Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Vision for the African People Becomes A Reality

Prof. Colette Cozean, our East Africa Partnership coordinator from California arrived on 24th of March and since then we are very busy to get things moving. We participated in a Maasai ceremony to open up a new dispensary in the Naikara area. It was amazing to listen to Maasai singing and performing. Colette received a goat as a present, which is regarded as the greatest gift to receive. We put it in the car and went to Narok to unload it.

In the 1st of April, Prof. Bill Cooper, the director of the Urban Water Research Center, came also over from California to assist us in water related issues as well as fundraising efforts.

We met with government officials including the vice president of Kenya to get an agreement signed for the irrigation project in Tseikuru Disrtict/Mwingi. We all went together to Tanzania to meet with the District Council and the Elerai Maasai community.

We were shown the land of Elerai, which is a community located in West Kilimanjaro. The memorandum of understanding (irrigation and farming plans) between us and the community is well underway and hopefully it will be signed within the next week.

After Tanzania, we went straight to Tseikuru District in Mwingi North. Bill and Colette flew in from Nairobi in a helicopter together with the Vice President, while I was preparing the ground work to get also a memorandum of understanding signed to irrigate and farm an initial 2,000 acres in partnership with a newly formed cooperative. Everybody was keen to get this document signed and I was waiting for this signature since I arrived in January. I am super happy that this was finally signed by all parties including the vice president on the 9th of April. Today is Saturday is April 10th and we are invited to the 25th anniversary to be in government service. We may have a chance to get introduced to the President of Kenya, too.

To sum everything up, we had an unbelievably successful 2 weeks and now I have much more work than I can ever handle, but I am really looking forward to the work and I can finally do everything I was coming to do.

A big hug from Kenya/Tanzania.

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