July 2020 Blog
We are SO GRATEFUL that our Dashir staff family and community have had no COVID-19 ill effects thus far. Our rural outdoor living, even in local market situations, seems to be the ticket. We thank God and pray this newsletter finds you in good spirit and health.
Canada Day Eh!
It was a party day at Dashir on July 1st, with the obligatory sodas and some simple ball hockey games. We taught the workers how to do a wrist shot, which they easily caught onto, hakuna matata. Now to the next iteration of making full-length sticks and playing road hockey with a tennis ball and nets. This will add yet another experience for our hockey-loving guests – Hockey Night in Tanzania! I must say that playing ball hockey does bring back good memories of my childhood … except for the frozen fingers and toes! J
Our Virtual Staff Fundraiser Breakfast on June 27th kept us busy for the month of June. Here are a couple pics, and a fun video of our first Maasai Dance practice, with Jeremiah playing a comical role. The workers in the peanut gallery had a hoot!
Unfortunately, we forgot to take pictures of the event itself, hence the grainy thumbnails. Check out a couple of Zoom videos from the live staff fundraiser.
Full video (70 min plus slideshow)
Highlights video (9 min)
The day was pretty special for our staff family. We were pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they were speaking in front of the camera (several practice sessions did help!). After the event, we watched the video at double speed and split a gut laughing together, because the gestures and speaking of each person were exaggerated in a most humorous fashion. 🙂
The idea of a staff fundraiser came out of a deep desire to keep our workers employed during this crazy time of COVID-19. It was very humbling to ask for help. This in turn heightened our joy as we saw the incredible response of support and generosity from so many Dashir alumni and friends. As a result, our 31 workers will continue to receive a partial income till at least the end of October! Thanks to all who have supported. We invite others who would like to join hands with us and partner with our staff in this difficult time. It could be 12 months or more. If interested, email Darryl, and he will send out donation details, our staff mug shots, and our three fundraiser recipes – cinnamon buns, lemon loaf, and carrot ginger soup.
And now, THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT …
WE HAVE SECURED LAND FOR THE HEALTH CENTRE!
We are incredibly excited to have purchased an 8-acre piece of property right next to Dashir (south side along the road). This brings to reality the vision we have talked about for over 5 years now – to build and operate a health centre (with community centre to follow). Quality health care, youth and sports, reading and life skills, etc., are great ways to improve village life and a wonderful connection that will enhance our guest experience. This community multi-service centre, like all aspects of Dashir, will further our overall vision, “A community of friends from around the world.”
At first, it seemed paradoxical to call this a good time to press forward into such an ambitious community project. We are at our most vulnerable point with guest bookings. So, we consulted with several Dashir alumni couples. They unanimously agreed that it is indeed an opportune time to move forward with the health centre, but pole pole, slowly slowly. Little did we know that pole pole would very soon become a bit faster. At the end of our last consultation, the couple shocked us with a large donation of money, enough to put a majority deposit on the land. So now we are off and “running.” Asante sana dear Canadian friends B&L!
This is the TIME!
Yes, Shirley and I ARE convinced the timing of the health centre is perfect in so many ways. We have ample time available to process the plans and paperwork. Secondly, the project will provide meaningful work for our staff to fill the gap in the next 12 months. We are already boldly forecasting a tentative opening date for phase one – a simple Walk-in Clinic – a year from now in July 2021! That might be overly optimistic, especially with the dreaded “red tape,” but we think it is a great target. Our Tanzanian director and brother Elisante says it is definitely doable. (I’m sure he’ll be working his typical 70-hour weeks to make it happen!).
If you are interested in the health centre endeavor, email Darryl to learn more.
Dashir Chat Show Update
In other news, we continue to shoot, most weeks, a video of our Dashir Chat Show – one take, no cuts, no edits. I guess the race relations episode surprised us a bit. We don’t sense any racial tensions at Dashir. In our experience, with making friends and being close with people from so many different backgrounds, it is simply unthinkable for us to judge a person by their race (or sexual orientation, or religion, or politics, or …).
Here are the last 4 episodes – maybe watch one a morning with your coffee as you wake up … the “morning show.” 🙂 Next episode, we will feature “Back to School” in Tanzania (special guests, Dashir cooks Joyce and Sarah).
It’s Africa’s Time!
Finally, we leave you with the video and lyrics of the beautiful song “Africa’s Time.” This son has become very dear to us at Dashir. We recommend you take a few moments for a good look and listen. The song is written and performed by the talented and affable musician Jeremy Olivier (Cape Town), along with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. We are in communication with Jeremy, who gave us permission to use the song for our fundraiser, and hope to have him out to Dashir in the near future!
Wow, that’s our heart and prayer for Africa, and all those who visit Africa!
Till next month, over and out from Tanzania.
Stay well friends. Drop an email to say hi, as we’d love to hear from you too. Have a nice day.
Darryl, for Shirley and our Dashir Family