Thursday, May 3, 2012

3 May 12

Well, i take it all back!! Maybe having a scorpion run over your toes while you're squatting to take a peaceful number 2 over the hole in the cement floor of your outhouse is actually a sign of GOOD LUCK.. because I have had more good luck in the last 24 hours than I deserve... not that I'm complaining!!!

So, since the last update 6 days ago, so much goodness has happened, I don't know where to begin!!! I think it's thanks to the scorpion and everyone's warm thoughts, positive vibes, well wishes, and prayers!!! I think all that positivity melded together and made its way across the oceans to our doorstep out in the boonies of Kisesa.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! All your postive powers paid off!!!! You guys rock!!!

So, first off, we had our town council meeting yesterday (May 2nd).  The day leading up to the meeting was a barrage of phone calls and was frustrating to say the least!!  The morning started off with the mayor not answering our phone calls.  Then we got the confirmation from the Minister of Sport at the district office. She confirmed she was good to go for tomorrow and requested 8 council members attend the meeting.  We tried the mayor 3 more times.  No luck!  We sent a message to let him know the meeting was on and we needed council members to attend.  We tried contacting a few council members but all said they couldn't attend without instruction from the mayor.  Isn't that a pretty pickle! A little catch-22 for ya!

By 700pm, we had talked to a bunch of different people in the village and spent thousands of shillings on the phone (which really equated to less than $16...).  In the end, we did talk to the mayor.  He said he didn't know about the meeting.  We decided not to point out that if he answered our phone calls, he would have already known.  He tried to convince us a different minister was coming on the 4th and that nothing was scheduled for the 2nd.. but we we're having none of it.  Tabitha did a great job of buttering him up on the phone and we sent him thousands of shillings (which really worked out to $6) so that he could call the other council members to inform them about the meeting.  It's amazing what 6$ can accomplish! :)

By 930pm, we had 16 people coming to the meeting.  Twice as many as we needed but who are we to complain! We went to bed with our fingers crossed.

Yesterday, we had our meeting... and it went better than anything I could have ever imagined!!! I still can't believe how amazing it was!! The Minister of Sport was an absolutely PHENOMENAL woman!!! It really makes me wonder what  whatAfrica would be like if it were run by women and not greedy men!!!  She led the meeting and was not only amazingly professional, but calm, attentive, and all things fantastic!!!!  :)  She made sure that everyone understood what the meeting was about and that everyone was on the same page.  She wanted to make sure that when the council members returned to their neighbourhoods, they all reported the same information.  It was awesome!!!  The council members talked about what was being said about us in the village.  The biggest issue is that people are saying we paid the government 50,000,000 Tanzanian shillings for the land.  It's a hilarious statement on so many levels!  First, 50,000,000 Tsh is like 35,000USD.  Trust me, if we had 35,000USD to spend on land, we would have bought it from and individual and avoided the government altogether! If we had that kind of money, this meeting wouldn't be happening!! :) The person who started the rumour said he saw us pay the money with his own eyes!  It's extra funny because the largesth bill in Tanzania is 10,000Tsh.  Did he really see us count out 5000 bills??? REALLY??? 5000 bills??? how big was that bag??

Anyways, we cleared up that rumour as best we could.  We assured them all that the land was donated and we haven't paid a cent.  Hopefully they report that back to their neighbours.  We discussed again the purpose of Hero Home and I think for the most part, everyone got it.

In the end, the meeting took well over 2 hours, but it was 2 hours extremely well spent!  The council members signed the title deeds document.  There is only one signature missing and he should have signed it already and we should have the title deeds tomorrow!  The Minister of Sport also assured us that we would have the district letter by Monday and most importantly, every person at the meeting agreed that we could move forward with our work and they are ready to help out!! Ain't that the best warm fuzzy you can have!! :) 

In means.... we found THE DOOR.. and it didn't take a sledge hammer but rather patience and understanding.  What a concept!!! :) I'm trying not to quote myself again, but the whole idea of doubting only so that you can be proven wrong and be way more grateful in the end, makes a lot of senses!!!

So, that was the first bit of good luck.  The second bit is that we won the YWCA Young Women of Distinction Award.... CRAZY!!!! The award is in my name, but it's a team award.. because without Tabitha and Marceline.. GO! doesn't exist.. and I couldn't get to do what I get to do!!  Unfortunately, being that we're all over here in Africa, none of us made it to.the event but I heard it was a great night and it was a sold out room of over 950 people!!! My parents stood in for me and it was probably for the best.  Last night, while they were collecting my award, I was out in a rainstorm collecting water running off our roof!! I collected over 150L which was awesome because we were running out of water and free rain water always excites me!! I even showered!!!  I think I was more in my element!!!  But nonetheless, we are super honoured to have won the award and are grateful to the YWCA for the publicity the award will bring for GO!.  Huge congrats to all the nominees and all the recipients!! There are some truly amazing women in winnipeg!!!!!

That's all for now! I just wanted to share some of our good luck with you guys!! Thank you so much to everyone for the warm thoughts, the positive vibes, the prayers, the well wishes, and everything else!! We can't do this without your amazing support!!! Thank you so much!!!

I hope everyone has some good luck this week!! I'll send some scorpions over! :)

Take care!