Welcome, MSAIDIZI!

This Swahili word means THE HELPER!

We want to welcome MSAIDIZI to our campus in Kafua. It is a large motorcycle with three wheels and a cargo trailer. It was purchased last week, after a generous grant from the Order of Malta allowed us to cover a good part of the expense.

Why did we purchase MSAIDIZI?

Because up to now we have been limited in our capability to deliver water jugs to our elders. Each jug weighs 20 Kg (44 lbs) and our youths’ bicycles have difficulty carrying several jugs at a time. MSAIDIZI will give us the capability to expand our fresh water delivery program, by being able to transport several jugs and by navigating the narrow trails that lead to our elders’ huts.

Deliveries will start soon, after completing the necessary motor vehicle paperwork. Our motorcycle driver Kisuka is ready!

Friday: Time to Say Goodbye

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All good things come to an end. Today (Friday) is our last day in Kafua. Sister Dativa and the youths have set up a spectacular send-off ceremony, with food and drinks, local banana beer, dances, speeches and a few tears flowing off everybody’s cheeks. God willing, we will return next year. 

This is the last of our special blog posts to make you part of our African experience. We are now returning to a less frequent publication schedule. We hope you will continue to follow The Village Angels of Tanzania blog and share it with friends and family. 

Tomorrow (Saturday) we will head home: 36 hours of travel door to door. 

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It's Thursday: Time to Deliver Food to the Elders

Some of the bicycles packed and ready to go.

Some of the bicycles packed and ready to go.

Every Thursday our 16 youths deliver their weekly supply of food to our 80 elders. First, they pack each food item in reusable containers. Second, they load their supplies on the bicycles we have given to them for this purpose. Third, off they go to deliver their precious cargo to each elder, often several miles away. Food delivery to the elders is at the heart of our program.

Above: Preparing the food packages to be delivered. Below: The youths departing with their food deliveries.

A Special Trip

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Our supervisor Faustin Kisuka escorted Johanna to the huts of four elders today. The goal was to record missing nutritional data. It was a beautiful sunny day for a motorcycle ride and as always it was wonderful to see our elders, ready with their usual welcoming blessings and hugs. Kisuka provided a smooth ride through dense banana plants and bush. Kisuka was quick to heed Johanna’s plea “ kwenda polepole (go slow!)”.

Our Unsung Hero: Sr. Veneranda

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Sister Veneranda Chausiko, also going by the nickname of Sr. Vene , is Sister Dativa’s Assistant. One of seven children, she has been a nun for ten years. She has been with The Village Angels of Tanzania for the last year and half, and thoroughly enjoys working with the elders. 

In the last couple of weeks, Sr. Vene has been taking care of our Guest House, including cooking delicious meals. She has definitely been our “unsung hero”. Eric has given her lessons in driving our truck. Continuous exposure to our conversations has been very beneficial for improving her English. 

We are all grateful to Sister Veneranda, and love to see her smiling face. 

Sr. Veneranda with one of the elders

Sr. Veneranda with one of the elders

Driving lessons

Driving lessons

Carrying supplies

Carrying supplies

Sunday Morning at the Local Market

Some of the produce in the local market

Some of the produce in the local market

After Mass, we all went to the local market in Ngara for shopping: beans, pineapples, watermelons, bananas, tomatoes, avocado, onions, dry fish, and chickens. The latter are purchased live. They need to be slaughtered and plucked before being cooked and consumed. It’s all delicious!

More local produce

More local produce

More local produce.

More local produce.

Live chickens for sale

Live chickens for sale

And some dried fish

And some dried fish

Our Garden

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Our 16 youths are passionately working our land to produce vegetables for distribution to our 80 elders. This program is great, but not ambitious enough. Now that water is available for irrigation, we want our 16 acres of land to become the cornerstone of a thriving farm business, capable of providing self sufficiency to our program in the long term. During our visit we are discussing this project internally and with outside experts, to lay the foundation for the next big project in the life of The Village Angels of Tanzania.

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Sewing

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A lot of activities are taking place on our campus in these days. One of them involves sewing Wine Bottle Bags for sale in the United States. 

After purchasing colorful African fabrics at the local market, it gets cut in the right size. In Grandma’s Room, where our six sewing machines are located, our youths are ready to sew the pieces together. After inserting a ribbon, the final product is ready.

These Wine Bottle bags will be sold by a friendly wine retailer in Boston. They will also be available at the Assumption Christmas Market at Assumption in December. 

We expect to come home with 300 Wine Bottle Bags. This is one of the activities that will help The Village Angels of Tanzania program become more self sustaining.

Elders Gathering

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Wednesday, July 10 was a BIG day in Kafua. We gathered almost all of our 80 elders in our campus, outside of Rauscher Hall. We rented a large school bus and brought them to our venue. They gathered in the shade under a tent and, one by one, we checked their vitals and nutritional parameters , and tested their blood glucose. We fed them a nice lunch and then presented them with the clothes that we had brought for them. The Elders enjoyed a day of socializing with each other and with the Youth in our program. In mid afternoon, they went back on the bus and returned to their respective villages. We are so happy to be sharing the pictures below with all of you.