Good news all round!

This week we have three snippets of good news for you!  So, settle back, grab yourself a biscuit and have a read!

Riz and Peace (1)
Firstly, and in keeping with the food reference, the Mamas-volunteers lunch!  This is pretty much as it reads – a lunch where the Mamas and volunteers can share food and spend time together.  And the best part?  It’s held during nap time!  This means that – aside from the occasional little-one who couldn’t sleep and joins in, snuggled on a lap – it means that the Mamas and volunteers are able to take time to talk and get to know each other, which is something that is difficult to do when there are lots of kids vying noisily for your attention!  Before eating everyone stood together in a circle, held hands and the Mamas sung a prayer, quite long, absolutely beautiful with truly stunning harmonies!  After this, everyone tucked into rice, kuku (chicken), chips, lamb, and vegetables (the food is paid for by The Small Things) and it was a great success, with conversation in both English and Swahili (mostly Swahili)!  We felt that these lunches were important to fund because developing and fostering relationships between the Mamas and volunteers is so important to ensure a positive experience for everyone.  In the past the Mamas have mentioned that they think learning people’s names and taking the time to ask others how their day is important and respectful, and we hoped that these lunches would aid this process.  They are always a really lovely time!

Neema (1)
During this week, Bekka and Riz went to visit Neema ndogo’s grandmother.  The reason was that a fantastic couple from Australia – names soon! – originally hoped to adopt Neema; however, they couldn’t because the Australian government requires people to live in Tanzania for at least 14 months before doing so, which unfortunately they couldn’t do.  In view of this, they decided that the next best thing do do would be to sponsor both Neema and her older sister, Anna, who is five and apparently has exactly the same face as Neema!  Anna and Neema’s family are too poor to send Anna to school, so the couple are going to pay for her (fees, uniform, books etc) to send her, and will do the same for Neema when she is old enough.  Riz said that their grandmother was very happy when they told them, as I was when I heard!  An education is so important in Tanzania, and it is so amazing that the couple are able to help Anna and Neema’s family to give the children it.  It will make such a difference.  Thank you!
Mama Pendo and Zawadi (3)
And, today is Mama Pendo’s birthday!  Although birthdays are not a big thing in Tanzania, I thought that this would be a good excuse to include a little bit about what an incredible woman she is.  ‘Pendo’ is Swahili for ‘love’ and their couldn’t be a more appropriate name for a woman who is mother to and loves so many children.  She is able to tell you the names and stories of any child that you ask about, despite the fact that she has worked at the orphanage for 25 years!  It was beautiful when we visited USA River Academy (where the older kids attend school) and watched the kids all flock to the woman who has given them stability and love for lots of hugs!  There is so much more that I could write about, but for the meantime, some pictures!
Mama Pendo and Neema (3)

Mama Pendo and Zawadi (3)
Thank you for reading!

Peace (1)