The triplets, Anna, Esther and Deborah were special babies at Neema. That is Anna to the left at less than three pounds when she came to Neema.
We loved, fed, changed and watched these three baby girls grow into chubby toddlers. They are wearing dresses my sister Lottie made for them.
This summer the girls were able to return home. Sweet boy Baraka is kissing Anna bye in the picture below.
You can read their going home story on our blog “Some Days are like That.” We sent the girls home with toys, books, clothes, big bags of rice, beans, porridge, powdered milk, potty chairs and two water filters. The family is very loving but also very poor.
They live in a typical African mud hut with no electricity and no phone.
Kenzy Mize visited the girls in their home a month later.
Matt and Michael built the girls a bunk bed and we took out sheets and blankets.
It is quite a trip on rough, dirt roads out to the triplet’s home and with no electricity or refrigeration, fresh milk delivery was out of the question.
Instead with the great help of Neema’s Facebook friends, we bought a milk cow for them.
We’ll deliver food, medicines and supplies along with financial help once a month and when the girls are old enough we hope to send them to school.
We went to church with the family one Sunday and just as a reminder that this is Africa, a cow walked into the church and began grazing on the grass growing around the edges of the dirt floor of the church.
(Some of these pictures you have seen on Facebook but if you don’t have Facebook you haven’t seen them.)
Last summer we heard of another set of triplets living in Arusha town and we went out to check on those three baby girls. The young Muslim family lives in a one room house with their older children and the new triplets. There was one bed in the room and one gas burner on which they cooked the family meals.
The baby girls are identical and have large herniated belly buttons which is fairly common in Africa. We agreed to supply formula for the babies and later we would supply their morning uji (porridge).
The family brings the girls to Neema frequently so we can see how cute they are and how they are growing. Our commitment to supply milk for these triplets ends this year and we are praying the family will be able to take over then.
Neema’s Frankie Boy is from the first set of triplets that Neema has cared for over the past two years.
This spunky little guy, our first and oldest baby, is a favorite of nearly everyone who walks in the door.
From a remote Masai village, the Masai triplets, Lucia, Yacinta and Frankie, the mother, and older siblings were all living in a small mud hut along with a cow tethered inside in the corner. Frankie was about six months old and weighed less than five pounds when he was brought in to Neema.
The custom for centuries had been to feed the bigger baby and let the small one go in order to ensure survival of at least one baby. Poor Frankie so much smaller would have been the one left out.
The triplet’s father had two wives and had just lost his second wife in childbirth and the old grandmother had been trying to keep the new baby, Meshack, alive with raw cow’s milk.
Both Frankie and Meshack were in trouble so Neema brought the two little half-brothers in to the hospital in Arusha.
After a few months he was able to return home. He has survived and done well. He is now scared to death of the “Wazungu” who come out to check on him from time to time.
Frankie’s triplet sisters have done well out in the village on formula, food and medicine delivered from Neema, but Frankie is still fragile and not able to return home. He was originally diagnosed by Dr. Matthews with cerebral palsy.
We are hoping to keep this loving little boy who has stolen all our hearts and give him the best education we can find. Some of Frankie’s first words were “I wuv u.”
Frankie loves to go to church and he takes carrying his bible very seriously.
These three sets of triplets represent nine beautiful babies Neema House has cared for. You have to come to Africa to see them. Unlike the U.S. Tanzania is Ebola Free!
Now that the water well for Frankie’s village is paid for we need a water well for Neema House. We cannot start building the new baby home and the mothering center without water!
If you know of anyone who could help with that, let us know. There are 35 babies in Africa who could put that to good use.
Frankie’s village is so remote that there are still some of Africa’s beautiful animals running free like this giraffe walking down the road in front of our car.