Monthly blog from Uchira…

God keeps his promises…

Its been many months since I last wrote a blog… and looking at my last entry of that horrendous day, I wonder if thinking of that each time I thought to write a blog played a part in my absence…

Much has gone on since I wrote that last entry, so very much. For when I wrote it I had 2 wonderful young men in my care, and now I close to 30 little ones who call me Baba, some very little, and some not so little!
I have found love in that time too, in the purest of forms I have ever known… in my dear darling Fritzi, who stands by me daily in the struggles of life here, like a little ball of strength, light, love and wonder… always smiling, and always there to offer me the gentlest of touches when times are hard, and the best hugs when times are harder. 

I have come to know god all the more better in this time also, I have come to know my strengths, my weaknesses, and I have come to see my failings as a man, and my victories, both past and ongoing.. all the while my mighty father stands over my shoulder, waiting patiently for me to get it right…

Yes, there is too much to write about in the events of the last 9 months since my last entry, but let me tell you of my life of late, for I seen a lot, learned a lot, hurt a lot, angered a lot and loved a lot with it…

It begins with a conversation outside of supermarket in the local town. Fritzi, Emmanuel and I stand talking at night, before parting company for the end of a long day.
“What do we need to do next” said Fritzi….
I glanced at her to see a hopeless looking boy over her shoulder… his clothes were torn, tatty and covered in dirt.
“Talk to that boy!” I said with a smile as I took Fritzi by surprise…

We did indeed talk to him, and that night William aged 12 came into our life… we brought him to Uchira, and I thought that was that… another son to add to the collection!  But William was the start of a mighty journey god had in store for me…

Later that week, Rosemary who works with us was out doing her shopping one Sunday… with little reason she passed by an area to buy 5 very small potatoes…  This is something I am familiar with… I too go places in life, and when I get there have no reason to be there… so do something anyways, in this instance Rose bought enough potatoes to feed a mouse and no more…
However when she walked back, she met a boy who called out to her…
“Sister, please help me, I am so hungry…” is what he said…
Rose called me, and sat for 2 hours on the street with a young man we now call Johni…
With the arrival of Johni came the beginning of one of the most emotional months of my life…

To sit and hear that children are raped like they are in the local town, turned my heart and stomach in knots… to know this is happening close to where you are, and every single day… is a feeling I could I hardly bare. I wondered why god had never brought me to these boys sooner, why I hadn’t found them before now so I as I could protect them. Or why someone hadn’t gotten them into school, and away form the street before it even began, like the other 500+ we support in the children’s fund… the answer was and is simply that so few people serve god in the days and time we live in, that so few are available to help his children.

This is in part why I write this now, this is why I make my videos… for I know in my heart people are out there who can come and need a little push to do so, it was a youtube video that brought me here after all, and when I look at my children, I praise god with more than all I have for bringing me here as he did… but at the same time the hollow dark feeling of what if, is ever present…. What if I never came, what if no on was there for them… what if no one answered gods call, what if I hadn’t answered his call… right now there are children around me we cant get too, who suffer perhaps as others never heard their call, or answered it….

So if I know god at all, take my words as his call….
You are needed… in prayer if that is what you can offer, but if you can offer more than a prayer more than sharing some resources, which are just as important, for I can not do this at all without them…. But if you are one of the few without children, ill health or responsibilities, if your one of the few who can offer your to life these children, as you have yet to offer it elsewhere, offer it as I did, and in falling in love with me Fritzi has inadvertently done so with me… then you must give serious thought to giving it to them… for children like these need it, they need friends in their corner, they need a family, they need love, hugs and safety… and with millions of children here, its with a heavy heart I admit we will never get to them all…. but with more people on the ground, serving the love of the lord I feel so present in my heart as I write this… then they can be reached, in every country across the planet, they can be reached… but only if we reach out to those children, and believe you can truly help somehow with it…

As time passed, I realized the damage done to the hearts and minds of these boys was so deep, that there was little I could do to heal the wound. All I could do is be with them; and be sure that they know that I will protect them, with the same feeling I now know any parent must have, that they would give their last breath to keep harm from their children. They might be a different colour from I, but I will give all I have to see them healed and safe, and to me they are my boys, my own, and they always will be.

One of the boys in our care, the most severely abused told me one morning that he must return to the street…
I was dumbfounded by this, I felt I had failed him, but without knowing what he was feeling after all he had faced, I took a chance with him. I told him I would drive him back to town if the streets was the home and life he truly wanted.
He said it was… I think the pain of It all was too much to bare without some marijuana or alcohol to soothe the pain.. or mask it.
I did as he wanted, and indeed took him town, I left him there with the heaviest heart I recall having in a long time…
I returned home filled with anger, anger at god and his angels… “Where are you” I kept repeating in prayer, “Where the fuck are you!?”
I sat day, and even my dear Fritzi could not talk to me, for god was churning my insides, unbeknown to I, he was about to start manifesting his glory from the chaos around and in me…

I played a song for god that day “Spanish train…” by Chris De Burgh, my father used to listen to It on a cassette, so I knew it well… A line in their goes “ look out lord, hes going to win” I left it on… and again taunted god with my anger, trying to force a reply from him somehow…

That evening, I reflected on a conversation I had with Johni… I had said to him, “one day I will open a center for boys and girls in town like you, when I do, will you move in..?” “Yes!” he replied…

I felt hopeless when I spoke that with him, for I had no means to do such a grand project, or energy or manpower I felt… but I remembered that evening, I do have god. If he’s not too pissed at me for calling him names all day that was… !

I called out to god, “Okay! I promise I will open a centre for boys like Johni…BUT!!! You have to show me your with me on this, no lazing around, I need a clear sign here”
I asked for a donation of £500…. Not enough to open a centre of course! But his is me laying down a fleece as the bible would call it. Where the fleece is dry one morning yet the ground Is wet, and this gives direction and a sign or answer to the question….
£500 Is not a sum I had donated in ever I think… so I went to bed that night, told Fritzi what I had done, and tucked in for a restless nights sleep…
The next morning, what is in my email… Donation from Lynne Fisher £500.00 … he answered my prayer and he did so oh so swiftly….

I called a meeting, “We are opening a centre for street children…” my staff just looked at me as if to say here we go again!! “God told me too” I said to them all… and with that, the hunt for a property began… we had no money, but we set away doing it anyways!

That afternoon I sat own and made a video, my heart was truly broken as i sat to record that video, and I think perhaps people saw that in a way, or perhaps just hearing what was going on broke their hearts as it had mine… for the support that came in was in itself a wonder to behold, and shows the quality of love humanity has rooted among its inequalities. In that video i spoke these words

“There’s no need for these children to suffer like this… all they need is a place to go… somewhere safe… There are people on this planet as I say this now who have the ability to fly here today and create such places… they have that ability but it sits dormant in their greed… in their uniformed nature… I wish I was such a person, to have such resources, to be able to do that within a week but I don’t. All I have is a camera and a YouTube channel. And what I do have is first-hand experience to have seen what happens to these boys. And sitting here right now I know that one of them is in that town and I don’t know what’s going on with him or what’s happening to him. But I know we love him dearly and there was nothing we could do to stop him going back to the street.” someone wrote them out on facebook, and I barely remembered they were my words until i read them…

48hours later, £3000 was donated for the center, the rent was covered! Now for staff I prayed…

By the end of the next week, another £4000 was pledged and £1500 donated…. We had enough to open a center with in 2 weeks of me whining at god all day about how rubbish he is!! (Don’t worry, iv apologized, a lot…!) 

… and after many ups and downs, annoying instances! Thefts! We moved our well loved but troubled young men into an old 26 bed hostel…
All rooms had bunkbeds, mattresses etc too so that was a real help! Especially considering what happened next…!!

Less than 2 days after opening, I have chance meeting with a former street boy called Modest… Now 22 Modest had lived on the street for over 9 years, so knows every horror it has to offer… thankfully he was healed, and become a caring and light filled young man shall we say…
“ I have 12 children I work with who live on the street” was his 5th sentence to me… he had no idea who I was, or what I had just opened I should add…. With in 10 mins of meeting Modest, he was in my car and we were out looking for children he knew…

That night 4 boys moved in, the youngest just 10 years old… he had been homeless for 4 years….

One week later, another 4 boys moved in, and half a week after that… I am writing this…. And there are more children on the horizon shall we say…

Now these boys didn’t just need safety, food, protection and love… they needed medical care, as all to often street children pass away to become an insignificant statistic or nameless coffin.
One of our youngest boys is so close to death, I am still in shock as to how he has made it this far… for all my shouting at the angels, iv no doubt they were with this young man in abundance these last years… I forget how busy those angels must be, for we live on a planet where so many chase fame, and wealth and power… that they forget to see such children, or their duty as human beings to care for them, so I can only presume the lords workers do that job for us for now…
This young man has HIV… now in HIV your CD4 measures the strength of your immunity, 1500 is a normal human level, below 200 is critical AIDS, his was just 17… he was to all intents and purposes in a failed body… Covered from head to toe in fungal infections, scabies and pneumonia to go with it… how his tiny frame carried these burdens without any immune system at all… is a miracle. I mean that, it is a miracle that he is alive, and a miracle we found him what might well of been just in time…

You see miracles happen all over the world daily, you just need eyes to see them is all… for those who don’t believe in magic, never find it… as mr Dahl once wrote…

So what about me, and how this is for me… being a father to boys who are so scarred, broken and abused that they would test the patience of the Buddha?  Well…. Its hard.
Some days Fritzi and I leave as we get annoyed at them, and we realize when we do we are too tired to deal with them! Other days I see why we are there, why are doing what we do…

One such day, one boy who I will call Honest (but its not his real name), began to act out… this boy had been raped daily for a very long time. He had also been taught how to do that to others with it… but behind his 14 year old body, lay the broken eyes of a young child… and I saw those eyes over all else that day.
He decided he wanted to beat people that day, he started several fights, tried to attack a boy with a garden rake and pushed another…. All the while I watched his eyes, they never once looked truly angry, they just looked to be in a great deal more pain than my body has ever known I suspect…
Eventually he came out with a lump of wood the builders were using… I walked straight over to him, grabbed the wood and threw it to the floor… “Enough!” I shouted…. And took him to his room….

