Saturday, August 15, 2015

“Adventure in life is good; consistency in coffee even better.” ― Justina Chen

Today, I’m sorry I posted yesterday’s blog, but I was swayed by those who urged me to do it in spite of my feeling it made me seem too self important.  Well, as someone famous once said, “It’s not how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up.”  So, back to the real world here in Tanzania.  One very good thing you may not know about:  almost every group that has come here has left having fallen in love with "Africafe" a Tanzanian instant coffee that is just wonderful.  Many, many cans of that stuff has gone back in suitcases, and whenever any one of us has gone back, we have carried cans of it with us for those who requested it.  No more.  It is now carried in numerous sizes and quantities by Amazon.com and you can get it delivered right to your door—and I recommend that you do just that.  If you are a coffee drinker, you will never have tasted an instant coffee as terrific as Africafe whose beans are grown in Arusha.  Staying on good tasting things, our sweet potato project is in it’s third incarnation and the crop is doing just fine.  Edina loves them so much, she does all the work to keep them going and growing.  On another very positive note, we have found a grocery importer (from Kenya) who can get us broccoli, cauliflower, fresh green beans, and white onions (the onions here are small, purple and not sweet at all) with a week’s notice.  We have to pick them up the day they come in because the locals have tumbled to how delicious there are as well.  Shaban got my tickets for the Mwanza/Dar Es Salaam parts of my trip next month.  The airline I have always used has gone bankrupt because of corruption (what a shock), so I’ll be using a new one called Fastjet—guess calling it Slowjet wouldn’t have been good for business.  Still, they do use jets and have cut a half hour off the trip across Tanzania.  Flying from Mwanza to Dar Es Salaam is like flying from El Paso to Texarkana, Texas.  Tanzania is larger than Texas (don’t tell your Texas friends) but smaller than Alaska.  John is in Musoma today still doing fine tuning on the solar project.  The way it’s set up, if people don’t pay, or if the thing is stolen, it can be cut off remotely.  They can also tell exactly where the unit is located, so thieves will get a big surprise.  Karen suggested posting laminated cards in Swahili explaining about the remote cut off and location ability to post outside the homes that have them which is a good idea, I think.  There are still a lot of hurdles to overcome, but they have already installed some, and the people that have them are so happy and excited we are worried about their neighbors getting jealous.  Ah well, the first car owners had the same problems.  No new technology comes without detractors, but with just an 80% charge, the lights will burn for six hours which is amazing.  The systems also come with free solar radios which are almost as popular as the lights.  Tomorrow or Monday, I should be able to post pictures of the installation at Edina’s house that John has been working on the last few days.  She can’t stop smiling and praising God (and John).  Do remember to be kind to those around you, it makes life better for everyone.
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