Karibu Nyumbani Blog

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The blog details daily life at Karibu Nyumbani and has regular updates on our work in helping out children, the progress of the project and all our new developments.
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I Want to Help!! Laura's Blog

 

"I want to help!“

Like for most of the young people deciding to volunteer, this was the main reason for me to come to Tanzania four years ago. Of course I wanted to see another country and a different culture. And not yet knowing what kind of profession I would like to perform later on, I wanted to experience as much as possible. But the main reason was helping. 

At this time, I was not sure what “Helping” exactly meant in this context. Maybe showing them the German way of teaching or raising children? Or showing them the German way of working, because what we usually learn in Germany is that our way is the most efficient and most accurate way of doing things. Encouraged by several friends and family members, who have never been to Africa, but who knew for sure that by going to Tanzania, I would help (there it is again) lots of people there, I started my journey with a very vague idea of what I was going to do over the next ten month.

Now, four years later, and recently having returned to Karibu Nyumbani for the third time, I am happy to say that for me, the meaning of Helping has changed completely. And this changing started with understanding that every culture has its own advantages and disadvantages. 

As a German girl, I always appreciated punctuality and accuracy. I was used to work eight hours without diversion and as fast as possible. And to be honest, I was always a bit stressed. In Tanzania, things are different. Everything is slowlier and more relaxed. You might wait hours for your bus to go home, and when choir practice is supposed to start at 5pm, you don’t need to stress yourself out, because the other singers will be there at 6pm. In the beginning, waiting really drove me crazy, but later, I started to use these times for reflecting and thinking about what I had experienced all day long. It was always a good opportunity to calm down a bit. Another, at first bothering, part was, that whatever kind of work we did, it took so much time. Cooking took hours, as well as watering the garden or getting a parcel at the post office. I was continuously counting how much time you could save if work routines were planned properly and workers would not chat all the time. But little by little, I started to understand, that for Tanzanians, this is not wasted time at all. While waiting for the water to boil, you can have a little chat with your colleagues asking about their families or share news about your village. And when you find out, that someone is having a problem, you comfort him or her, which is very different to our country, where you always try to sort your things out on your own and where you can feel very isolated from time to time

There are lots of other differences between Europe and Tanzania, and there is one thing that they all have in common. In the beginning, everything is unfamiliar and seems strange. You often have the feeling that nothing makes sense. But when you are open-minded and venture to get into the culture, you might find lots of positive sides in it. Funnily enough, what I personally miss the most since I’m back to Germany is the point that annoyed me the most in the beginning. Taking enough time for conversations in your daily routine, even if it means that you might need one more hour for doing whatever you are doing. Because I think that this is an important reason for why people in Africa are so full of joy and satisfaction.

To come back to my changed understanding of Helping: You don’t need to help Tanzanians to become more European, as their way of living, although different, is as good as ours. What you can do is being yourself and supporting the community of Karibu Nyumbani with your own gifts. If you’re a good teacher, come and help the children to learn Maths or English. If you are good at comforting, come and hug the kids when they hurt themselves. If you are good at gardening, come and help Aaron and Lucas with the vegetables. You will be appreciated and the children will love getting to know your culture as well as they love theirs.

I think that Ester, Fiona and Ludmila have found a really good way of bringing their children up in the typical Tanzanian way, which is so important, as that’s the country where they are going to stay and spend their future life. As the main aim is to help them being able to be part of the Tanzanian people, there is no need to raise them like European children. But still they stand to benefit from the amount of storybooks, craft supplies, games and educational books, which visitors bring regularly, and which gives them the possibility to test their abilities and to find out what they are interested in.

I enjoyed my time at Karibu Nyumbani so much, because having spent such a long time with all the Mamas, Aunties and Children made them a second family for me. I hope, that they’ll keep their joyful, colourful and relaxed way of living until I’ll find the time to come back for a fourth time. And I’m praying, that they will always keep their unrivalled mixture and acceptance of different cultures, because it’s this diversity which makes our world so beautiful and interesting.

 

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Holidays in Mbeya

The volunteers did a wonderful video of their holiday with us and the children in Mbeya. Take a look at their video!

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444 Hits

IMANI'S FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL AND BIRTHDAY

IMANI who has been with us now 2 years had his first day at school last week.He was one of our little ones who spent the first few years in hospital and came to us with bowed legs. Please pray for him as he starts school.He goes every day with Emmy who is 4 and a half too.He came home to Happy Birthday songs and a beautiful Dinosaur from Mama Hilary☺

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415 Hits

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all our Friends and Readers.