With in seconds this angry young man turned into the broken child whose eyes I had been watching all morning. He buried his head in my chest and wept like a small baby for some time…
I held him until he calmed down, it felt like forever we sat there… It was his first real hug I suspect.
“ I will always protect you Honest, from now on, I will always be here for you… Do you understand?”
“Yes” he said…. I fought back my own tears as he wept some more… I could feel his torment, his pain… in my mind I uttered the words, “God be with us, please stand by us…”

“I love you” he said… in very broken English… He had seen Dominic, Akilli and Faraji say they love me when I hugged them, and I think he had learned it from there….
“and I love you too” I replied… “and I always will, until I am a Babu! Grandfather…” he smiled at that… and said “You Baba for me” Baba is father in Swahili…
“If you want me to be” I said…. Again he held me tight with his head in my chest as if to say yes….

As I sat in the room, with the most troubled child I had come across weeping in my chest… I turned my thoughts to god, and all I could repeat like some sort of silent Mantra was “thank you god, thank you…”

Iv said this before, but I know I will be here forever now, I will never leave these children, and I will use all I have to keep them safe and loved and out of harms reach… and I can do that, as I know god will use all he has to do the same for me whilst I do, as he does for all who serve him…

So lay down a fleece, and find out where he needs you, be it at home, in prayer, caring for your children and teaching them well about service to others, or fund raising or talking to the lonely old man up the road…. What ever he needs of you, ask, let him show you, and be ready to serve…. You might find the more you serve others, the bigger the blessings he bestows upon you with it, for it is so in my life…

…this time last year, I had many struggles internally to deal with… I wanted to quit, walk away…. And I told god “I can’t do this alone, please…” he told me he would fix that… And so in time, he brought me my Fritzi…. and those struggles ended forever I suspect…
God keeps his promises you see….if you keep yours, or at least try your best to do so…

…and if your filled with doubts, of I don’t know how to do this, where to start, or feel its to big a task and you’ve not the skills or education to do something… then your just like I was when I got up and decided to try and help, I had no idea how to do these things, I had no experience or no inclination to learn about it even… But that actually helps in the end… If you can go forward as a blank canvas for god to do his will with; your actually already half way there…

To steal the words from a towel I own, sent to me by knitting group in Glasgow “Some of the greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible” after all…. 🙂

Love, light and gratitude from Feathers Tale everyone x

Untitled design (17)mefritfamily

My first meeting with Johni above…           Fritzi and I….                                                       (some of!) My beautiful family… 🙂

13227458_1021293507918890_78501474947261951_oUntitled design (36)
Our miracle child… 🙂

A dark day for Uchira… but even in that… there was light to be seen…

This last few weeks has been an emotional time in Uchira…
I’ve had the blessing of a new child in my care, a young man called Akilli, which means intelligence, and boy is it an apt name!
Each day I laugh as he tries to force feed his new big brother Dominic…! Domi is short for his age due to the HIV but Akilli doesn’t understand this, so every day when they finish school Akilli cuts Dominic some fruit to eat, and tells him he will always be small if he doesn’t stop being lazy and start eating more food…
Iv had more children sponsored in a month than iv ever had before, over 50!!! It took me a full year of hard work to find 111 sponsors last year, and this year 50 come knocking from a youtube video I uploaded, in 4 weeks!! This is my reminder… that the universe will send me help when I least expect it, and when it is ready to do so, not when I believe we are ready…

Iv seen the universe or god working in all I do of late, and one day last month stands out… as in the darkest day I’ve had in Uchira, I still managed to see the presence of the lord in amongst that darkness.
I am about to write a short story of events one evening, it was a dark day for Uchira, and I hope I don’t upset anyone in telling it as I am about too… I keep telling myself to be real with life here, to share the good and the bad, well this was as bad as its been… but I write it as it taught me a lot about love, light and god… It taught me a lot about why people lose faith and lay blame for things at gods feet, when more often than not, freewill is the thing that causes the events that people wish to blame god for, and thus lose faith…

Last week my world and many others worlds was changed with what started as a simple sound… I heard a bang outside the children’s home, followed by a succession of smaller bangs, until finally nothing but stillness again…
The home is on a hill, and a rocky dirt road runs past our gates and down to the main part of Uchira village… This road is dusty, covered in gravel and sporadically on either side it is surrounded by rocks of all sizes…
I ran out of the back door of the home to the gate… Before I got there Ali and Godi were standing with a look of horror on their faces…
Ali looked to me, and in his broken English said “Johni, the car its dropped down…” Godi then began shouting at me in un recognizable Swahili, Godi is a gentle soul, and he has very little common sense and no education, but his heart makes up for what he lacks in his mind…
I walked onto the dusty and rocky road and looked down the hill… All I could see at this time was a pickup truck upside down, and the roof completely crushed…

Ali and Godi were in shock and not moving, “Ali! Twende” I shouted, meaning let’s go….
I ran down the hill, and I could hear Ali close behind me…
As I got closer, the true horror of what had just happened became apparent… On the front of the up turned pickup truck I could see little purple flowers had been tied to it… My heart skipped a beat, I knew what that meant before I was close enough to confirm it…
The pickup had been used in a funeral earlier that day… and the guests who attended that funeral, 15 of them to be precise, had hitched a ride down from the mountains in the back of this open pick up truck…
The driver lost control at around 40/50 mph, sadly he had too much to drink at the funeral it seems, The pickup flipped over onto the rocky road, and tragically the 15 passengers were helplessly thrown in all directions…
As I got to the car, Ali and I were the first ones to arrive… There were people everywhere, some moving, some not, and sadly some had clearly lost their lives in the accident…
I paused and in my mind with all my heart I cried out “God, I need someone with first aid skills, a Doctor, anyone, please!!!…”… but there was no one, just Ali myself, and 15 seriously injured people…
I looked around, took a deep breath and hopped into the ditch where several people lay on top of each other… I reached the first man, and gently rolled him off of his unconscious friend… I slowly rolled him onto his side and opened his mouth to let blood out… He was breathing. That was enough for now…
I looked around, so many people lay injured in so many ways, I quickly moved onto the next person…

The next man lay with blood coming from his mouth too, I knelt down and said “It’s okay baba, Pole..” Pole sort of means you have all my sympathy in Swahili…

I opened that mans mouth too, again letting the blood out before it choked him… I gently rolled him onto his side, as I did I went to cradle his head to move It over on its side too… When I placed my hand under his head though, I realized that he had hit the rocks head first and the damage was not something I wish to describe… That man was barely conscious… his eyes looked straight into mine, I will never forget how sad he looked, but I will never forget how certain I was that there was a presence with him, something stood over that man that day, as they did all those men and women.. something filled with love and healing… I put my hand on his shoulder, “I’m so sorry Baba, I’m sorry” I said as I left him to clear the airways of the next man… Baba means father in Swahili… sadly, I believe that man left earth a few hours later…
I stood up, my hands covered in blood… My mind took over, “Gloves!, You need gloves..”
I looked up the hill, Godi stood motionless outside the gates, “Godi get help, tell everyone…” he never moved… “Godi!!” nothing, he had seen the crash and was in shock it seems…

I turned to see Ali kneeling next to a young man trying to comfort him, and wake him, “Kaka, Kaka” he was saying… Brother, brother… That young man had suffered terrible head injuries, and for all he was breathing I felt in my heart he would need a miracle to pull through…
I looked around, another man lay near to me, his eyes closed but breathing… I again cleared his airways, but I stopped here and made a decision to go and get equipment, water, sheets and gloves…

You have to realize whilst all this was going on, I knew that we were there only hope… There were no ambulances coming, no fire brigade… nothing… as such services are so few, it would take hours and hours for even one to arrive… We were the only way those people were going to get any help…

By this time a few locals had arrived. A lady was in hysterics, screaming and crying running up and down the hill… I believe she had seen a relative of hers…
“Ali, Twende!” we ran back up the hill as fast as we could to the home… I ran into the childrens home where my 4 volunteers from the UK were, they had not heard the bang, or perhaps had but unlike me never realized it was not a familiar sound…
“I need your help everyone” I shouted… I fumbled in the draw for the surgical gloves I use when dealing with Dominics cuts and scrapes…
“There’s been a crash, people are hurt, some are dying” I said…

My phone rang, it was Emmanuel… “Have you seen this, you have to come John..” “Iv seen it, I’m coming, we needed supplies…” Emmanuel had driven up the hill to find what I had…
Put these on, I grabbed sheets, old clothes that were handy and rushed out of the door having raided the first aid kit…
A wave of guilt came over me though, so much so I stopped and turned to the volunteers, Max, Mia, Maddie and Phoebe… “People are dying, they are seriously injured, if you don’t want to see, please stay here and prepare water and sheets and things…” …I had seen things I wish I didn’t have to see, and my guilt was that I was about to expose 4 more people to those images…
With that I set off running back to the crash. I could hear the footsteps of 5 people running behind me, no one had listened to me, and everyone was coming to help…

“What do we do John..” I heard… I never even replied, I never knew myself what to do…I went back to the ditch, as more locals had arrived and were seeing to people on the road.
The first man I had helped had a young man knelt next to him… “Please sir, please help my Baba!” this young man had come across the horror of the crash only to see his uncle was among the wounded… I opened his uncles eyes, and again opened his mouth to let more blood out… his eyes were covered in dust but he did not blink, his side was cut very badly too… “Please sir help him..” the young man shouted again… I knew in my heart, I knew this man was dying, or about to die… “He’s breathing” I said “keep his mouth clear”…The young man looked at me with tears coming down his face… I put my hand on the his shoulder… “Be strong kaka, I’m so sorry..”
That young man stayed knelt by his uncle, I think part of him knew what was happening…
I stood up, it was chaos, but people had started to arrive with 4wd cars… The locals had called everyone they knew with 4wds to come and act as the make shift ambulances… I could see people being bundled into cars… I saw Emmanuel lifting an unconscious man into a car… I looked around, and by my feet was a young man that no one was attending too…
I held his arm.. “Kaka, Kaka, are you awake..” I said… nothing…a lot of blood surrounded this man, but I couldn’t see where from… I slowly rolled him over, then I saw his head had took the full impact when he hit the road… “Pole kaka” “I give you all my sympathy brother” to translate it literally… or I’m so sorry…
I held a sheet to his head to try and stop some of the bleeding… Some local men came, one lay his hand on my shoulder… “Twende kaka” Lets go brother… he said to me… As they lifted him up, he began to bleed more heavily from his head injuries… “Please slowly slowly” I said in Swahili, still holding this young man’s head in my hands… He was loaded into the back of a 4wd… It breaks my heart writing it, but that young man was yet another who left with the angels that day…

