20 April 2022

Wow! What an amazing, memorable day! Started off the day only with 1.5 hours of sleep… I knew I would need some extra strength today, so, I asked Kennedy and Justin to give me a priesthood blessing. Justin spoke in Swahili. When done, he asked if I would like to hear the translation. “No. The feeling I felt was good enough for me!” We all piled in the van and set off to meet the well drilling rig at the site. The van was not only full of people, Ed, Justin, Emanuel, Kennedy, Lydia and myself, but, was full of optimism and excitement! We started down the road, maneuvering in and out of the traffic. About 5 miles down the road, Kenney ask Ed to pull over at the next gas station. We picked up the reporter that was covering the event! (I later found out that his name is Innocent and he is a councilor in the District Presidency of the church). Somewhere along the way we stopped and picked up Enoch, another board member of TRSD. About 5 miles from the site, we stopped again and picked up Adam, a very important leader in that region! What a packed, fun filled ride it was! When We got there, there were lots of school children preparing the site for the event of the day. All the boys were using scythes to cut the field of tall grass. Ed got a large camera with an even larger lens and put it around my neck. He started setting up his tripod to take some videos of the arrival of the rig. Lydia motioned to me to follow her and wanted me to see the existing concrete cistern up the hill. The school master and some of the students came with and showed me the cistern. I asked if there was ladder. Then Lydia showed me the one room schools house used to teach 4 grades of students; pre, 1, 2 and 3. She explained that while one grade was being taught, the others would wait outside for their turn. I asked the school master what would his best scenario be, one small building for each grade or one larger building with class rooms? I explained that I was in the construction business and was just curious. He shared with Lydia, who translated that he was planning on the latter. I got a piece of chalk and sketched a crude design on the chalkboard and he nodded. Emanuel showed up with a camera in hand and was taking pictures. We went outside and up the ladder he went. He reported that the bottom was full of sediment and was leaking, just as the headmaster had previously mentioned. They will repair it sometime in the dry season. I took pictures of the outside of the cistern and asked what the words said, “Water is life for everything!” Pictures of trees and animals were painted there, as well.

Innocent on at the top of the steps. Some helpful students leaning the ladder on the cistern, the School Master giving directions and me and Lydia.

Butterfly along the trail.

Millapede, big as my fist!

Beauty everywhere!

Lydia wanted to show me that there were some families living close by out in the dense, green vegetation and trees. As we walked, she told me that the children reminded her of her childhood. Check out her profile when loaded. I hope she will share some of what she told me. Somewhere on the trail we were walking on, Emanuel came running up and said that we were ready to go. I forgot that we had to leave for a drive to have a meeting with the District Commissioner, Nickson Simon John and his cabinet to discuss TRSD and the project.

Green trees and “bush”

Posing for a picture…

Local bird in the tree.

Village home.

Beautiful greenery.

Scare crow in a garden.

Ed getting some of his camera equiptment out of the van to take some photos and videos.

Ed Chang in his element, behind a camera. Ed has visited several countries which has increased his understanding of different cultures and people. 

 You had to have been there to get the full effect; the government buildings reminded me of some the buildings on the Hopi reservation in Arizona, USA. Beautifully kept grounds. There were several people waiting outside. Adam, who rode with us, motioned us to come inside. He had us wait by a door. After a few minutes, he quietly knocked and opened the door and had us come in. The council members were there. Ed and I had cameras around our necks and were just going to take pictures of the proceedings. Adam insisted that I sit down by the District Commissioner, who was appointed by the President of Tanzania. So, I did. Ed managed to gain permission to remain standing to take photos. A lot of Swahili was spoken, translation was given for Ed and I. Introductions were made and I immediately got nicked named “Big Joe!” Kennedy was asked to state his purpose, which he did quite eloquently in both Swahili and English. Toward the end of the meeting, TRSD T-shirts were offered and gratefully received. District Commissioner Nickson Simon John went in the other room and changed shirts. When he came out, he suggested that we have group photos. At some point in the meeting, Lydia told him that we needed electricity to the well site. He said we had his full support. Then we all went out front and took pictures. I got to shake hands with him and lots of pictures were taken. We all loaded up in the van and headed back to the site. We stopped to get gas and the rental wouldn’t start, second time in as many days. People showed up to help, no jumper cables anywhere. Someone brought a length of electrical wire! Yes, electrical wire! It worked like a charm. Very inventive!

Above, Ed Chang taking photos and one of his video clips students at the Visegese School.

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