 

We pray for blessings for you and all your families and thank you all for your prayers as we go into this New Year. 

r. 

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BIG THANKS

Before Christmas we were invited by Bonita a dear friend, to have a Christmas party with her and her family.

We had a wonderful day, playing, jumping, dodging rain, eating and drinking. Thank you so much Bonita and all who helped to make the day so special.

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CHRISTMAS IN MBEYA

Mama Mia( Ludmila), aunties and volunteers all left for Mbeya about the 13th of December. Mbeya is the home town of Ester and her family, and this is the 3 time Esters parents have taken all our children for a holiday. It is about a 15-hour coach journey, so 20 seats were booked for the long-squashed drive to Mbeya.

Ester and I joined the party the day before Christmas by aeroplane and stayed until the New Year. We did a head count around Christmas day and we counted over 40 people! Ester’s family and relatives were in and out all day, and the children were perfectly happy at home with their Bibi and Babu-(Grandma and Grandpa) 

Christmas day the children had a few gifts in the stockings (Thanks to Hilary and Clare who left things for the children when they came in July!)

The spinning tops were a great hit! 

Going to church was a big outing and was the first time for some of the children to get into a Bajaji!

Christmas Dinner was the children’s best meal! - Chicken and chips!!! And that’s a lot of work on a wood fire and slaughtering and plucking all on the same day!

Our volunteers took the children in the afternoon for a treasure hunt which lasted 3 hours, so the house was quiet, for the rest of us to have a sleep.

There wasn’t much quiet as you can imagine- and that is exactly why Bibi and Babu love our children- they will miss them today as they come back on the coach!

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VIGELEGELE

Before going to Mbeya, I went to a special Mass in our village, it was outside on the edge of a dusty street, in the home of one of our Parishioners.

At the Mass, there were 20 babies getting Baptized. I thought that was many! Until I went to a Mass the day after Christmas in Mbeya-There were near to 100 babies being baptized! It was an amazing experience of Joy. Here in Tanzania, when you are happy or excited you do – “Vigeligeli” There is no word for is in English- Perhaps it would be- make a loud sound of joy! The Ladies especially were making this loud sound of joy as their babies were being blessed and baptized- it was as if I could hear the angels rejoicing in Heaven!  Children are a special blessing from the Lord! What a joy to be among them!

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from all at Karibu Nyumbani.

Here's our Christmas video message from the kids and volunteers.

 

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WHEN DID YOU LAST SPEAK TO BABA?

One of my thoughts this month has been - KEEP TRUSTING DADDY. 

Living in Tanzania has been such a beautiful lesson in TRUSTING GOD.

People do not consider themselves poor, or underprivileged, in fact, lives are full of joy and contentment in the present moment. If a need arises it is the most natural thing to call on Baba (Father God). It is my prayer that this beautiful oasis-Karibu Nyumbani- that the Lord has built in the last 5 years will be a place where all our children will call on Baba, all those who come to visit, learn to Trust Father God, and all who live around us call on Him.

Whatever challenges you are facing now, I pray you will can “Be still and Know that He is God” and rest in His loving care- He never fails.

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS

A few weeks ago, Sarah gave birth to a healthy calf and she is well and giving plenty of milk!!! Milk sales have doubled! Thank you so much for your prayers.

 

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DOUBLE- DOUBLE!

A few months ago, we had a gift from the President of Tanzania! He decided to give some food to the Social Services and we were chosen as the Orphanage in our area to receive some rice, and maize and a goat. Ester said we shouldn’t slaughter the goat- and lo and behold she gave birth to twins!! Thank you Magufuli! By the way we have called our goat Magufuli!

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“OH, THE VALLEYS WILL RING WITH THE SOUND OF PRAISE”

Our chapel is growing! We have had some very encouraging comments from people in the village saying how they want to join us for prayer in the evening. 

 

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New Road

Whilst our builders were waiting for the roofing of the Chapel to be done they started and finished the road to Royston house. As you can see it is the beginning of the November rainy season! (picture taken half way through October!)

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Water Tower

Adjoining the Chapel, a “Water tower” has been especially built to hold all the water for Royston house, and any new houses we may want to build in the future! Under the tower will be a sacristy, toilet and hallway into the Chapel.

