Guest blog: Dorothy and David (aka Mama and Baba Bekka & Bibi and Babu Saimon and Zawadi!)

This is a very special month for Bekka, our on the ground director and chair of The Small Things, as her parents are visiting!  We are very grateful that Dorothy and David have taken some of the precious time with their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren to write a little for us about their visit so far!  They are both also board members of The Small Things and need little introduction, so I will hand you straight over to them (after a quick picture of the reunited family!)!
Dorothy, Bekka and David reunited!
“Guest blog from the oldies. Dorothy and David – aka Mama Bekka and Baba Bekka, aka Bibi and Babu (to our almost adopted grandchildren, Saimon and Zawadi)”*
“We arrived a few days ago for a four week stay in Nkoarnaga. Tanzania is as beautiful and as challenging as ever. The weather is a contrast from the cold of New England, hot and equatorial, but with beautiful fresh mornings, and bright sunny hot days.”
Babu David with Zawadi
“The team here are doing an amazing job, and the progress since we were last here is quite stunning, and confirms that this is not your old Mom and Pop start up, but a real operation with real systems, and real staff. Bekka has assembled a team here of talent and dedication with Web master, driver, husband Riz, volunteer coordinator Emma, fundraising coordinator Mac, and the team of Tanzanians from the ever wonderful Mama Pendo and her orphanage staff of Mamas, the pilot house staff of her daughter, the eponymous Pendo, and Mamas Linda and Rose, and driver Frank. And we have hardly seen our friends from previous trips: Dr Sam, Jeremiah and Ombeni. The kids in the new pilot house are going to Amani primary school in their smart yellow and green uniforms, and returning home with homework and smiles. Pray was a little tearful at the start of the first few days, but cheerful by the end of school, announcing it was “nzuri”- good! (For those catching up on events here, the pilot house is the rented property functioning as the first house of our planned “Children’s Village”- which, in time, will sprout homes for the children who age out of the orphanage and have no family they can return to.)”
Ugi (a drink) for the little guys
“The orphanage is as cheerful and noisy as ever as the smaller of the small things play with their much appreciated Christmas toys, and the Mamas and volunteers provide love and care. One of the smallest of all
right now is Baby Hope who we brought back from the Pediatric ward in Arusha Hospital where she had been in for weight loss and pneumonia. She is on the mend and gaining weight though still tiny with a residual cough*. It is thanks to the generosity of our donors and support from sponsors that the kind of care she received could be given. The Small Things took care of her hospital bill for her two week stay, as well as the cost of the 24-hour care of Mamas who stayed with her every moment. Without your support none of this would be possible. A few years ago, she would have had to stay locally with what services could be provided at the Nkoaranga hospital and the orphanage, and might well have not made it.”
(*Unfortunately, since this was written, Hope has been re-admitted to hospital with a fever.)
Baby Hope
“We will update with more news as our month here progresses!”
*Some translations for those who would like to learn some Swahili!
Mama – mother
Baba – father
Bibi – grandmother
Babu – grandfather
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