Oddo and I started our day with a meeting with a young mother who has two infant children, Aloise two, and Junior, my guess would be less than a year. The District Agent sent them to us with a letter, asking us if there was something we could do to help. We get probably two or three of these per week. This family was from Mwanza and the mother had come looking for her husband who is a porter on Mount Kilimanjaro . . . he had moved with no forwarding address and she came here demanding that we take her children.
Now Oddo is usually a relatively sedate personality but today he got “riled”. He was downright hasira (angry) with this mother because, as he explained and her girlfriend (who had accompanied her) agreed, the best idea was for her to return to her village and ask her family to help provide her care. Remember that there is no social assistance here. Hataki. She didn’t want to return. A long and sometimes loud conversation ensued after which Oddo and the friend persuaded the mama to return to District headquarters where Oddo would ask that they write another letter asking the mother’s District to assist her on her return. Tumaini would pay the bus fare and put the mother and children on the bus to ensure their departure.
As an aside, we have had nothing but bad news for Mama Angela and Glory and Oddo, while waiting to see the District administrator, instructed the mama to wait in the office with her children and friend while he slipped out and ran over to Dream our local AIDS support clinic, to confirm with the doctor if any more positive news had arrived . . . none had. Upon returning Oddo’s phone went off and he was told that the Mama had left the District offices, returned to Tumaini and dumped her children inside our gate at Tumaini and then ran away. I had gone to town for supplies when Oddo called me, “Dada . . . Shida . . . (Sister . . . Problem . . . ) He searched our village by car, miraculously found her and took her to the police where she will stay at least overnight for it is a very serious crime here to abandon one’s children . . .
In the meantime, myself, Raymond (who just arrived home for two weeks), Jeremiah and Mama Korosho were, as I said in town, running errands, one of which was to have a photo taken of our twenty year old truck for the insurance company . . . it seems that most companies won’t ensure vehicles of that vintage but our company reviewed our file and after verifying that we have had no claims in four years, decided to allow us renewal provided the truck was in satisfactory condition.
And so. We found ourselves in Arusha, standing against a wall and under a small but large enough overhang to protect us from the downpour (it is rainy season), gazing across a small lawn at our truck, which, by the by, has our logo and website on it, when Mama Korosho looked beside her to discover the armed guard reviewing our website on his smartphone! Karibu Tanzania! It was a memorable moment for her juxtaposing a guard with a serious weapon, researching our Tumaini website (which by the way our new site will be launched this week)!
Oh, and Oddo spent the rest of the day and well into the night at the police station finding the father of the children . . . the police brought him here and then went in search of family to help these babies. Aloise is asleep with our Mary after Nasma loved him up as only a big sister can (a first for her as she is the baby both here and in her birth family), and Junior sleeps with Mama Chi tonight . . . be well!