pick up while the rest of us stayed stranded near a catholic church up in the village.

As Bob and Dave went on to visit a few of the families in their new homes, our van was quickly surrounded by dozens of curious and friendly children coming from first communion instruction at the church. Before long, I had Peter directing the children in renditions of the Tanzania national anthem and other songs for our group!

Old Home

After awhile, Bob and Dave returned to fetch the rest of our group so we could all visit a couple of the families.  Those who could fit inside climbed into Bob’s truck and the rest of us jumped in the back and up the muddy road we went.

 You can read Dave’s blog for some good detail on each of the families receiving these small, dry and safe homes made possible by all of the generous donations made in support of Dave’s fundraising climb which begins in just a few days. Here are just a few pictures of the families we visited.

Peter’s son Elton noticed that Dave had some tears in his eyes during these visits. I’m guessing some of you would too. You should come along on a POP Tanzania Vision Trip and see for yourself!
New Home
Next we made our way to Machame Lutheran Hospital where Bob works. At first glance to our American eyes, the hospital looks run down and dirty. Bob assured us that it is clean where it needs to be and is probably in the top 15% of Tanzanian hospitals in terms of quality of service and facilities.

Being a nurse, Sue was particularly interested and moved by this location. Once again, some tears were shed as we were welcomed into the maternity ward to see and hold a couple new born babies. What kind of lives will these little ones live?

 Another full and moving day on the mountain, a mountain that thus far, refuses to reveal itself to my group!

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