My father was a founder of St. Paul Partners, a group that brings clean water to remote villages around the Iringa area. Today’s dedication of two wells in my father’s memory was the reason we came to Tanzania. It was an incredibly meaningful experience that I will never forget.
The ceremony at the first well was small and simple, but many in the village came out to show their appreciation. On the way out we drove right past their previous water supply – a pool in the river. It helps one understand how critical drinking water is in this area.
The second event was more involved. It started with a pre-func meal of stewed goat. The dedication was a 90 minute affair complete with singing/drumming, and a Maasai dance, and lots of speeches in Swahili. My guess is that between 300 and 400 villagers attended. Afterwards they fed us again with rice, beans, pumpkins leaves… and more stewed goat. This was probably the most (relatively) expensive meal I have ever had because these people are very food insecure.
My dad wasn’t perfect and certainly not a saint. He saw a need and worked to make a difference.