Kelvin’s confirmation and Latifa Arrives!

December 20 – Mary, Reward, Nelson and Kelvin – The Minja Family and Latifa is here!

The electricity is sporadic at best here.  The pattern seems to be that we lose it around 10:00 a.m. and it returns at 6:00 p.m. so pole for not writing more . . . First of all, happy birthday to Tim and Andrew today and Oma and Stephen and Will, tomorrow!  Oma, here is your birthday gift . . .
Asante to the Moise family for sponsoring Evalin, to Randy for helping us with Harriri, and to the McCann family in Australia for sponsoring Gerehad next year.  You know that without your love, without your giving kindness towards these little ones . . . the brightness of their futures would be limited.  Asante, Asante, Asante!
Sunday, we were invited to attend Kelvin’s confirmation in Ngaramtoni . . . which, in Tanzania, is quite a process, think wedding, and one I would not have missed!  We left home at eight a.m., Peter, Cindy, Grace, Amanda, Katy, Lucy and myself piled into the gari and we were off!  It is a one hour drive to the church and we just made it for the ten o’clock service which started at 10:50.  Oh well, Tanzanian time.  Kelvin was ecstatic as he proceeded up the aisle and saw all of us there for him.  Both of his parents are dead and his siblings Mary and Reward made an eight hour bus trip from Dar to join us.  Nelson came from school and the “adjusted” Minja family was complete!  The service was long, as services always are here (four hours) . . . the church was jam packed and breathing room was limited, but, as I said, not one of us would have missed it.  The happiness on his face when he saw us in the pew, for him, when his parents are no longer able to be there, was a memory I will always cherish.  The church service lasted, as I said, almost four hours and we were somewhat wilted by the time it finished but so be it.  I wish I could find the words to express to you how wonderful it is to be a part of these children’s lives.  Kelvin’s parents are dead as I have said, as so many of our children’s parents are and he has adopted me as his mama.   My heart just filled up, watching him, with pride and love.  He is such a good young man and such a wonderful steward of Tumaini House.  Mary and Reward returned safely to Dar, on separate buses, so that, just in case there was an accident, Kelvin and Nelson would not lose both of their bigger siblings.  That is the kind of family this is.  Mary and Reward, instead of sitting and chatting together on the bus ride up and down, travelled alone, with no one to talk to, in an effort to minimize the effects of a potential accident.  Smart, smart dada na kaka!
The children are wonderful!  Karibu to Emily and Brett who are honeymooning from Australia and working with us for the next two weeks.  Katy has welcomed Amanda and Lucy and Rachael arrived yesterday and will suffer with jet lag for the next couple of days but is here and safe and looking forward to her time with us!!!!  Karibu to Laci on the 24th and Christmas will be wonderful!
Baby Latifa has arrived and is no longer a baby!  Ester has embraced her as big sister and to see them together is remarkable.  I think Ester is ultra sensitive to Latifa because they both endured surgeries and had to wear a brace . . . it is heartwarming to see!  Like I said, power is intermittent . . . we will write as we can but please know how grateful we are for your loving support!  Christmas is wonderful here in Tanzania . . . Karibu sana!!!!!
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