I feel so thankful to those of you who have made it possible for me to be here in Tanzania. Someone has generously given every dollar that I said I needed for these next seven months. It makes me happy that you would care so much about me and the folks here in the Mara region, that you would care enough to give your own money to make this possible!
I am renting a room from someone named Sue Kelly, who is doing research in Tanzania for her Ph. D in Anthropology, and I have gotten to meet our nighttime security guard, Daniel. We cannot speak much though, because I do not know very much Swahili.
Right now, learning Swahili is my number one priority; my teacher is named Mama Salala. (My opening quote roughly means, “What news, my friends”) I will be spending most of my time on this for awhile. I am also spending some time getting up to speed on the basics of economic empowerment work, via books and resources that Eric has recommended to me from his grad program (currently reading an excellent work called The Poor and Their Money, by Stuart Rutherford).
I was thankful to meet with Eric on Tuesday and discuss what I will be doing for these seven months, as well as what my more long-term role might be. He suggested that the first three months will be spent on learning the language, culture, and basics of what economic empowerment looks like, and in the following four months, I will begin visiting the communities in the Mara quite often, meeting with the people, and making plans for programs that will meet the needs of each community. Eric suggested that we will be mainly preparing for a big launch next spring, where we will work with most of the communities that we have connections with to start programs that will fit each of the communities.
I feel so thankful that some of you are praying for me. That’s pretty wild that you might think about me at some point in your day, and then talk to God about me. Thank you.