I took a deep breath to try and compose myself, I looked around… I saw a man with severe facial injuries laid on the floor, but he was conscious… I knelt by him, Mia one of the volunteers was already there holding his hand… 2 local men came, and Max who is Mia’s brother, another of the volunteers… We lifted the man up, he clung to Mia’s hand as we brought him to the backdoors of a 4wd… The door opened and I could see Emmanuel had climbed inside to help us get the man into the car… I saw the shock in Ema’s face as he got his first glimpse of this man’s injuries… He was totally incoherent, but awake… Still he clung to Mia’s hand…
We lifted him into the car, Max climbing in as I had his legs…
Myself and a Tanzanian man tried to place a sheet on the mans face to stem the bleeding… Another man was lifted in by his side, totally conscious, but after seeing the swelling on his head iv no idea how…
The doors closed, and the car sped off down the hill… I turned again, by now, in my head thinking, “no more…” I saw Emmanuel, he was very still by the side of the road… I later heard from the volunteers he was stood praying, for all I had not seen that… I looked around again… Something caught my eye…
2 white men were coming up the hill… In a community of tens of thousands of Tanzanians, and one white man… Its very rare I’ve seen others in the village that are not with me in some way.
As they got closer, I saw their T Shirts.. First Aid Africa…… Thank you god!!!
In my thanks, I caught sight of Phoebe kneeling with a woman who was screaming in pain, we believe that lady had broken her back sadly… I tried to kneel by the woman, but she stood up before we could stop her and stumbled across the road, before the fell again, clutching her back and screaming…
The young first aider burst into the crowd, visibly shaking with adrenaline… By chance they had been teaching first aid at the secondary, and were just about to leave when they heard the bang and came to investigate…
The young man began to see to the wound on her head… “you forgot your gloves” I told him… he looked at me… “what happened?” I explained and he simply said “I’m so sorry I wasn’t here sooner…” …. He then said, “ I need a stretcher..”
I searched my mind…We had some doors at the home ready to hang on one of the houses for the special needs community that we have begun to build… “I’ll get one” “Ali… Twende”… We ran to the home and grabbed the door..
We all helped do a spinal roll, so this woman could get onto the make shift stretcher… After some fumbling we managed to get her into the back of a minibus still laid on the door…
It was over I thought… but one man appeared clutching his clearly broken arm… He had waited for the seriously injured to be seen too before coming forward…
With not a lot of fuss the young first aider whose name Ive forgotten, put his arm in a sling and gave him so painkillers at his request…
I looked around, is that it I thought…
It was, all that remained was patches of blood and scattered glass…and expressionless faces…

“Is everyone okay” I asked.. feeling a little stupid, as I wasn’t… so why would they be…
Ali came down the hill with Babu carrying buckets of water… Babu works with the dogs, it means grandfather… as he is old its respectful to call him this…

Through the crowd, a stunned and familiar face appeared… It was the young man who had knelt by his dying uncle…”Sir, what do I do..” … I reached into my pocket, knowing he would have no money to make the journey to the hospital… “Go to see him” I said, holding out a bunch of Shillings… a middle age women gently placed her hand on mine… “I know him, I will take him… Asante bwana” Thank you gentleman… That poor young man was a jittering wreck, I pray he finds comfort from what he had to see that night…
It was over… now all that was left was the truck, and at that point the police arrived, armed with machine guns and rifles, and needlessly dramatic about exiting their vehicle…
We all walked back the home… I think it was safe to say we were all in shock… but we had done what we could, and we hope in doing so saved who could be saved…

5 men lost their lives that evening… and more are still seriously ill in hospital… but it was not god who did this… it was the same human ignorance that goes to war, the same ignorance that uses violence, the same ignorance that hoards resources out of fear or greed, that could manifest the end of suffering for children right this very instant…
That is the sickness in the hearts and minds of men that caused that accident, and it’s a sickness that grows the longer it stays away from god, from love… For without love, we lose hope, and we chose to medicate, we chose to indulge in earthly stimulants and pleasures… and we lose our true connection to god, we lose our truest of loves… we abuse our greatest gift, our freewill…

This is how I see it, and this is how I will always see it… God is a loving father, he gave us freewill, and anything that takes you away from being able to love this moment in life, is also taking you away from god, for god is in the present moment, not in the fears of the future or regrets of the past, and this present moment is all you will ever have with it… Why waste the only life you have, escaping it with drugs like alcohol…
So, where was god in Uchira that dark day you might ask… and if God was there, is god cruel and uncaring… This is the automatic response in relation to bad things and god in life I find…

Well, I can tell you firstly where god was not…
God was not in the actions of the man who brewed the banana liquor for that funeral… Nor was god in the arm of the man who raised a bottle of it too his mouth, one too many times before getting behind the wheel of that pick up truck… God wasn’t in the drunken mistake as that man lost control of his car, which cost so many so dearly…
Those actions were surely nothing more than a terrible use of the gift of freewill we have all been blessed with…

Now let me tell you where god, and his angels were that day…
They were surrounding the 10 people who were thrown onto a rocky road at 40/50mph and came away alive…
They were in the hearts of everyone who came to help that day, the men who came with their vehicles to help their neighbours, the locals who ran up the hill to tend to their loved ones and friends…
They were surely in the sound of the footsteps of the 5 people who ran down that hill behind me, despite my warnings of the horrors that lay ahead…
They were present in the faith of Emmanuel, who chose to pray for guidance, strength and the healing of those who lay in front of him, whilst his faith was being tested the most…
They were in the love, compassion and strength of Mia, who held that man’s hand, for all the image of his wounds, I suspect, will forever be etched in her memory, as they will be mine…
They were in Max, in his clarity and presence of mind, who lifted the injured into vehicles…
They were in Phoebe as she knelt next to a woman who we believe had broken her back, offering only her presence and touch as comfort, as her words would not have been understood…

They were in the tears I saw roll down the cheeks of that broken hearted young man, who wept over his uncle In what turned out to be his final moments… who at least in his last hours here on earth, perhaps knew he was with a loved one and not alone…

They were in Ali, as he knelt down and gently spoke to an unconscious young man, perhaps knowing out of all in front of us he was injured the worst, and needed comfort a little more than any other…
They were in the 2 young first aiders who appeared like an answered prayer…

As I lay my hand on that mans shoulder, and the only words I could find were “I’m sorry baba..” they were with me too, I felt them holding me up, and my emotions in, I felt them showering that man in what peace they could too…
As I cradled that young man’s head, as he was lifted into a vehicle, I could feel them again, holding me up, and I could feel them comforting him with it…
As I and others lifted what felt like a never ending succession of injured people into vehicles … I could feel them comforting each and every one of those injured people, and through out, I could feel them whispering without words, “next one, don’t stop…

I will finish on the final place that god and his angels that night… Many hours later, Dominic came back on his new bicycle that he utterly adores… He sat with the volunteers without me for some time…
Max came to see me, “Domi is shook up…” Domi is a sensitive boy… so I went to check he was okay… Max stopped me… “ He said God told him not to come up the hill on his bike..” I paused….
Iv seen Dominic commune with spirit, sitting eating dinner on night he looked up and smiled, turned to Roger and I and said “My Mama just came to say hello…” Other nights on his mothers birthday when he was mourning, she came to him in his sleep, and this brought him great comfort…
I sat by him, “Domi, what happened?” …. “Someone spoke to me John, I don’t understand..” he replied…
“I was pedalling up the hill to come home, and someone told me to stop, they said go to your friends Dominic, don’t go up the hill…”
So he did… had he not… he would of pedalled straight up that hill into the path of that pick up truck piloted by a drunk…
As I said, God was everywhere that day, and those who could be protected by his will and love, were… and even in the darkest of times, if you wait, light will show itself…

They have a saying here “Mungu ni mwema”… God is good…

Love and blessings from Uchira everyone x

A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.’

“You don’t have to see the whole stair case, just take the first step…”

Well, it would seem given i missed a month, the my once weekly blogged that i changed into monthly blog, should just be called “blog when i have chance too”… 🙂
However here I am, feeling compelled to write, after yet another person asked me… “what happened to your blog!?”… :
It has been over 7 weeks since i last wrote one, and much as gone on as ever! Again much that I am elated to have lived and experience and witnessed, but much that I would also quite happily have not had to witness, and carry with me as my journey here in Uchira continues….

So the reason I have chance to write this blog, is I am resting today, as yesterday i underwent a medical procedure at the hospital as iv been a little unwell the last few weeks. Well actually, I’v been unwell since last year on and off! So for those of you who don’t know about i shall start by filling the blanks about my being ill, before i get to the comedy sketch that was my day at the hospital yesterday!

Last year a simple mistake was made by someone I was staying with in the village. We had a system where as this lady would boil water for me (to kill the nasties that live in the tap water here) and I would then drink it of course!
Where i was staying at the time was an area in Uchira that had mains electricity, which meant we had the rare luxury of a fridge! After a long day in the sun looking for some children we had been told about who needed some help out in the bush, I returned home and downed a 1.5 litre bottle of water in one go! A few hours later my stomach began to make the most peculiar of noises……. and hour after that the Mama who does the water came in looking a little sheepish……. “Johnee, I think you have drank dirty water today…” “No” i said, “it was in the fridge” to which she replied, “yes but i think i put it there before i boiled it”…. I shrugged it off and said never mind, lets see how i get on……. Oh my did i have no idea what was in store!!

