It Feels Like Home.
Just when it is beginning to feel like home in our new house on the mountain in Arusha, Tanzania, East Africa, it is time to return to our alternate home in the U.S. But we will surely miss these big kids at Neema.
We made the long awaited move to our mountain home in the Moivaro area of Arusha town this month. We’ve been here two weeks now and it still takes my breath away. God is so Good to let two old people be doing this! That is our 41 Tanzanian staff and 44 babies on the new front steps.
It is beginning to be hard to answer the question “Where do you live?” We try to spend six months a year here at Neema Village with the babies and then six months at home telling folks about the babies. Our hearts are firmly planted in both places!
If you are new to the blog, check out our website to see pictures of the babies and read the Neema story. Also the Neema House Arusha Facebook page is an open to the public site and fun to watch the babies grow in pictures. www.neemavillage.org.
The long dreaded moving day went off without too many hitches, at least we didn’t have any babies left behind. We moved the baby home and the volunteer home in two days. That’s 2 kitchens, 9 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 5 refrigerators, 50 baby beds, a couple hundred baby bottles, 16 adult beds, 6 couches, 2 stoves, food, formula, furniture, sterilizers, clothes, toys, curtains, pictures, and a partridge in a pear tree. Oh and 46 precious little ones! That is surely a record in some book somewhere!!
Volunteers each took one of the small babies to keep calm on the move. The babies did great, not sure about those of us who went back to the old house to remove the signs. We have had 106 babies cared for out of that rented house which we had filled to the brim with so much laughter and tears over the last four years. Remembering the babies who have come and gone over the years from that home was a bit rough, like Maxine, Elliott, the tiny triplet girls and all the others. We had 21 adoptions and 21 return homes from that house. But we were crowded and it was time to move.
Kelly, the drill Sargent, directing traffic, did a terrific job getting things in the right rooms.
As usual in a new house, things didn’t work at first, toilets leaked, hot water heaters kept overloading the power, kids who thought bides were for squirting your friend in the face, the playground not finished and the biggest problem, “Where to put the trash!” The bides in the children’s bathrooms have thankfully been removed. Just a little too much culture for us.
Washing got out of hand until we hired a couple of extra ladies to get us caught up.
They washed in big tubs and hung clothes on the fence line until we could get the washer and dryer hooked up.
But even with the move, life went on at Neema. Some great volunteers came by to help like the John Bardini family from North Carolina. I would have never gotten the sign out front without the steady hands of this good doctor.
We had two new babies come to us this month. One little one whose mom died in childbirth and the family left the baby at the hospital. We named her Bella. The other one a sweet little newborn, whose mom died, named David.
We will be home in a few days ready to come speak at your next class, meeting, life group, club, church, coffee group whatever. Give us a call, 254 541 4869
May the LORD bless you and keep you,
Michael and Dorris