It’s April! The rains have come, the maize is tall and green and the world around me has changed to from a dry, dusty landscape to a lush, verdant jungle. It happens every year (well, almost) and it always reminds me how important water is to our existence. Here in Tanzania, rain is seen as a blessing, a life-giving substance that cannot be created, coming only from “above”. You wait, you hope, you often pray, and miraculously, it appears. In my former life, rain was nothing more than an annoyance, a hindrance, something that “got in the way” of my plans. Not so in this life! Dodging two-foot deep potholes with the car….yay! Putting on ever-damp clothing every day…yay! Rivers of mud sloshing in under my back door….yay! The rain has come! In addition to the rain, animal babies appear everywhere – goats, cows, birds and elephants. How they know that this will be the time of abundant food, I’ll never figure out, but they do, and from the massive February wildebeest calving in the Serengeti to the baby sheep seeming to appear daily in my driveway, it is such an affirmation of life. I love this time of year.
Our work at Jifundishe goes on, no matter the weather, and although it gets pretty messy, the gardens outside the library are full of people, reading, studying and just gathering together. For the first time, our students now have a dry classroom space to attend their classes instead of dripping canopies over picnic tables. They also have drinking water available to them all day thanks to our new rainwater harvesting system at the Jifundishe Free Library. We are definitely moving forward, with plans for new programs and offering more community presentations and workshops for the public. You can read all about our new classroom and our solar energy presentation in this quarter’s newsletter and learn how your support for our work has had such a significant impact on this small African village, and beyond.
Once again, I’ll be heading west to Washington, DC to spend the summer working at Sidwell Friends Summer Camp and hope to catch up with friends, family and Jifundishe supporters. However, while I am away, we will host a variety of ongoing programs, new volunteer groups and more community workshops thanks to our incredible staff, who are the folks who make sure it all runs smoothly.
Please take a moment to read our newsletter, I guarantee it will make you smile. In a world of “too much information” (most of which seems to be bad) see how even in the most challenging of conditions, people come together for the greater good and prosper!