I arrived safe and well at Dar es Salaam on Tuesday evening and went by pre arranged taxi to the home of Penny in Dar es Salaam. Penny first came with me in 1997 to the refugee camps to teach about children's work. She loved Tanzania so much that she is now a resident. She has cold water on tap and a good filter. We can take flasks of water into the bathroom to have awash.
At 4 am Wednesday morning we got up and drove out to see Agness who was the midwife in the refugee camp. Her nephew kindly came with us to show us the way over the sandy tracks. What a joy to see her again. She was recovering from malaria but still working 24/7 in the little clinic that she has built on to her home. Women come quite a distance to be treated by her. She has such a good way with them, I can see why they trust her. She split open a few coconuts that grow on the tall Palm trees in her garden and poured us some fresh and delicious coconut milk. We left when the clinic started to get busy and came home along the same bumpy road and short car ferry ride across the bay. We were able to go into the city and buy a SIM card and Internet bundle. I had also sent money by Western Union and was able to pick that up OK. It saved me carrying g so much money on the flights.
Today Thursday has been a rest day. I have repacked and done some washing. We have also decided to stay in Morogoro town and do the 40 minute drive to the village each day rather than stay there. An incident last year involving an argument with a Massai man on drugs and his two prostitutes helped me to recognise that staying at the village guest house is not safe.
We have booked Mama Pierinis at £14 per night for an air conditioned room. I am so grateful to everyone who has generously contributed to the project. One of my principles is to pay all of my own costs so that all donations go directly to the projects. It means that my personal budget can stretch to having better and safer communication.
Timothy will come to town so we can talk and plan without interruption. We can think hard about what we are trying to achieve and what the pitfalls might be. Once we are all agreed, it will be easy to communicate the plans to the women who will be involved in the projects.
I will do my best to keep you updated. Electricity is rationed so phone networks are affected when it is cut off. All for now.
Love and thanks