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Early Rains Bring Wall Down!

Early one morning a few weeks ago, we were woken up with the news that our wall had fallen.

With every challenge comes with it a need to trust God more, and on this day, peace rested in my heart, knowing that Our God knows everything.

We had had constant rain for about 3 days and since we are on a hill, and our wall is in a valley, the rains came like a river through the place and beat the wall.

We will need to rebuild it as soon as possible because of the increase of theft in the village. We have had advise to ensure that it will not happen again however the cost is going to be higher than we can afford. 

WE ARE ASKING FOR HELP TO REBUILD THE WALL AND PRAYER FOR OUR SAFETY WHILST IT IS DOWN.

Last night we heard that 2 men were killed after trying to steal a motor bike, they were stoned and burned. Village life here is not quite like the cosy villages I am used to in England where you can leave your doors open!

Thank you for your prayers.

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African Rains

You won’t believe this but one of our largest bills is our water bill.

But when the rains come we turn off the mains water pipe and allow the rain to fill up our “kisima” -Water container. When the rains fall, our crops grow for free, if you plant them of course!

We have had a wonderful harvest this season and our freezer is full of tomatoes, peppers and aubergines! 

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Visit from Immigration

It’s not so easy to get in and out of Tanzania if you want to stay more than the initial 3 months visitors allowance. So, Ludmila and I, have since last year needed to do extra work getting a work permit as well as visa and we had a surprise visit from the Immigration office as they wanted to see if we really existed!!

 

 

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GOOD BYE CARITAS VOLUNTEERS!

 

For the last 5 years we have had the blessing of having Caritas Volunteers for 10 months at a time, and they come well trained to volunteer and speaking Swahili. This year we have heard that there will no longer be any more Caritas Volunteers, and one of the leaders who has brought volunteers into Tanzania for the last 10 years came to see us to say good bye!! Brigitte who has become a great friend of us all here visited for a few days- she particularly thanks Ester as she was very involved with looking after the 30 volunteers coming over from Germany each year. Brigitte recently writes!

 

Oktober 2017 was my 5th visit in Karibu Nyumbani. The physical development is mind-blowing. I did enjoy living in the new guesthouse. The yard is paved, which looks beautiful and cuts down the work as it is reducing the dust in the houses tremendously. AND now the new chapel gets built. I admire the three mamas and how they struggle with the local circumstances, finding the cheapest builders and keeping their joy for the work alive, finding good and cheap material for the buildings and running for a new screw or pipe which is needed. By now they are halfway experts, I also can see their tireless efforts.

As a German (always critical) I asked myself if the outward is growing too rapidly, what is with the inside. But I just can testify it has grown the same way.  The unity and love between the three Mamas has grown very stable and deeply over the last years. It is a joy to experience it and to be together with them. I can see Gods love present in their relationships. And for sure it is not always easy coming from three different cultures and backgrounds.

But thinking of Karibu Nyumbani is my greatest deepest joy, that I can just testify that it has become a “home” for all the children and workers and visitors. But first of all, to the children. Knowing the children now for five years, I can really see, they are loved, and feel loved and behave loved. Karibu Nyumbani is their home and they move freely through all the rooms and places. It is such a sweet picture how the little ones bustle about Mama Mia in her tailoring workshop, and learn how to sew their own dolls. It is a great privilege for the children to be with Mama Pipi in her office and draw a picture, while she is working, they feel very important. And to be with mama Ester while she is organizing things you see the self-esteem of the children rising.

If I see the children of Karibu Nyumbani I do see no orphans but loved and wanted children. How wonderful!

 

I could go on and on, but let me write one more sentence about all the Uncles and Aunties which are working very diligently in Karibu Nyumbani. Karibu is also their home, they are receiving much more care and love as would be given or received in a European work relationship.  They are in reality one big and loved family, by Fiona, Ester and Ludmilla at first, but behind that you see the love of our saviour Jesus Christ !

 

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Videoshoot!

We had a request from a musician, if he could video our children singing with him.

He had written a song about Orphans in Tanzania. 

Our children loved the day and entered-in very happy to think that they could help other more disadvantaged children.

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ZLATICA

ZLATICA- is no longer a visitor!

She has already been here now for 3 months, leaving Tanzania for a few weeks to visit friends in Zambia she can come back into the country for another 3 children. God bless you for your help, Zlatica 

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383 Hits

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