Residents and Residence
The resilience of children never fails to amaze me. This past week has been tough on our kids, Abu has contracted malaria and Osmond has an infection which has caused his face to break out in a series of sores. They have had to go to the hospital twice a day for shots for the past few days and have to continue to do this for the next four days. But despite the horrible cries of fear that they let loose when they first see the needle, they immediately recover and begin to smile and hug us. Abu even started to laugh after the shots that he had to get this morning at 6 am. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I get them an ice cream when we leave the last visit everyday! Osmond told me yesterday that he was going to be a good boy and get his shot because he knew that he would get better and be able to play soccer with his friends. This was a lesson for me to not let the trivial inconveniences of everyday hardship here cloud my ambition to do the best that I can for help2kidsbecause if I do a good job then I will be able to play soccer with my little friends here in Mbezi Beach!
There are so many little things that you have to do here just to complete a slightly larger thing to slowly complete the even bigger things. For example, to obtain my Residence Permit, I had to first drive downtown and go to Immigration where they told me how to do it correctly (the actual information is not actually available on any website). Then, I had to revamp all of my already completed forms and go to NMB bank where I waited for about three hours in line just to give them my money. I then needed to go back to Immigration and fill out a few more forms. Luckily, I had found a helpful Immigration Officer who took my cell phone number and called me when my Permit was ready so that I didn’t need to drive all the way back yet again. That all takes about a week. But as I have explained to people before who have asked how I am able to retain sanity and patience, I envision the whole process as sculpting. You must painstakingly chip away at the marble, one tap at a time, if you want to make the statue as beautiful as you know that it can be.
It also helps to know that I now have someone to help me here in Tanzania. We have hired a social worker, Muhali, which has already proven himself to be a great asset to us! He has gotten us the permission necessary to accept children and has even arranged for us to meet with a home in Dar Es Salaam who provide shelter to orphans until a proper location can be found. Tomorrow morning, he and I will be visiting with a number of children and will hopefully find a few that we can offer an opportunity to come and live with us here. The children from the neighborhood come over everyday and visit with me and the animals, but it truly has been a shame having such a beautiful home and loving staff with only one child to care for when there are so many out there.
Despite not having many children, we have obtained a few new residents. For the past week, we have had daily visits from two monkeys that we suspect are runaway pets. They allow you to hold them (for a short while) and have been providing us with hours of entertainment! I also had a present given to me yesterday from my little buddies next door. While I was working on my balcony, I heard a bunch of tiny footsteps climbing up my stairs. I then heard one of my closest little friends (the adorable Mr. Barraka), tell his brother “we’re gonna give it to Happy Mama, she will love it!”. Up they all came holding a large blue bag, each one holding a small part of the bag so that I knew that the present was from all of them. I happily accepted it and looked inside to find another tortoise! The tortoise is beautiful and gets along with Tango wonderfully. They are both now residing in the tortoise wing of the help2kids home, casually munching on lettuce and tomatoes in the shade of the mango tree.
Which brings me to the new help2kids contest! We need a name for the tortoise and have decided that this week, the winner will be the person who submits the best name in a comment. The help2kids team will deliberate and decide which one suits the tortoise best. The winner will receive a hand carved elephant necklace which I purchased from the local handicraft market here in Dar Es Salaam! So, ask your friends and family for their best names and post them all, we can’t wait to see what you guys come up with 🙂