This is where my bad luck began regarding this! 2 days later i was bed ridden with a different problem altogether, a mosquito carrying the malaria parasite had bitten me, and I for the 2nd time! had caught malaria!!
Malaria is a dreadful experience, but one that can be controlled if you have the sense to listen to your body. I learned from the first time to rest a lot, and to not take anything that is hard to digest (a natural hygeine principal, and one we should all adhere to when sick in anyway actually)  So i drank my fruit juices with no solid foods for 4 or 5 days, and by then the anti malarials had killed the parasite and my symptoms were subsiding quickly… when i say symptoms, i mean the all over pain that it causes! I don’t want to play malaria down as it is surely a manifestation of pure evil! Any life form that’s sole purpose is to end the life of the host it enters can not be called anything but…
Thankfully being in good health to begin with, and having the £1.50 needed for the meds too of course! I did not become just another malaria statistic, as over 1 million people every year, tragically 70% of which are children under the age of 5; become here….
As i was in recovery from malaria, I kept getting bouts of fever and chills, naturally i thought it was just the parasites dying off in my blood stream and making me feel icky as they do… but after 3 weeks the Dr having checked my blood many times for the malaria parasite, told me he was lost as to why my body was still reacting….
Then one day as the fever got worse for me, A dear friend of mine here called Emmanuel who helps me with the children, almost demanded that i go to another Dr… being a Tanzanian he know that something was a miss….
That afternoon i was diagnosed with and advanced stage typhoid, and with in days i became more sick than i had ever been in my life! I had caught it from the water…
I still recall one night, i lay in bed alone in an empty house, so sick i could not even get up to get a drink of water….
I had a strange habit (which iv stopped now!) of not storing the numbers in my phone of people like my parents of brother etc as i know those numbers so just dial them if i need them…. but that night I mention, i was so sick i grabbed my phone and stored “Mum, Dad and Brother…. I did that out of fear, just in case I died and no one knew who to ring… Looking back i laugh! But that action alone reminds me of how serious typhoid is, even today when i meet children with suspected typhoid, having gone through it, you learn to act fast…
At the time my father and brother knew how ill i was, but after scaring my little mum half to death with 2 bouts of malaria we decided not to tell her! In comical fashion I later forgot that!!! and mentioned it in a video!!! So mum found out in the end anyways!! ….sorry mum! ha 🙂

Anyways!!! I never died obviously…. and thankfully!! ha but after i fended off typhoid, my stomach was still a mess and i was getting fevers… AGAIN! This then turned out to be a parasite called Amoebiasis, something i battled for months on and off… its a hard thing to kill, especially when Tanzania doesn’t have the 2 drugs required to do so! So you only part kill it, get relief for 4 weeks then it comes back with a vengeance!

Right! So now hopefully iv set the scene a little….something to know is typhoid and amoebas can do some serious damage to your digestive tract, and still now I have issues, i still can’t digest fat properly, to let you know what those issues are, I also get pains and fevers still, but i can go weeks without either, so its all very confusing!
So yesterday! I finally agreed to have an endoscopy, to find out what exactly was going on inside me…
Never again will i undergo such a thing whilst conscious, and never again will refuse pain relief too!!!

So off i went to KCMC hospital (Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center)….. this is where it becomes amusing!
I think by now the universe or God (what ever you want to call it) and I have a good relationship of give and take….  So i believe that knowing my nervousness about heading for this procedure in an ill equipped hospital, the universe had a watchful, and humorous eye on me!!

I arrived with Emmanuel my friend i mentioned above, one of the best friends i have here, or have had in life i dare say… I often ask for help, and he always replies with “just tell me what to do, don’t ask if its okay”… 🙂

So we get there and its early morning, so we beat the nurses to work……. they arrive 10 minutes later, they open the door to the endoscopy room where i will have my procedure……. and a cat comes running out…… yes a cat….. in a hospital clean room….. Only in Tanzania!!! 🙂 ha They have a saying here T.I.A… this is Africa…. it came to mind as i saw this kitty run off up the corridor between the legs of the sick patients and their carers…
It made me laugh, and i uttered to god in my mind,….. “very funny…” 🙂 but there was more to come!!

Sorry to paint such a picture here! but they then gave me a drink to clear out my insides, and told me to stay near my own personal toilet after i drank it…… So i waited and off i went to the toilet, with a little urgency too of course…. BUT! when i got to the toilet there was someone else there, that someone was a giant millipede, a blue one…. the venomous kind!!! So here i am (really rather needing to use this toilet) but there is a giant millipede running around it…… I speak with the universe again…. “now this is taking it to far” i say actually giggling heavily at the unfurling Mr Bean sketch i am apparently in this day!
After some careful consideration, i decided to flush the millipede down the toilet ( the vegan in me screaming at me not too) but iv seen them swim, so it probably came out of there to begin with….. so finally i get to use the toilet, but of course you would think it was a heated seat as every few seconds i would be convinced the millipede had come back and so i had to check!!! All the while this drama was making me laugh of course, and keeping me well distracted from the looming procedure!
Eventually the time came to do what needed to be done, an old nurse told me in broken english to undress and put on “this robe”… so off i went, undressed and opened up the “robe”….. now a robe in the west, is a robe……. a robe here apparently is a square piece of material that is ripped and tattered… i am sure it was an old cubicle curtain in fact!
I wont go into the details of the rest…. but it wasn’t my favorite thing iv endured in life shall we say… After wards i was a little ill and slept all afternoon after leaving the hospital! Results come back Friday….. so finally we will know what is ailing me intermittently! (I’l keep you posted)…
So that’s why today I am resting still, and have found myself with the time to write a blog entry finally!
I think its good to share the whole tale too, if only to help people understand how a simple mistake here can be truly costly for a persons health. I also think it shows something, i know many people have romantic idea’s about living simply in a tropical environment… which is great, me too! BUT! Please always be grateful when you turn your tap in the UK, or eat your salad knowing it is not potentially laced with amoebas!

So what else has gone on…. Well I suffered more inner conflict and loss from my 4 legged family with the animal rescue work….
I had a litter of puppies, getting on for 12weeks old, and we had all started to become very attached to them with it…. We hold off doing so, Iv watched so many die now…. we are careful not to name them, or love them too deeply when they first arrive, as i fear our hearts wouldn’t take all the loss if we didn’t guard ourselves in this way.
So these 4, “Fatty, Kali, Rumple and Scaredy” had begun to win a place in our hearts, Scaredy I had decided to keep as one my dogs actually… but it wasn’t to be…
I brought 5 other puppies home one day, so young they needed milk or were going to die, so i used the mother of Scaredy and Fatty and their siblings to feed them….. This is where the inner conflict begins… Had i not done that, the 5 would of surely died, but because i did, they passed on Parvo to my 4 existing pups.
I watched as Fatty gave up first, and it hurt terribly as i knew my decision to mix them had ended his life…… Kali then left us not long after…… This left Scaredy fighting for his life.. The vet had him and said he might make it, but late one night they called and said he is too weak, its not looking good. I drove for an hour late that night to go and say good bye to Scaredy… he was as his name would suggest very scared of everything, so spent much of his time on my lap or in my arms…  I told him to let go, and prayed that who evers job it was to take him to the other side, they come soon for him……. it seemed that night no one was listening, including Scaredy… I left him laid alone under a heat lamp late that night…. sure he would let go soon as the faint whistle from his little nose was happening less and less frequently….
Little Scaredy tried to hang on though, in the morning he was still with us but was in so much pain, and was beyond recovery…. so I gave the vet the go ahead to help him with his pain, Scaredy left with the angels shortly after.

I was close to this litter of pups, I had plans to use them as our therapy litter for disabled children, they were also due to start work that week… in the new animals welfare project idea i borrowed from my friend in Arusha; where we teach small children to read by having them read books to puppies… Even now I’m full remembering them…. Sleep well little ones… I’m sorry.
There brother remains with us though “Rumple”… he breaks my heart when ever i see him jumping around, no idea how lucky he was…. I think he will be with us forever Rumple, and he will still fill the role his siblings never got too….

I am slowly getting more used to death dare i say… we all must loose loved ones of course, and we all lose pets too….. but I mean iv lost count of how many puppies have died on my chest here….literally lost count….

The thing is, iv friends who work with children, sick children just as it seems i will be doing so more and more, as the universe brings me more and more…… My friend who has been here 15 years for example, told me of heart wrenching stories, one of how a child came to be in the care of her childrens home, only for her to wake up the very next day, with a lifeless child in the bed next to her… When i heard these stories I wondered how she coped….

Now as time progresses, of course i don’t want to compare a child to a puppy, but the feeling of loss is surely similar….. and of course as with everyone, i don’t want to think of children dying, i want to remain positive… but it is a reality of caring for the sick i guess, that the sick get more sick at times….
Even the last two weeks Dominic has been very ill with a bad cough, everyone became concerned as it gradually got worse, Dominic included. We had to go through the nerve racking motions of ruling out the HIV chance infections that claim the lives of so many HIV positive people, such as Tuberculosis and pneumonia etc… Thankfully they are saying it is just a viral infection due to the colder weather, but even as I type this is can hear him coughing in bed… so lets hope what it ever it is clears soon…
I guess what I am realizing is life is a little more fragile here maybe, and getting used to that is an important lesson if I am to spend my life here… as i suspect i will, as 100 lifetimes would still not see every child living a quality of life we would deem as merely acceptable in the west.

With that realization a phrase comes to mind that a very wise and godly lady once shared with me….. “God does not chose the qualified, but qualifies the chosen….”

I feel a little sad now for writing that, but better to share it I feel….. we live in a reality of light and dark, love and hate, hot and cold… All with need…… you can’t truly appreciate the light, until you’ve sat in the dark after all… 🙂

So let me move to some more positive and beautifying news… That is the disabled children the universe keeps bringing to me, or I to them! Iv had Anna who sits in the mud each day as happy and as loving as can be ( I will do a video on the outcome of Anna soon), i had as anyone who is following the facebook page will know Mohammed, who we now help with his medical care to reduce his seizures… I also have Esther now, who i am about to speak of, as she will be living here at the childrens home; but with her mother. There is also a girl everyone is yet to meet called Glory…
Glory has a few disabilities, and for all i have not yet added her to the “Chances to share project” she will be this week, as I have already agreed to pay for an operation she desperately needs. Glory drools 24/7 as her mouth is not fully connected inside, a simple operation will end this for her… She is 9 now and for all physically disabled, mentally she is a normal 9 year old girl, so is finding it all the more difficult due to that… You will hear more on Glory in the coming week though…

So onto Esther, beautiful innocent always smiling! Esther… A child who has helped give birth to an idea that is the first of its kind in East Africa i believe..

One evening I drove past a lady who was walking away from the Children’s home with a child strapped to her back, she stared at me with a smile of relief that utterly confused me at the time, i smiled back and carried on bouncing around on the dirt road in my little creaking, groaning and moaning Nissan Micra! A car the locals call Vumalia, which means not to express anguish or pain or complain about it.. Its a very apt name! …
Anyways! I arrived at the children’s home with the fresh fruits and veg from town for Dominic’s nutritional regime, and no sooner did I, this lady I had seen smiling appeared at the gate. She had been and left as i wasn’t there, but having saw me driving by, walked back up the hill to see me….
I hadn’t realized on the bumpy drive past Mama Esther that the child tied to her back was a cerebral palsy child, Esther, a little lady who has no doubt changed my life and the course of the childrens home forever…

Esther is completely incapable, and always will be…. she responds to sounds, smiles at her name, and laughs at nothing.. but she also like other persons with her condition seems to experience pains and frustration from with in her limited body and mind.
I smiled as Dominic took Esther from her mother and sat playing with her, he is a tender and gentle soul, who understands vulnerability when he see’s it… until this day I had only seen that in him with the pups and dogs, and an injured eagle he found too! Esther is a handful too i should say, she beat him around the head several times! with quite some force too! But he smiled, and gently took her hand and moved it to her side, from where she swung again and struck his face with a smile that could melt the hardest of hearts.
I had to focus as i found the Dom and Esther interaction very distracting, but I was drawn away from the beauty of it, into the gut wrenching reality of Esthers short life.
I listened as her mother told me she had Esther 3 years ago, and that her husband ran off when he saw she was disabled, leaving his wife and child to fend for themselves……. With in no time, the pair became homeless sadly.

