Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Epilogue Edits

The epilogue is with my editor.  Unfortunately, her husband is seriously ill with cancer and they are both going through some very tough times.  If any readers would like to convery their thoughts and prayers to Kip and her husband, you can do so through the link below or I would be happy to pass them along.

Presentation March 27

For those in the Ottawa, Ontario area, I will be presenting photos of our latest trip to the schools at the Barrhaven United Church on March 27.  More details to follow.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Was my previous blog post funny?

Well, no it wasn't intended to be.  However, I accidentally clicked on "Funny" at the bottom where you can indicate your reactions.  When I realized what I had done, I clicked it again to get rid of it.  It doesn't work that way.  In fact, I don't think you can get rid of it.  Once it is done, you are committed!  Now it appears that two people thought my blog post was funny, although I thought it was very serious. 
Be careful what you click on!  

Epilogue is Written

Yes, the epilogue is written and sent to the editor and I am pleased to say that this story has a happy ending.  After our recent trip to Tanzania, it could not be anything else.  There will always be a special place in my heart for Tanzania and I am not sure why.  I think it is the people.  We have met some amazing people and their will, determination and friendliness in the face of mostly desperate conditions are an inspiration.  We will probably go back again some day.     

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Safari Highlights

We are back in Ottawa after a series of long, long flights.  I thought I would provide some safari highlights while I am awake.

Son Trevor asked what the coolest animal was.  The epitome of cool for me is the big cats. We were warned that we may not see any as they are hiding these days but we were fortunate enough to see two males sleeping in a ditch about ten feet away and another languishing in the shade under a tree.  He was waiting on Mama Lion to catch something for him to eat.  She was a few hundred feet away under another tree.  I think the safari trucks scared away a gazelle she was tracking and a family of wart hogs that passed virtually right under her nose didn't seem to interest her.  Another female came sauntering over to the safari trucks and curled up against one for some shade. As one truck moved, she just sought shade under another.  Very cool indeed. We also saw a black leopard and a cheetah.  Both are part of the Big 5.

The animals that it is hard to stop staring at though are the ones that weigh more than the truck we were in.  That would include elephants, hippos and rhinos.  Elephants come right to the side of the road so there is a clear view as they tower over everything.  I guess being able to tip over the truck on a moment's notice gives them a certain amount of confidence.  The hippos were all submerged until the last day when we saw some out of the water, including a baby hippo.  The rhinos kept their distance so the pictures are fuzzy at best.  Then there is the elegant giraffe.  They were plentiful and close!  Zebras are plentiful and not too timid.  We saw one that had obviously escaped a lion's clutches and bore the fresh wound to prove it.

We saw a wildebeest migration as thousands of them, always accompanied by a few zebras for some reason, were on the move in search of rain and fresh grass.   Awe inspiring!

There were a number of baby animals and yes, even a baby warthog or hippo is somehow cute.  One baby monkey ventured out on the road in front of us and was running around but couldn't quite figure out where it should be turning.  All of a sudden a blur emerged from the left side and in full flight, Mama Monkey scooped up the little wanderer and raced up a tree on the right hand side of the road.  The baby suffered a tongue lashing and a few slaps for its efforts.  

I am intrigued by the fact that the Serengeti is something like 14,000 square acres, yet the animals still come close to the roads that criss cross the park.  I guess it is their park and they can do what they want!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This won't be in the Epilogue

We are sitting in Amsterdam having completed two of four flights so far. I was thinking about the Epilogue and remembered our little car breakdown in the middle of nowhere while on safari. We had stopped for a minute on our way to Lake Manyara and the passenger door wouldn't close. No matter how hard our driver/guide slammed it, it just wouldn't work. While he took the door apart quite a few people walked by. Two of them were women carrying axes and bush knives. Fortunately, they kept walking but needless to say we kept a wary eye as our driver worked. After about an hour delay we were on our way.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Little More Detail

We are back in civilization now in Arusha so I will expand a bit on what we have seen.  First and foremost, when we entered the new classroom, there was the Canadian flag that Chris and I carried to Kili's peak hanging beside the Tanzanian flag.  That was a proud moment.  The ceremony beforehand was amazing with songs of thanks and a reading from one of the students. There was also a sign of thanks hanging in the classroom.  There were a number of government officials in attendance and speeches from nearly all the adults in attendance!

There has been a tremendous change in the atmosphere at the school.  The teachers are considerably more confidant than they were two years ago.  One acted as Master of Ceremonies and I just don't think we would have seen that when we were there last time.  

Our church youth group, Barrhaven United, prepared 12 letters to the students at the school.  We are carrying 12 responses back, well written and translated. We planted three trees at the primary school.

At the preschool we had a great time with the students and met with the water committee who will be in charge of maintaining the well.  They are a serious and dedicated group.  The well will be in good hands.

There is much more to say and it will be difficult not to make the Epilogue the longest chapter of the book!  However, I am running out of internet time so I will continue this later.  Next stops - Dar, Amsterdam. Detroit, Home!  We should be semi functional by the afternoon of the 10th.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


The safari so far has been amazing! We have seen 27 species of animals including the big 5 - lions, rhinos,elephants, water buffalo and leopards. Very cool! More to come with more photos.


posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What a Day!

I can't possibly describe today in a few words from my cel phone but I will try to hit the highlights. We visited Sabasaba Primary School where the new classroom is complete. They now have 900 students and six classroooms but they get by. We were treated like royalty. Then it was on to the Kayenze School where the borehole is intended to be. It was a bit disappointing to learn that it is not done but we saw the drill and the borehole should be there in about two weeks. After lunch we visited a new girl's dorm that will house 100 secondary school girls. Most are orphans and what a delightful group. It is amazing that they are so grounded considering what they have been through.
I will write more later when I have a real keyboard in front of me. The photo is at the preschool.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mwanza Day 1

Today we purchased school books with the help of Plan Tanzania staff in Mwanza. We couldn't have done it without them. The books in the photo represent 290,000 Tanzanian shillings.
Thanks to Barrhaven United Church Vacation Bible School and Jan and Keith Campbell for their support.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dar es Salaam

Met the staff from the Plan Tanzania office today to hear about the new project. It supports women and youth in setting up small buinesses through savings and loan programs. We visited a poor area of Dar to attend a meeting where participants were paying back or arranging for loans. Amazing to see it in action and well worthy of support. As a result the participants will become valuable members of their community. On to Mwanza tomorrow.