Moshi and I headed out early in the morning to buy trees for both Cheku and the village of Kolo. 

It was a particularly sweltering day, but I wanted to revisit Cheku to check in on the trees we planted last year, as well as plant a few more. Kolo would also be a good spot for the tours with its close proximity to some historical rock paintings, so we wanted to forge some stronger relationships there.

We stopped at a nursery to buy the trees. Since negotiations were beyond me here, I just watched the proceedings. In the end, we bought $30 worth of seeds and trees. We would be dividing them between Kolo and the women’s collective in Cheku. 

Once we got to Cheku, I visited the guest book again, and went back to see Zoe’s and my signature from our trip last year. The village had only received a handful of visitors since then, so our names didn’t take long to find. Next, we stopped at the well and then walked to the field to see the trees that we planted last year. About 64 of the 100 trees that we planted last year had survived and were scattered around. The village had made a fence out of thorns to keep the animals out and had begun to cultivate the land in bits and pieces. The sun was strong and there were so few places to stand in the shade. At one point, I was so overwhelmed by the heat that I went to sit underneath the small avocado tree that Zoe had planted last year. 

And I thought about the situation with Ikaji as the sun beat down on my head.

I realized that Ikaji was not a good fit for the company because I could not talk to him honestly, and—since he was really nothing more than an investor—he wasn’t willing to provide much help while we were working hard on building the company programs. I felt uncomfortable with him, like I was being pulled in too many directions. I realized that the only way any of this was going to work was if I moved to Tanzania to help run the day-to-day business and website. That wasn’t going to happen.

It was under that hot sun that I realized our company was not going to work.