Homeless, with a cerebral palsy baby… can you even begin to imagine a world were that happens, if you can’t…. the sad truth is there is no need to use your imagination, just look around you, and use your eyes instead…
So universally i have a belief people are moved to help the most vulnerable among us, and as such the charity and sharing of people with in most part close to nothing to give or share, is what got Mama Esther and her baby through those 3 years….

More recently a family took pity on Mama Esther and offered her a room and some work… it is not yet apparent to me if this was pity though…. we heard, and saw for ourselves when we went to visit Esther at home; that this arrangement seems to be putting a lot of workload and pressure on Mama Esther. When ever we went to visit Esther lay alone in a room in the house on the floor, and her mother had to be called or found in among the now tall maize and sunflower fields that surround the house.

Mama Esther begged me to get her a house, and to help her look after Esther somehow so she could work…. She is a fiercely independent young mother, but i knew she just can’t work… not without a carer for the child, and why pay for a carer when you could support the mother to be with her child… It was a mess, there was no solution it seemed… as i looked. around the limited avenues for disabled children in Tanzania, i saw nothing for single parents,other than to separate the child from their parent…. Which i wont do or offer to do, not when I see the parent is living for the love of their little one and nothing else… 🙂 (for those of you who follow the facebook page, Anna is still with her family) 🙂
So how do i give her her independence, and ensure she is caring for the child at the same time….. I was at a loss.

I went home that night knowing that I had to act soon, and fast with it… Esther should not be left laid on the floor alone all day whilst her mum reluctantly worked in the fields to provide her daughter with that isolated life in that room, and 3 meals a day….
That night I had a vivid dream, I dreamed i was building houses…. but with a friend of mine Mama Lynn, who has Light in Africa that cares for disabled children who have no one else to care for them. Now it had crossed my mind that Light in Africa was a perfect place for Esther, but that would mean she can’t be with her mum, and i believe staying with her mother, is an even more perfect place for Esther.
That day i couldn’t focus, this dream meant something, and I know to listen to such things, it is following such deep gut feelings that lead me to where i am… With work like mine, logic has no place. If i were to use logic, i wouldn’t of moved to a country id never been to before based on a feeling i had and some dreams and signs i had followed…
In the afternoon it was as if my mind began downloading an idea from somewhere…. I began to see a community of disabled children and their parents. I began to see the benefits of this were so plentiful i could not believe no one had done it already!

In a country with no welfare or benefits, no free schools or care, what do you do? If your child needs round the clock care and you are a single parent, or even 2 parents… how do you cope?

If your a single parent, you might need to work one day… so who do you leave your child with? People are scared to care for children like Esther, as they are so different, and of course are hard work with it! So it takes a special person to care for such children, someone with experience perhaps, someone with patience and love and understanding for such children….and I thought, who is better qualified than someone who already cares  for a child like that!
Whether it be for the day, or a few hours whilst you go shopping, or just 20 minutes whilst you bathe or cook…..

Then there is the child themselves, most never socialize, they never meet children like themselves, they never get chance too……. so what if there carer had a child like that, what if every day they lived right next to other children and their parents who are just like they are….

What about the parents, who feel cut off in their communities… especially the single parents with no one to relate too, who better to share your concerns with than a friend and neighbor with exactly the same concerns as you…

Then if perhaps there was a communal building close to that community, somewhere where the children could go and be with others like them, whilst their parents are out working, then those who were watching the children that day, can then go to work the day after, knowing the parent of the child they cared for the day prior is now caring for their child in return….. By sharing the workload, life becomes livable, and independence becomes possible… but more of a group independence rather than an individual one that is..

Having disabled children and their parents living in a small community together, solves nearly every problem such children and their parents face… sure its not a perfect life, it will still be difficult…. but it will be a difficulty shared with friends in the same position, and one supported by myself and the staff at the childrens home which is right next to them….

Thanks to a coffee morning in the UK, I built the first house of just such a community last week…. The toilet will be finished next week, and Mama Esther and her daughter will move in the week after… 🙂

I said this in my facebook post about this, but i must say it again… Iv not the money to build a communal building, iv not the money to build another house even…. I’m not even sure we have the money to pay the upcoming medical bills for such children…. but what i do have is faith. Faith that it is meant to happen, faith that God does not give me empty dreams and signs, as following them thus far has been the greatest, and perhaps only worthwhile achievement in my 30 years of life here on earth.

A great many miraculous things have happened in my life the last few years, and each time I have adhered to a few rules that life taught to me….
One is that “what” is our business, and “how” is not…. that part is up to the universe…. so in this instance the what is this community for children like Esther and their parents……. how… well, I will have to wait and see to write that part…
The next is an idea, and way to live life…. a saying i know very much sums this up….
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step…”
With this in mind, and in my heart…. I have taken the first step toward what…….. and I shall await for the how’s to arrange themselves as they wish,or will….

Again Iv no idea what the staircase looks like, Iv no idea if steps are missing, if it will be lit all the way… and how often i will stumble, trip or fall…
But what i do know, is when i do trip, when i do stumble and when i do fall….
That as always, someone or something will be there to catch me, to pick me up, dust me off and to lovingly whisper to me…. take another step, and try again….
The same someone who carefully placed that dream of building houses in my mind a few weeks ago, to shine a light on the next step of the staircase… 🙂

Love, light and many blessings from Uchira everyone 🙂 x

esther1Estheres1IMGA0211IMGA0217

Ask and it’s given??

This is long over due! I have so much that has gone one, I can’t decide what to write in truth.. I had as normal been a tad overly optimistic and enthusiastic when i announced a weeky blog, you may see that has since changed to monthly… ha
As I say its been a busy few weeks, and as normal it feels like I have lived every spectrum of event and emotion. Iv had sad times as i nursed a puppy we rescued with distemper, until finally i made the call to end her suffering, Iv had the opposite with beautiful memories of a safari trip with Dominic that was given to us as a gift, that I will take with me forever. Iv had magic, and loss, love and longing…. So I’l do my best to touch on as much as i can, but I truly only ever manage to share a small percentage of my life here, and the events that go on.

As I type this, it’s 1:30 in the morning… and all i can see out of my office window is the black of night. Which is strange to me, firstly as i know the bush outside my window is teaming with wildlife at night, wildlife the rescue dogs often spot and let me know at ungodly hours i might add!! I also know that same bush ahead of me is home to families and children, that I know and love, families and children who spend their evenings and nights in pitch darkness, unless they light a fire or own a kerosene lamp, or indeed can afford Kerosene this week.
This is something we overlook I think, how development opens up things we forget were once closed, like the fact I can write this at 1:30 a:m whilst its quiet, Dominics asleep, the dogs are asleep, and the ever growing number of people who come and ask me for help each week are, I presume and hope, are sleeping comfortably too. All because a man named Edison worked his magic one night… It’s strange that one persons thought processes can impact so much so far down the line, I guess the thing to take from that, is chose your line of thought carefully, and don’t let the mainstream or technology like TV do too much of your thinking for you! It stands to reason that many great minds might not of had chance to come up their brilliant idea’s, if they were too often distracted!

I do my best to focus my thoughts on what we need here, I have not publicly told the full story as to how I came to be here in Uchira, but I think i will perhaps do so in a video soon, What i will say about that journey, is how i live my life now is still the same principle, How is not up to us… only what…
When i was coming here, i knew one thing, I wanted a project in East Africa, to help the children i had become heart broken over whilst watching a youtube video. I like most of you reading this had no idea how to make that happen. I’d never been to Tanzania or anywhere in Africa, the furthest from the UK i had ventured was Hungary I think, iv still only visited 5 countries in my life, and the UK and Scotland are in that 5…! Up until December 2014 I hadn’t even been to London… So I’m not that well traveled as you can see! ha
So what did i do, well I used the power of my thoughts, my intentions, to manifest what I wanted and needed. Intentions are the most powerful thing you have as a human, you do nothing at all without an intention. Look around you, nothing you can see began with a thought or intention. If your athiest you might disagree and say nature was not backed with a thought or intention, as its a slightly creation based line of thought… but within our human world of bricks and mortar, and electronics, its clear cut without any doubt that it all began somewhere as a human intention. It’s valuable to remember and know that, as then you can force your thoughts to think of what you want to do and achieve rather than spiral off onto what you don’t want.
So I focused on what i wanted, I had no idea how, but i knew how to control my thoughts and have discipline over my body, something i learned and taught myself with meditation, fasting and reading too… I had to, as we are not taught that in the west, in fact its as if the system would prefer you to act on impulse and your animal nature, as if that is actually what it teaches to some degree, to be undisciplined.
As time progressed, I took the leap, i moved here and by sheer chance it would seem, or to a mind like my own a synchronicity, I took over a failed NGO, that initially i had asked to come and volunteer for. I also only asked to come and volunteer here as i mistook it for a Village 2 Village Uganda! As many of you know I took over Village “to” Village Tanzania! A mistake that was meant to be… With in 2 1/2 years of setting my intentions, and ignoring all the doubts i was sat in Uchira, on my own with 1 acre of land and a house, and the framework of an NGO to work with. It all just dropped into place in its own way. Not to say just thoughts will do it, i still had to give up my life in the UK and board that plane one day, so its balance of thoughts and action. I still today have no idea how I will do what i do… but I am sure beyond all else “what” …it is that needs to be done.
Each day I wake up that’s still what i do, I intend to be of my highest good, and let the hows take care of themselves. People ask me about plans, I have to say “The way i make my plans, is a don’t make my plans..” 🙂
So I mention this, as its the intentions that are difficult for most, to stay focused on what you want, when the world seems hell bent on making it difficult for you to get it.
Two times in the last month Iv had two obvious synchronicities, or meaningful coincidences, that were very similar in their outcomes!
The first involved my admin! As things have grown its become hard to track admin. With 152 children and their families to keep track of, the families with sickness or mental impairments we support now, the elderly also, then even the rescue dogs. With in that I am keeping track of who has had what food wise or medical attention wise, school fees clothing… Lets just say its been hard to keep on top of it all!. I am often scrambling for scraps of paper and note books with information iv jotted in them, its been organized chaos for some time now!
So i set an intention, I need a way to organize all of this, I need a system, something, anything!? ha So that week in particular i set an intention that i needed a solution.
Late in the week a young man appeared at my gate. He was well dressed, with clean clothes, and he immediately looked out of place. His name was Albin. Before I could even get the key to open the gate, he told me “Sir, I have just finished University, studying computer programming. I have written a program that tracks school children for schools, including medical fees, and uniforms and things like this, might this be of help to your work here? My relatives in Uchira tell me you work with a lot of children…” I smiled, and couldn’t help but say, someone sent you here today, meaning something much more profound than he thought, as he said “Yes my relatives..??.” 🙂
We tweaked the program, and we now have a system that keeps track of everything in one place…. Ask and it’s given, iv known this for sometime, yet I am still astonished and overwhelmed when it happens, and even stupidly sometimes asking “wow how can that be!..”

