Tuesday, July 22, 2014

“When you give someone a chance to change her life for the better, you never regret it.” ― Me

Pictured at the right is our new worker, Rachel.  She was supposed to come to work for the first time yesterday at seven thirty, but she showed up at seven on the dot.  You’d have to live here for a couple of years to understand how significant it is for a Tanzanian to show up a half hour early—truly amazing.  She is absolutely delightful and a really quick learner.  She has a wonderful smile as you can see and is so delighted to have this job that she got down on her knees to thank me for it.  I don’t know how other people pay their employees, but we always start with a three-month probationary period where we will pay her over twice the average monthly pay for this area which really isn’t all that much, but if she works out, she will jump to over three times the average monthly wage for those lucky enough to have a job at all.  In addition, after three months, we enroll her in NSSF which is the social security for Tanzania.  We are supposed to dock her pay 10% and then match that with 10% of our own money.  What we really do is pay the 20% ourselves and take nothing out of her pay.  We will also provide her with a biosand water filter and only charge her half-price.  We take the other half of the biosand filter money out of her pay at $3.00 a month till it’s paid for.  After six months, we start paying the school fees for her two children (one is eight years old and the other ten years old) as well as buying uniforms.  We also pay for medical bills and give four paid days off for funerals of immediate family and two days off for extended family members.  She is so excited about working here that she told Edina that this was always a dream of hers—to work at Maisha Na Maji.  I think she will be just fine.  The rooms she has cleaned have never been cleaner and she not only sweeps every day, but she mops as well.  Since John is allergic to dust mites, this is important.  On another note, Shaban is off today attending a funeral of a friend in Musoma that John and I also knew and liked.  He came down with pneumonia and then got malaria and that killed him.  Godfrey was just thirty-five years old and a wonderful man who leaves behind a wife and five children.  Very sad, but we know where our next goat gift is going.  Karen is working hard getting ready for another teaching seminar the last week of this month and will have teachers from three schools here.  I don’t know how she does it.  Probably, if she hadn’t discovered her allergy to gluten, she wouldn’t be pain-free enough to do it, but we are so grateful that we found out, and that friends in the U.S. have sent us gluten-free cookbooks, flour, and other stuff.  On the diabetes front, I have now gone six straight weeks with my glucose levels in the normal range.  I still prick my finger every day and check it with a kit that a friend from the U.S. brought me.  God bless her.
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