Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 2 – Employee #1

Responses To Comments

George, yes the kid’s did indeed bring the fishing reel and dollar and proceeded to pass the time in Detroit by pranking unsuspecting travelers. For all those that don’t know…the kid’s tape a dollar bill to a fishing reel and lay it down on the floor, then proceed to hide about fifty feet away.

When a passerby reaches down to retrieve his or her find, they reel it in. Some people actually chase it and some see it, but don’t bother picking it up. Anyways, it is always a good time.

April? April who? Very funny. I’m sure you’ll be thinking about us while you’re on your cruise. We love you. Enjoy!

Shae Shae Fantastica, you’ve been in our thoughts. You would love it here.

Mom S, GG would love the instant coffee. I have to say that since Coffee is a major cash crop in the area, the instant coffee is actually pretty good (didn’t think instant could be). Would love to bring some Avocadoes home, but fruit and veggies are strictly prohibited through customs; something about possible exotic insects upsetting the delicate ecosystem balance…or something like that.

Thank you all for the posts. It is a highlight of the day to wake up and read what you’ve written.


Today is a good day; the power is on and we met with and interviewed Juma Nicholas Kitau to be our Director of Operations here in Tanzania. We were impressed with his professionalism and passion for the project. Coming to us with a University degree in Zoology, he has worked with and interfaced with a lot of westerners in his previous profession as a Safari Guide – understanding each other’s cultural perspective is critical to the trust and working relationship especially when operating abroad.

If anyone has experienced it, one knows of something called “Africa Time” which is closely akin to “Island Time.” Well Juma was scheduled for 12:00P and showed up precisely at 12:00P sharp with notebook in hand for taking notes. He is certainly a welcome addition to the team, and is going to be critical in handling our local book keeping and in interfacing with the local officials to ensure that the orphanage is setup properly.

After a discussion of terms and expectations, Juma took us on a walk to tour the property for the proposed site.

There is a “road” that goes all of the way to property and as you crest the hill you’re met with a wonderful view of a sprawling valley facing Mount Kilamanjaro. The summit was enveloped in clouds so we couldn’t see it today, but on a clear day the view is majestic.

The estimated 3.5 acres are a rocky, volcanic, but very fertile piece of property that will support several homes and a bit of agriculture as well. As long as there is water, anything will grow, Juma says. This area has been in a long drought, but this rainy season is expected to bring with it substantial rains. Juma says that in Africa, water literally means life.

One of the first items on the list will be a well for irrigation as well as for drinking. Deep wells are hard to come by in this area because of the rocky terrain, but digging down around 150 feet will ensure that the orphanage has water even during the driest season.

Paul walked the perimeter of the property and recorded his track with GPS so that we would have an idea of the location and topography of the property. It will enable us to do some planning of the layout before breaking ground.

If anyone is interested, they can download the recorded track of our walk Here and if you have Google Earth installed, you can explore the area that we are in (Dougie Fresh, this one's for you).

On our walk back we met with several of the locals to say hi - everyone is amazingly friendly.

One facility we passed – University of Arusha – stands out in all of it’s surrounding. It is run by the Global Vessels foundation which is an independent group of Seventh Day Adventist professionals. We stopped in for a tour and met James and Debby Delaney.

They’ve been here with their daughter Mattie since August of 2009 and sold everything they had in the U.S. to enter the mission field. Their facility currently houses twenty orphans and they’ve recently completed a new building to receive another ten kids in need - what amazing sources of information!

They told us about the local resources we would need to use, schools in the area, and the Lutheran hospital critical for our orphan’s medical care. After a flurry of questions, exchanging contact information, and a brief tour we headed back to the UAACC for lunch. We’ll be seeing James and Debra again soon.

Ashton Found A Little Friend

Upon our return, Pete O’Neil had a job for Ashton and Christian. He made them raise their hands and swear that they would perform their task to the best of their ability. The children at the UAACC received an old Playstation a short time ago and have not been able to figure it out, but Pete was positive that one of our kids would know how to work it. As a product of the 50’s and 60’s, Pete stated that he had never seen something so complicated, but he knew that the children here would enjoy it so he Shanghaied Ashton and Christian as instructors. For Christian – an avid gamer – this was no problem!

Corrinne and Elivia met Mwajambo and toured her clothing shop. Mwajambo is very talented at making African clothing and her face lit up when Corrinne asked her if she could make a skirt for her. Fabric selected…we await the results.

We’re feeling very good about our accomplishments made today. The Smalls Steps for Compassion project is off to a very good start.


  1. Missing you. Love the pictures & updates! What a blessing you all are. God is using you...hope to be part of your next experience. Land looks beautiful. Blessings & Love...MomP

  2. How exciting to be able to does this for God's children...I pray that you have much success and would love to be able to experience this with you one day. I am enjoying the blog and look forward to hearing more.

  3. Well it looks like a beautiful place with beautiful people as well. The property looks like it will be a great place to put an orqhanage, the mountains in the background are beautiful. Well it's Friday night, we went to Shaner's for pizza with April, Chris, Ale' and Age, sorry you missed it but I'm sure your meal was just as good. Glad to see Christians gaming experiance came in handy, now if there were just somewhere to surf. Well we now have 4 dogs, dad and I thought if we charged $30 a day for each dog, we would probably have enough to join you on your next trip there, haha. Well have a happy Sabbath, we love you.

  4. I did not have a picture, soooooooooooo
    I see the Dancers and Livy and Rin probably would love to have their red dress (right)? I see Ash has already found a friend, Is that a beer drinking friend? knowing Ash it must be soya gin in a bottle. Chrish, It that Pasta I see in your Dish? And those Avocados, Mom is probably saying bring me some. I guess when the avocados his the roof for the 1st time Shan and Paul must have wet their pants, after a while it must sound like rain drops on a tin roof. (You only can wet your pants so much) Ha---- I guess Doug and Beth gotten the Honeymoon suite. Everyone look happy and ready to go, I can't wait to see what the pictures look like in a week or so when Doug get the Groupies. Oh ya. The land that you are going to see, is it in Tanzania ? Don Cheek said he would love to have the sale or for that matter any sale. Love you all, enjoy and be safe.

  5. I want something made for me!! Shaners was AWESOME! When you wake up, check the wonderful text that I sent Paul! We should have done the dollar prank when we went to Italy last year!!! This is my final post as we leave in the morning for our cruise! Love you all and have a wonderful trip!

  6. lspinella (aka Dad Spinella) - Yes Ashton's drink was an Orange Fanta. We can't wait to see Doug get the Groupies either - we'll be sure to take pictures. Yes, the property is in Tanzania although we are fairly close to Kenya as well. And yes, Don can have the sale - does he have his license here?

    April S - Texting is fairly sporadic here and we haven't gotten it yet. We're drooling over Shaner's...thanks :-| Have fun on your cruise!

  7. Hi guys: We are enjoying your blogs. Sounds like you're having a great trip. Shopping sounds like what we endured in Mexico. Definitely not my type of shopping. Believe Max Church was with Adra when we were at the GC. Remember him passing through occassionally. Remember him particularly as his Dad was in Everyl & Evelyn's wedding. Think I walked down the aisle with him. Max Jr. looks very much like his father. Keep up with the blogs, Dad looks for them every morning. We have no kids around with week except for Jim, who isn't really that close, so keep in touch. Love you all. Mom