Now I don’t care about your beliefs here, be they Muslim,Christian, buddhist, agnostic, athiest, Jainist, Jewish… anything… one thing i can tell you for sure is that this universe we live in will respond to your thoughts, feelings words and intentions and vibrations. Call it a prayer, call it vibrational alignment… what you put out, you get back, which leads me to believe this universe/god/reality/solar system! what ever… loves us greatly.
Even if your an athiest perhaps, you need to look at accepting this fact that your world is taking care of you on what you omit energetically, and if you cant believe that Iv not time to explain, but I would say take it up with Einstein as he wrote about it in the quantum physics that is the framework for much of the world you live in. Whether its answered prayers, or like matching like is not relevant, what is relevant is we can all do it, which means collectively we can think and feel our way into a better world. So the way to a better world, starts inside us, not at the table of the U.N or world governments, but inside each individual heart and mind.

Iv digressed away a little there! ha As it happened again this month too, well it happens almost daily or at least weekly, but what i mean is it happened in a very obvious way.
I had a skype call with Stuart who is a wonderful soul from the UK. He has a company called “The positive company” which is quite successful. So Stuart has helped with some families in the past, and like myself; the idea of sharing resonates with him greatly.

Sharing is key to all I believe, giving is a little easier, when you’ve got a little extra to give for example, that wont impact your daily life, it’s easy not to miss it, i know iv been there… but once you perceive to have given all of your extra’s, you can begin looking at what you have and saying… “okay in truth i can do without that, and that, and this”… that is sharing. Giving up things you use every day that might not be a necessity, and might impact your life in some way. Don;t get me wrong both are important and both are as beautiful as each other! But I believe its once sharing is mastered by the planet the problems we see in places like Uchira can stand a chance of coming to an end once and for all… 🙂 Time to stop giving and start sharing you might say? Who knows…

So Stuart shared with us here, enough for an office in the village. Where we are now is quite far from the center of the village. Iv had mothers have to walk 3km with children sick with malaria in their arms, iv had a woman walk 3 km whilst mid miscarriage too, desperate for some help … days like this let me know I needed a place down in the village itself. Iv chosen a room next to the nursery so I can keep an eye on some of the younger more vulnerable children each day too… So Iv already said it, but thank you Stuart for making that possible.
Stuart also offered to help me get a new member of staff, as Tom and I are very much stretched most days… So this was a big decision! and I had people in mind, but I often follow my intuition on things, and when it came to hiring the people I had in mind just felt wrong for some reason.
So i sent it out into the universe, into consciousness, into the quantum framework of atoms we are all made up of…. I wanted a female firstly, as sometimes talking to men is difficult for some of the people we help, I also want someone to help with the menstrual sanitation project, something iv been quiet of as late, but it’s there still!
I discussed it all with Tom and began wondering about advertising, which is not like me…. So that afternoon in meditation, I said “show me, pelase?…” ………
Hours later a young muslim woman appeared at my gate, looking very peaceful with her head wrapped to avoid the sun… She too looked a little well dressed, clean clothes etc so i was curious immediately.
“I have just studied community development and counselling and my family in Uchira tell me you might be a good place to inquire about work…?” Again that wave of thanks came over me and I had to stop myself from vocalizing my thanks to the unseen energies that bring me these amazing coincidences… That young lady starts her trial on Monday, my birthday in fact!.. so we will see if it was right, i suspect it will be, as Tom is perfect and her appeared in the same fashion… !

So I can’t help but take away from this something iv known all along, but feel I should share and that is quite simply “Ask and its given…” So be careful what you ask for and focus on, you might just be asking for something you don’t want if you let your mind run away with itself!… 🙂

To finish off I will tell you about Dom as we had good news… This month we went on safari! Again very much an ask and its given moment!! I posted it on the facebook page so i wont go into it in depth, but i wanted to take him as he had not seen a lot of the animals here, and  i meditated and asked “I would like to take him now if possible, whilst he is well enough to enjoy it..” I am a volunteer as most of you know, so I don’t earn anything, i get my food and permit costs donated and thats it. So expendable money for things like a safari I don’t have! Thankfully and amazingly my wonderful friends Sandra and Jens randomly emailed me, and said they would like to give me and Dominic a free safari with the safari company they part own! I was blown away. I met Sandra and Jens through the animal rescue, they indeed played a role in the first 5 official residents at the rescue, so in part are responsible for me having 18 dogs! 🙂 ha but we love all the same…

So health wise, Iv placed Dominic on a vegan diet, as its the nutrition i know. His CD4 count is the strength of your immunity. A normal person is 1200/1500. With HIV 500 is danger zone, where you start developing meningitis and things like this as the immune systems fails. Dom was at 700 on his last test before he came here, and his doctor at the hospital was prepared for the worst. He then took a new on after he had been with me 6 weeks… 1270………… 1270!! A normal reading… 🙂 “How did you do this?” “What are you eating?” he was so keen to know how to make it jump up so high….. “fresh fruits in abundance, lots of boiled vegetables and grains, and roots, Nothing fried, no oil…. High carb, low protein low fat” is the answer I gave. The hospital that day had chicken and chips for all the HIV children… something they perceive to be healthy as its expensive here… and that is why they cant make CD4’s jump up like we managed. I am so grateful he is in a safe place with his immunity and health for now naturally, so very very grateful… 🙂

So much more has gone on, iv experienced homesickness for the first time in forever, as it was my Nephews first birthday and i wasn’t there… but I just hope when he’s older he understand his Uncle John loved him, for all I wasn’t there to see him grow up… Iv no doubt another emotional one coming, as I turn 30 on the 30th of March… and I never in my life thought I would celebrate my 30th birthday how i will be… in an obscure Tanzanian village, surrounded by need and poverty, but also in a place where i am loved dearly by most I meet, a place where smiles and laughter are plentiful, as its all people have left to offer you… I might not of imagined my 30th to be as it will be here, but I wouldn’t change it for the world with it…

Love and light everyone 🙂 xx

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Love, faith, healing and angels?..

I am just back from my evening run, something that looks much like a scene from the rocky movie, its just rather than running through a busy market, i run through the red dusty bush land of Tanzania. Followed by an entourage of around 30 childrens feet clomping at the floor behind me, and 30 or so little giggles and laughs, slowly dwindling off the further i get into the run!… I was even joined briefly by a drunk old man we call Babu, who ran by my side singing in his wellingtons for a few minutes, before veering off toward his home for some more banana brew no doubt!
In among all of this commotion, i somehow find some mental clarity on my runs, and have just 30 mins ago realized Iv not even thought of writing my 3rd weekly blog!
So whilst my mind is as clear as the view of Mount Kilimanjaro, sitting beneath this orange and blue Tanzanian sky I’v been running under, I thought I best make a start….

This week has been a deeply moving and spiritual week for me, with memories I will take with me for the rest of my life. I think this blog will reflect what i think and feel, rather than there being a huge life changing event, there has been a great many fine tuning’s of my inner workings this week.

Earlier in the week as if right on queue to test my irrational fears i initially faced caring for a HIV child, i was presented with a very real and rational fear aspect of it.
As many of you know, I started a fund raiser to help raise the money needed so as I could have solar power here, to allow for safe storage of Dominic’s food for his targeted nutrition regime, to keep his HIV at bay. That fund raiser did indeed provide Dominic and I with power! and I write this in a well lit room! But no fridge yet! I have to wait 49 days for it to get here from the UK… But for those of you reading this who helped me, thank you with all my heart for sharing with me and Uchira yet again…. and for believing in what i am trying to do for the children here, It helps me on so many levels from the practicalities of it, to motivational aspects, and to something iv no way to describe other than an overwhelming knowing that for all i work alone here, I am very far from actually being alone.

To raise what was needed for the Solar power, i announced i would run the Kilimanjaro half marathon, 13 miles through the baking hot 36/38’c foot hills of the mountain… I do have some bright idea’s at times! 🙂
So hearing what i had pledged to do, my friends, who are my staff too; rallied around… Ali decided he would start training with me for the marathon, and 1 week in Iv broken him i think, as he his hobbling around on a swollen knee and uttering the word shida (problem) a lot! During all these runs, some mornings, some evenings (in attempt to avoid the sun) Dominic joined Ali for a short run, but he unfortunately he fell over, and cut his knee…
This left me to clean and dress it, and I finally realized how silly it is to fear becoming infected with HIV… It is fairly easy to not get someone else’s blood on you, even when they are bleeding! So i was happy it happened, it helped me silence any small doubts that might still of sneaked into my mind in certain situations. This is the battle of the world and humans right there… You can allow your thoughts and fears to control you, or you can allow your love too control you instead.
To allow thoughts and  doubts to take control, would mean I could not of cleaned Dominic’s wound that day, and a boy who already feels to some degree unwanted in the world, would have felt it even more so… Let love rule your decisions and your days, and let the thoughts be what they are, a mere function of a fallible organ, that we sometimes mistakenly think we are.

