Around Arusha

Our first walk from our hotel to Molly's class.

Peace Tower

Tower Clock Rotary

A scary place for pedestrians!

No Seatbelt Law in Arusha!

The Infamous Dala Dala. 20 cents a ride! 24 passengers in mine!
Lots of Yellow!
Laura and I felt very comfortable walking around Arusha while Molly was in class. We had no trouble locating St. Theresa's Catholic Church.

Tall Jacaranda trees in bloom everywhere!

I think these are drooping Hibiscus blossoms.

Giant Hibiscus Blossom

View from our Hotel


Molly's Home in Arusha


Student House

Administrative Offices
The Nyerere Centre for Peace Research

Waiting for Molly outside her house
Student House Patio
House Lounge
Molly's Friends

Around Arusha with Molly

Our Wonderful Molly!
Lunch at the Blue Heron

Lunch at Pepe's

Pizza and Kenyan Beer at Maasai Cafe
Shopping at the Maasai Market
Nauro Springs Hotel, our hotel before Safari
The Impala Hotel, our hotel after Safari


“Shanga” is the Swahili word for bead.

Shanga’s Mission Statement
"Shanga Shangaa was founded as a for-profit company to create a community that would support and empower those Tanzanians who have been marginalized by their disabilities. By providing an open and safe environment, disabled Tanzanians are able to realize their potential, develop new skills, build relationships based on respect and improve their own lives. Using recycled materials and producing at a sustainable level allows Shanga Shangaa to continue to expand and offer these opportunities far into the future."
Workers make glassware from recycled bottles.

A talented artist drawing images for greeting cards.

Workers decorate fabric with beads made from marbles.
Relaxing on Shanga's Lawn.


Molly, Laura, Carolyn, and I took a dala dala to the "Cradle of Love" orphanage, where Molly and Carolyn volunteer. The children there are all under two and a half. I spent the afternoon with Rahim. He and his twin brother Rahman were born on December 10, 2009. Their mother died in childbirth. I was told that both babies had been severely neglected when they arrived. But now Rahim is strong, smart, fun-loving, and unusually capable for his age, while his brother is much smaller and still shows signs of early deprivation.

As soon as I entered, Rahim came to me and put up his arms to be carried. I picked him up and walked around with him for awhile. Then we sat down on a bench, and he fell asleep in my arms. An attendant came and woke him up at "juice time." I gave him his bottle, he gulped it down, and then he looked me over, played with my necklace and watch, got down and tried to put back on my feet my shoes that I had kicked off. I sang every song I knew to him, and he started bouncing his little leg to the beat.

We were alone in this room for about an hour. Then I picked him up, and we went into the big room with 38 toddlers, 4 babies lying on a mat, and three care-givers. Laura and Molly were sitting on the floor, each with a baby in both arms. Carolyn had one baby in her arms, and a few others huddled around her. I sat with Rahim on a bench and watched for awhile, but every time a baby would come to be picked up, Rahim would push him away. It was as noisy and chaotic as any room would be with 38 babies toddling around, so when Rahim began pointing to the door, I took him to search for a quiet spot. The reception area looked interesting and the receptionist was gone, so that was our place.

There Rahim really came alive. A long low table had a pile of baby clothes that someone must have dropped off. Nearby was a child's pink plastic chair. Rahim picked a pink baseball cap from the pile and put it on. Then he added a blue crew hat. He picked up the plastic chair, set it at one end of the table, carefully placed himself in it and examined a new pair of socks with a big tag that he tried to pull off. He tried the chair at different spots around the table, each time adjusting it to just the right angle, and plopping himself in it. He was muttering and smiling, and he looked proudly and confidently at me after every new accomplishment.

Then it was dinner time. Twenty babies were place in two rows of yellow plastic seats inserted in a large counter and ten babies were put in high chairs along a wall. Volunteers come in to feed them. However, eight toddlers were allowed to eat at a long, low table and feed themselves. Rahim was one of them. He sat at one end of the table, and he handled feeding himself the way he had handled everything else. His bowl of porridge and his plastic spoon was put in front of him, and he went methodically to work, handling his spoon like a pro, finishing his dinner without spilling a drop. I had to wipe only two tiny spots of porridge off his face.

After dinner it was time for us to leave, and that was the only sad time in my whole week in Arusha. I love that baby. To adopt a child, you must be a resident of Tanzania for three years. Babies cannot be adopted out of the country. All I can to is wish that Rahim will have one person to love only him for a few hours every day, or every other day, or at least one day every week. All I can do is pray for him, and I will do that every day of my life.
Family Home