(Click on any of the pictures to view a larger version and to see a slide show with more pictures.)
We left Africa in 2007 after being in Tanzania for 3 1/2 years as Maryknoll Lay Missioners and listed some of the reasons to stay and some of the reasons to return to the US before we left.
When you think ugali (cooked cornmeal) and dagaa (small dried fish) with spinach is a gourmet dinner. It's time to go home.
When you get tired, need more sleep and you think, "O, its only malaria" It's time to go home.
When the red ants in your coffee don't bother you anymore. It's time to go home.
When you greet a woman on the path thinking it's just another normal day even though she's wearing a cow's head with horns on her head. It's time to go home.
When 50 little kids want to be the only one to hold your hand when you dance the hokey pokey. How can you go home?
When we skip daily Mass at our local church and everyone misses us. It's hard to go home.
When you are teaching 4 or 5 children under a mango tree and 30 or 40 more want to learn. It's difficult to go home.
When all of our Tanzanian friends say, "Stay." How can we go home.
We return to Tanzania for 3 months each year. We have many friends there. What do we do? We encourage them.
Some of the children we have known since 2004 when they were in fourth or fifth grade. When they were in seventh grade they helped us teach a whole village of little ones.
Today some of the seventh graders are in college. I asked one of the girls who wants to be a writer to write about her life in the village. She wrote back the following:
i would like to tell you that one day i will do something which can be importance to the people who are around me. i would like to write something about the women who are segregated, discriminated, and humiliated within their society according to their culture. the coming month you shall come at tanzania i love you so much. have a nice dream. is me bakhita
"The roots of our future will bury themselves in the ground and a canopy of hope will reach into the sky." Wangari Maathai said this about planting trees.See the pictures of us planting trees and making charcoal.
It's all about encouragement and when we encourage others we are encouraged too. We fall in love and when we fall in love we become one with God. Love is the answer. Always! And that is why we go to Tanzania.
Roger and Kitty