I am learning much about Dominic too, he may be in his teens now, but the virus has stunted more than his growth. His mental development is not inline with his peers in school. His intelligence is, and his school work is great and he studies hard to ensure that too. However, from time to time he reverts into a child like state… rolling on the floor laughing, he resembled a boy much younger than his years the other day. All the same i was just happy to see him laughing…  To me it is a sure sign of healing…
On Saturday the 14th we go to see a HIV Dr in town, they will give us the all important CD4 count… I am really hoping and praying it is above 500… as below there usually means that stage 3 of the virus is looming or begun, and that is the final stage, we all know as AIDS.

Iv mentioned love and laughter there, and how healing it is, this is so true of life here… seeing a smile where there wasn’t one, or hearing laugh from someone who couldn’t…. this is the healing that so many need on earth, and healing like this cant be tracked physically, like a wound or virus, but only by the frequency of the smiles and laughter that were once lost.
Later in the week, I had to head off to see a friend of mine, Mama Lynn, to ask for her advice on many issues, spiritual and practical. Before coming to Tanzania Mama Lynn was simply Lynn Elliot, but now she has taken on the Tanzanian title. I myself have a title here by the way, given to me by the locals due to the rescue animals…. Baba Wanyama… father to the animals!

Anyway! Mama Lynn has a large NGO quite a distance from where I am here in Uchira, called Light in Africa, I will do a blog all about Mama Lynn and her amazing work one day for sure, I believe she is nothing short of a living saint on this planet. To visit Mama Lynn stirs a lot in you, she helps many children indeed and works tirelessly to do so… this motivates and enthuses me greatly obviously, but drive an hour to my area and you have 20,000+ children, maybe more, and only my fund operating to support them… so it also provides a sharp jolt of reality when you leave, that even if I can manage to grow in size to help as many as I can here in and around Uchira,.. This is a job without a completion it seems, there is no finished article as such, no end goal, no absolute solution to the issues, it is a lifetime of chipping away at it…. unless of course humanity somehow evolves within my life time to always put equality before themselves as individuals, which sadly i see as unlikely given the current level of mis distribution of resources on the planet.

Whilst i was there though, i took with me a memory, and one I will keep until the end of my years i dare say….
This memory is also a lesson, and one in love and how it heals even the most broken among us.
Several months ago when i last managed to go and see Mama Lynn, I met a boy there called Patrick… Patrick was tiny, and sadly he was in one of the worst states i had seen a child in life.
He was found when a volunteer saw something by the side of the road whilst heading out to a medical outreach. That volunteer insisted the car stop so she could investigate what she had seen, and thank god she did.
What she had seen was Patrick, laid by the road side too weak to move or walk, and unable to speak with it. He was so malnourished that when they bathed him they had to pat his skin or it would break… hence the name Patrick 🙂
When i saw Patrick in October, he was so timid. Fearful of everyone, unable to walk properly and constantly looking down and never smiling….. In the months between then and now though, little Patrick has been in one of the most loving places in Tanzania, if not the planet….. and oh my does it show!
I was greeted by him running, laughing! Smiling! Demanding that i carry him and hug him…. he was born a new it seemed! What the presence of love had done for Patrick, just reaffirmed it to me, that for all it has been said many times before by many people in many places…… Love truly is the only answer.
I held Patrick and for all he cant speak yet, he pointed to a tree, and made a noise like a baby learning to talk would… so I walked him to this tree which was in full flower of beautiful red flowers… Patrick then gently picked me one, and handed it to me as a gift….. With a smile and a sound, he looked on at me with nothing but love in his eyes and heart. That moment will live with me forever…. life here is often difficult, but I am rewarded with events that cast such a shadow of beauty over those difficulties, you barely notice them for days to come.

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When i left Mama Lynns, Much to Dominics delight, i left with new residents to come and stay with me in Uchira too! 3 more puppies! Kidogo, Bee and Pastor 🙂 One of the children in Mama’s care had rescued them and mama Lynn was at her limit i think! She too has a soft spot for dogs like myself, and is already housing 15 or so!
So, I admittedly, reluctantly! felt i should share the burden with Mama Lynn and took them with me… that puts me on 18 dogs…… they are all very sweet though, with 2 exceptions, a mother and son team who are quite the opposite of sweet at times! ha

I have a new routine forming in my daily life this year, every other day it seems someone comes to the gates of the land where the children’s home is. So often i see these people from afar, they are nervous, and looking a little helpless. I think it is amplified as they are on the outside of a mesh fence though. As a great many people for all struggling here, are anything but helpless.

With each new person, comes a new story… We pull up our chairs under the shade of a tree, and sit and listen to why they have come to us… Naturally it is nearly always quite sad to hear, but it always ends feeling quite happy, i think it is the first signs of hope for people that had nearly given up that i am sensing. People who have come to hear of us from others whose children are in school due to the fund, or perhaps from the school teachers or friends of those we’ve helped. However it is these families find their way here, Iv no doubt each and every person that does was supposed to though, and at that exact time with it.

One of those people at the gates however  was indeed helpless…. he stood there only 11 years of age waiting to come in. Terrified of the sea of rescue dogs playing in between him and his chance at school. His name was Abdalah, he came alone to see us, and this is what he had to say
“My fathers a drunk, my mum ran away, and my grandmother who looks after me and my sister, is too old now.” …At first when i began sponsoring children, i was so careful. I would say “now this is not for sure, we will try our best though” …. now though, having had 132 prayers answered, and 132 provided with education, meals and medical care if, as and when needed… and many of those with housing too… I know not to hesitate now you see, i know that our prayers will be answered by god and his angels, so we tell children like Abdalah,
“Get you and your sister ready for school, we will sort it out for you…”

How my faith has grown, I know it is not God or an angel making the sponsorship payments, but perhaps it is god or an angel that creates the events that allows a person to find me, then moves their hearts to share with one of the children.

Sure enough the angels answered again, and Abdalah and his sister Zakia were sponsored, and are now off to school… 🙂

I know many a skeptic who are science bound will cringe at the talk of angels, one or two even sponsor some of the children here. So to speak of angels in their presence will likely fall on deaf ears…. but angels were seen in science some time ago, its just the language is less romantic and historic in their scientific description.

…….An angel is a messenger of light, sent from the heavens beyond the stars….. A photon is a light particle, that carries information or messages to the receiver, to us. Photons travel only on angles or light, light that descends from the stars in the night sky and beyond……

There is an uncanny similarity there i’d say… 🙂

I don’t doubt angels, nor do i believe in them actually….. That’s because I know them…. and they help me daily in more ways than i could possibly tell you…

Thank you for reading, and of course as always thank you for all the love and support….

Love and light from Uchira everyone….
Have a beautiful week x

“My life is DVD…..” a sentence that ended one of the hardest conversations of my life…

So I am a week on as the full time carer for Dominic, and I have learned a great deal this week…. but it is shadowed as my faith in humanity has been pushed to its limits, as Iv heard of what my species is capable of. I know humans can be ignorant to suffering, and I do not blame them for this, I too once was, before i was vegan for instance, i would love animals deeply, yet if you showed me a slaughter i would likely weep, or have a sleepless night… yet woke up the next day having not changed, or any intention of changing. So I know humans can be ignorant, i know we are complex and may not see the damage we do to a person, animal or the environment, and i know we often may not intend to inflict pain or suffering, yet can by accident through lack of education or psychological floors such as cognitive dissonance…..

But what about humans, that are just inflicting pain for fun, harming others for what appears to be sick pleasure, or financial gain… how do I find a way to empathize with such humans has been the focus of my week… I pity them for sure, for i know enough to know they must be devoid of love to want or need, or what ever their motive is to harm someone…. This week iv seen and heard first hand the depths of darkness humans are capable of, and Iv tried to respond with love and not anger, but it has tested me to the limit…

So this will be an usual weekly blog, as i am more wanting to speak of two events that have stood out among the week… and all it has raised with in me. One situation is an ongoing issue in Tanzania, and i will speak of this firstly, as at least this one i have some minor form of understanding and explanation for….
Earlier this week the local secondary school contacted me, it was about a young lady in my fund whose name is Anna. They needed my help, Anna is a little different, as she is was born an Albino. Albinism is a major issue in East Africa, I am sure you have heard of western children wearing space suit like set ups to play, and that is in the west where the sun is a great deal weaker and less persistent than her in Tanzania! Naturally this makes life that little more difficult for an albino child here. This is not however the issue the school needed my help with, the problem faced was something far more sinister than the suns rays…. Sadly and, barely believably, children like Anna are at risk from an evil that belongs in the dark ages. Witch Doctors hunt such children, kidnap them and I hate to even type this, but then sell albino body parts, or use it in ritual magic. The school want her to sleep at the school where the security are, to ensure her safety at night, and on the walk home from school… This actually has lead to us wondering if Anna is safer living here with Dominic and I at the site. I have the best alarm system in Tanzania with nearly 20 dogs outside and the night watchman too… So time will tell on that i guess…..
I know many of you will barely believe it to be so, that children’s body parts can be a commodity here, but sadly it is so… This is just one reason why education is one of the most precious gifts humanity has to share, these men and women believe what they are doing to be true, to be real, to be okay! I have said this before, we are all born human animals, impressionable, and to some degree fickle….. but to earn the right to be called a human being, many never make it there, and many are never given the chance to, or the tools. A child raised by a witch doctor, will be a dark human when they are older…. It’s just how it will be, and only education can light that darkness, and we can only hope eventually eliminate it altogether, not just here, but all over the planet.

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The next thing is a little harder to stomach believe it or not. Iv deliberated many a time about sharing things Iv seen, and heard and lived through here. Sometimes I feel it is not fair to just unsettle a person with it, but then i think, if a person is sheltered from reality, and doesn’t know what it is like this sometimes, how will people ever know to get up and help, and light the darkness that has a grip over peoples lives in the developing and developed world for that matter.
I spotted scars on the top of Dominics legs, and how they got there has almost broken my heart in every way imaginable. The lady who took Dominic in… well she has abused little Dominic in a multitude of un-explainable ways. Other than feeding him flour and salt, whilst she ate well in front of him, other than working him hard on the farm, and collecting fire wood, despite his tiny stature and constant tiredness from the HIV. Other than beating him around the head when she was drunk, other than causing him to shake with fear as she entered the house at night, as he never knew if she would just go to sleep drunk, or come to Dominics room, and perform a beating or some other form of abuse. The scars on the legs though, they stand out, like a scene from a horror movie, they stand tall in a whole sea of abuse that he faced whilst living with her.

