This is my story. The stories I tell are the ones that hold me up, that keep me going, that feed me hope.
I look at the things that give me joy – like watching Mbula in the field at the project site while her goats graze or sitting with Nasma drawing pictures in the sand or watching the two young boys collect garbage from the project site to make their toys.
I feel the small acts of kindness – like Mama Fatouma making me lunch everyday even though she was fasting for Ramadan or Juma washing the sand from my shoes or the school kids saying my name in their sing song voices or the women coming by with pumpkins and peanuts (carenga) and corn. They kept me coming back.
I watched Moshi and Juma hunt for birds (snack food) and fight like brothers about who is the better shot. I sat with the guys pealing peanuts for me in between whittling their slingshots at the project site. I learned how to shoot a slingshot from Mbula’s daughter. I played ball with the kids. I took oodles of pictures and videos. I had fun.
AND I watched a water project grow and finish, brick by brick, with water running through 7 different distribution points in the village. SEE VIDEOS
Someone else might tell the story differently but this is mine – it’s how I chose to see and interact with the world around me.
My last day in Iyoli ended the way it began – drinking coffee with friends and talking about water. We piled in the car with Miriam, Baraka, and Moshi’s family along with the sound technician and a car stuffed full of old equipment to project videos and pictures that I took over the last two months on the wall of the building in the village centre. Together with the people from the village we laughed and reminisced about the Iyoli water project under the stars. The videos and pictures are theirs – not mine. We drove back to Kondoa on the bumpy dirt Iyoli road for the last time – tired and content.
This is my story.
Thank you for travelling with me on this journey. Moshi is taking it upon himself to continue teaching at the secondary school using the videos of the project so that the kids can continue to learn about solar technologies (this takes time) in addition to starting a tree planting program near the project site with his friend Richard PLUS he has other environmental projects in the works. He is a guy with a vision for his country but more than that a man of action.
We, of course, will remain close friends and I’ll continue to hear about Iyoli. Although my story has an ending Iyoli’s story is just beginning. The opportunities available to the community now that water is available are endless and I am excited to hear about them from my dear friend. I feel great joy and happiness in going home and seeing Loc and Zoe and all my friends and family but a sadness so deep in leaving all of the people I love so much here.
We thank Innovation: Africa and the donors for making this all happen.
AND if ever you are in Tanzania and need an incredibly knowledgeable and experienced safari guide who deeply loves his country and can talk about zebras, elephants, lions, birds, trees, environmental issues, solar power, education and water without stopping to take a breath I know a guy.
His name is Moshi.