Update

This week was a harsh reminder of how life can quickly change here. One of the office workers named Anthony Malisa, the deputy general secretary and ELCT-ND lawyer, died in a car accident this week. He was our age and had a wife and newborn son. His son’s baptism was scheduled for last Thursday. In addition to this celebration, the family planned a funeral for the young father.

Understandably, everyone at the office was devastated. We did not know Malisa very well; we only saw him in passing and communicated through quick joking conversations. His name is pronounced the same as Melissa in English so he always joked that Melissa needed to pay him for her name. The ELCT office works very closely with one another and most people in the building knew him quite well. All meetings were canceled this week, work was put on the back burner, and the office was closed for the funeral Friday.

For us, this week was a little slower and much less intense than our past two weeks with Susie. We spent a lot of time at Union Café working on documents and other items that we could work on by ourselves since the BCC management team was understandably preoccupied with the loss of their coworker and friend.

This weekend we worked with Jesse, our safari driver friend, on his business. He is working on making his vehicle wheelchair accessible. We have not seen any wheelchair accessible vehicles while we have been here. From a quick search on the web, we have found only one wheelchair accessible safari company in South Africa and none in Tanzania or Kenya. We measured his vehicle and took many pictures to send to Romania. Rich and Barb Carman (see their blog), our international bosses, are working in Romania for the next few months. There is a wheelchair factory there that will consult with Jesse on the best way to make his vehicle accessible. It was good to work with Jesse! He is a great entrepreneur with a wonderful heart!

Next week, we will be working to follow up from Susie’s training. We will also be working on completing a few projects before we head for Kenya. We will be going to Kenya to visit another Mosaic/IMPACT project in Kisumu, Kenya. We do not know much about the project other than that it gives microcredit loans directly to individuals with disabilities. It will be great to visit this program and see what other projects doing in this area. We will write more about the project after our visit!

In the “Inspirational Tid-Bits” blog this week, we will write about Charlie’s mother who received a microcredit loan last week. We will also talk a little more about her potential business opportunity. In the “Through Their Eyes” blog, we will talk about Sofia, a young girl who attends the day center at Karanga 2.

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