He told me how he traveled to the mountains alone for 4 days in the midst of all this, to see about life there. It was where his mother was born and he wants so desperately to connect to her, for all she has passed on many years ago now. He clutches her photo each night, as if that worn out piece of card provides him with the love we all seek in life. He spent 3 days in a community called Rombo, walking around and asking if he could live with families there……. On the 4th day he was hungry and decided there was no life in Rombo for him after all, and headed back to Uchira to eat his flour, and face his abusive guardian.
So I won’t give full details about the scars on little Dominic, as i see no need, but it was a form of torture he was subjected too ultimately, involving scissors held over a fire to heat them up……. as Dominic opened up and spent hours telling me all he had faced that night, I felt the emotion of it all rising in me. Iv said this before, that I thought I had experienced all emotions  when i came here, but Uchira has introduced me to whole new spectrum of emotions is how it now feels, many iv no words to describe, or do justice too.
What i was feeling was a kind of grief i think, but that shifted to anger…. I don’t get angry to often, I do all i can to find ways to be empathetic with most people, but this woman and her actions are still beyond the reaches of my empathy as i type this….
As Dominic told me all of this that night over dinner, I just kept thinking, thank god he is here now….Thank god he found me, and I he…. 🙂 He has dealt with all of this so well… he sat back as cheerful as ever, and I could see he was sensing my concern and uneasiness of knowing what I now did….. he smiled and said jokingly “My life is DvD!”………. What an amazing child he is and has become given all he has faced alone over the years.

This all opened something in me, a further urgency, to begin a new program, to dig as deep into the lives of the children in the fund as I possibly can…. and  as fast as I can. Those with guardians and not living parents will be first for a new social work drive with in the fund. It also confirmed to me my choice to make this work somehow, I have no guaranteed funding or support for this children’s home, but Iv got the intention to make it work, and i now know in all its severity first hand why some of the children need me to make this work…. there are many children here, and Iv no idea how many are facing lives like Dominic has, I just hope those that are, if they are, find their way to me, or I to them soon..

Part of my decision to share this is with that in mind, that people can know why I have begun this childrens home, and why children in places like Uchira, need us to treat them as our own children at times i believe…. and why children in places like this need to be seen as our responsibility. The developing world does not have systems like the west, so we have at least a moral responsibility as humans, to protect children. Most of us know this is a universal truth, that we should protect and shelter children; but I feel we must come to know that it can, and should include, even those children we may not see each day but know are out there.

As for his guardian, the police will deal with her…

This is a lady who attends the catholic church every day, and is respected for doing so in the community. I respect many religious people, and see many doing great works in the world. Yet this is again a time in my life where i must question why religions often fail people like this. They focus on the wrong things is why, they often do not show a person how to change, how to develop, to love…. but in the west they show people how to ask forgiveness and go on doing wrong at times…. All the while waiting for, and looking to a man in the sky to come down and make the world all better. Well it does not work that way! Jesus was a man, empowered by an energy he called the Christ. It is my belief that humans, and religious preachers, simply must learn to meditate, pray; learn to be disciplined and to discipline their 5 senses… and call on that energy to work through them and with them as Jesus did, as Buddha did, as Ghandi did, as Martin Luther did, as Nelson Mandella did all of these people and a great many more had something in common, they had fasted and prayed, and gave themselves to be vessels of that energy, that love… to change themselves from with in, in order help bring about change, instead of waiting for change to fly in on a cloud and happen one day.

Anyways! I have seriously digressed away from my weekly blog there 🙂 ha I feel I have written about the negatives of the week here!!! Something I am opposed too in fact is sharing bad news if I can help it, but this is the reality of Uchira and my life here this week, so I felt it best I remain open … in truth much of my week was light and bright and happy though! 🙂 I had moments of joy and privilege that i will also never forget…. I watched Mama Elizabeth change beyond reckoning this week, her life as a mother of 8 hungry children had her at the limit early in the week, and contemplating taking her own life to escape having to see her children hungry each day and all the stresses it brought. As i write this 4 of those children have now been sponsored! I watched as a woman who could barely twitch her cheek to raise a smile, or lift  her head to make proper eye contact shift, as each new piece of hopeful news was given to her. On the third child she cheered gleefully, clapping her hands and smiling widely at her children, as if to say “join me in this joy!”………

I see hope more than i see dark, and it’s the same with Anna and Dominic. I see the hope more than the dark, I see that a minority of humans are the dark, and the majority just need to learn to come together, and spread love and light as best they can, so there are no shadows for those small pieces of dark to hide in and escalate. What a week it’s been, and I am happy to say for all tested, I still have an abundance of faith for humanity and its goodness and love, possibly even more faith in that than when the week began. So long as more people keep doing what needs to be done, to help change this planet for the better one day at a time. I am blessed doing what I do, i see both sides of humanity, i see the love and caring and empathy from sponsors all over the world, and I see the opposite energy that they are shining light on daily…

If there is a battle of light and dark, good and evil, where I am in life its clear to me that the light is winning….

Sure if you switch on your TV, read the news that focuses on the bad alone in the most part, it seems that its the other way around…. but if you sit back without it and walk out your door, how often do you see dark and evil in your real everyday life..??? I am betting most of you can go a whole day today, without what you perceive to be bad, even crossing your path; without the media’s input that is 🙂

. Love and light from Uchira everyone 🙂 x

Dominic… :)

I finally got around to it, my first official blog post, for all many of my facebook posts resemble that of a blog I’v been told… !
This week marks a very big change for the fund, and for my life with it, it seems!

Earlier in the week I had the news that a boy in my fund had been made homeless. That boy’s name is Dominic, and your going to be hearing a lot more of and about him I dare say…

Dominic was staying with a guardian who took him in after he had no one to take care of him… but it has become apparent she may not of took him in with his best interests in mind. Dominic told us how some days he would work in the shamba/farm for his new Mama, but she would not feed him, and he would watch her and her children eat, whilst he would watch on hungry. I think it’s safe to say this lady saw Dominic as a business transaction of cheap/free labor, and not as a son to love, as he loved her and her family.

It is dangerous for the average child to have such a bad diet and devoid nutritional intake as Dominic endured, but with little Dominic it is all the more dangerous.

Dominic has been through more in his young life, than most people will face in a lifetime…. Dominic lost his mother and father to HIV/AIDS when he was younger. This left him to live with with his 5 brothers and sisters. Tragically Dominic over the years then lost his siblings to the virus also…. This left him alone, the only surviving member of his family.

It is with the heaviest of hearts I say this, but sadly Dominic is also carrying the HIV virus….
The virus has stunted Dom’s growth, and he is much shorter than average for his age, and his age is a little unknown to us with it. To look at him you would say 10 or 11, but he is a teenager now.

I sat under a tree in the village on Monday listening to Tom (my new member who Cia and Elizabeth make monthly donations of to pay his salary!) Thank you guys!!….. talk about Dominic and what had gone on, but before he had finished speaking my mind was already made up, that the only way I could guarantee Domininic a secure and loving home, with the correct nutrition and care when he is ill, was to have him come and live with me.

He came later that day, so small and looking so lost and alone in the world. His head was half covered with a woolen hat his sponsor Nora had knitted him, and it has never left his head since he opened it! 🙂

Domhat

He was so cautious, and so wide eyed at everything happening around him. As he arrived of course the rescue dogs were out, and all came to greet him! He looked terrified bless him! until i knelt down with him and the pack that was!

I must admit, almost immediately i loved this little boy, whose prized possession was a tattered and faded photo of his Mama. I kept thinking that he could teach most people i know 4 or 5 times his age, a valuable lesson in love and gratitude.

I will never forget watching him that day, if ever helplessness was to manifest itself, Dominic seemed to be it that day…

I don’t want to call him helpless though, he just looked it in my eyes i came to discover… As in truth he’ actually not, he is a strong and happy young man. With a heart filled with such love for the world you would not believe he was facing what he is. He has found a love in him for many things to get him though his hardships it seems. None more so than god… He gives thanks for meals and life, when many i know with immeasurably more than he, would just eat automatically with out feeling a need to offer some gratitude of any sort… He does not pray for health either, he takes it as a given that he will fight this! Instead he prays for good marks so he can become and engineer! He is quite the amateur electrician, but I use the word amateur as i discovered yesterday from the exploding radio he had previously “fixed”! :/ 🙂

I am finding things a little bewildering, and I am very conflicted about it all in truth….

The annoyance of my own fears is a pain… I guess they will subside in time. By fears I mean selfish and stupid ones, such as

“What if he has a cut on his hand when he uses the soap, then i use it and have a cut” was today’s new one! The mind can be a very fearful and troublesome organ when it wants to be, but at least I see it for what it is, it is just an organ making noises, and not actually me in my entirety…

I guess I will learn as time goes on how to deal with all of these smaller issues I am tackling, but for now, loving Dominic is much louder than any thought or fear I have, so it’s not too much of a worry.

I have other fears, but they are much more practical! For instance this house has no electricity! Which is now a problem…. It has a solar panel, than can power one lamp and a phone and a laptop no trouble. Anything above that, and the cheap make shift invertor I have overloads. It never bothered me when i was here alone, i don’t mind living basically, i find it reminds me that my basic living in the old run down center, is still luxury to tens of thousands around me.

The problem with no real solar is the food. Dominic needs clean, fresh foods. He will struggle to fight sickness, and a parasite could be fatal for him. Having had my share of infections whilst being cautious, i know how easy it is to catch them. A fridge is what i need, and to do that I need to upgrade this solar for him. So don’t be surprised if you see a fund raiser start! 🙂

For now the strangest thing is not knowing how to think or feel, as a rule I stay as positive in life as I can muster, about all situations I face….  So we talk about his future, him becoming an engineer, and it makes me happy to think of it… then I look at him, and I worry if that day will even come, which is not like me, but it’s hard to not prepare for the worst a little bit.

I hear so may stories, today I had an email from a friend explaining that her friend was showing hardly any symptoms after meds and targeted nutrition.

Then last week I had to read a post from a new friend of mine Joseph, who had a child die in his arms from the virus as he ran to the hospital.

For now, all i will do is what I always do… stay positive and learn to understand this virus as best I can…and with obviously give Dominic the best life I can, a one filled with happiness, love and laughter, and as much healthy food as he wants with it! 🙂

So this is my first blog ever, and I am happy to end it by saying unexpectedly, this week Uchira Children’s Fund opened its doors to those children in Tanzania, who are in the most need of a place to eat, sleep, laugh, love and live in safety…. 🙂

All that’s left to say is, love and light from “Uchira Children’s Home” 🙂 x