Heri ya Pasaka!

Like Christmas, Easter (Pasaka) is a fairly big part of the Tanzanian religious year. Unfortunately this doesn’t permeate much into the orphanage and chocolate is not really on the Easter agenda. As we can’t show you the kids cracking open chocolate eggs, let’s go for some other Easter themes:


There’s plenty of these around in Tanzania. One of the Small Things’ projects has been to build a new coop for the orphanage and expand their stock of chickens. Thanks to Marie and her mum, it now keeps 10-15 chickens safe and secure so they can provide us with a reliable supply of eggs. Not only do the kids get vital protein out of it, they also get the immense joy of chasing, pointing and shouting at the chickens, as well as occasionally getting into the coop and refusing to come out.
Our new chicken house, which is now complete and occupied.
Playing outside this January, Pendo came running up to me shouting frantically, “Abdulli piga kuku, Abdulli piga kuku!” (“Abdulli hit a chicken, Abdulli hit a chicken!”). Abdulli was indignant at this accusation, and I knew he probably couldn’t have even caught a chicken, let alone hit one. He’d also been with me the whole time. When questioned, Pendo confidently told me that Abdulli had got up in the night, sneaked out and started hitting the chickens, with Stevie cheerfully verifying the whole story. Abdulli was very relieved when he didn’t get into trouble for this shocking imaginary crime!

Tiny, tiny hands.

New Life

Of course, the reason we have eggs and chicks at Easter has to do with the celebration of new life, which is a good excuse to feature Angel, the newest life at the orphanage.
When they arrive they always seem so tiny, swaddled up in their huge mounds of blankets – Tanzanians take keeping their babies warm very seriously! Here’s Angel when she arrived in December, and again in mid-January having already grown beautifully.

Angel shortly after she arrived.
Having kicked off some blankets in mid-January.

Back from the hospital and healthy again.

I’m sure she’s much bigger now, having recovered from her bout of malaria. I can’t wait to see the new pictures that will be coming very soon.

Hongera! (Congratulations!)

Today, most of the board members of The Small Things will be in one place, which is extremely unusual; we’re gathering for the first part of a very international wedding. Bekka Ross Russell is marrying Riz Kaiser, and they will soon be heading off to live as close to the orphanage as possible in Tanzania. Congratulations Bekka and Riz!
Bekka with Zawadi and Simoni
Riz with Zawadi

This is made even more exciting because it brings the adoption of Simoni and Zawadi one step closer. The two of them have already completely accepted each other as brother and sister and are very excited to go and live with Bekka and Riz – even three months ago they couldn’t stop talking about it!

Simoni and Zawadi

I noticed that in Swahili, Pasaka means both Easter and Passover, which I think is quite nice, despite the fact they are the celebrations of two different events. Heri kwa sikukuu ya Pasaka to everyone!