Joy’s Tales of Tanzania



Joy Fox has been studying Swahili and has just returned (March 2015) from Tanzania  near a little village (Lamadi) working with children of albinism in a small sanctuary. The organization – Zeru Zeru Simama Sasa – is headed by Sister Helena (a Catholic nun). Scroll down to read all the ‘news’ from Tanzania,...

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Above is a combination songfest and talent show. The kids voted on who should accompany Sister Helena to a government conference in Mwanza last week. Contest categories included: Volume, Clarity, Behavior, and Endurance…since the field trip would be a twelve-hour day, without food, or naps…. Click here to read the full Tales from Tanzania #10 including Valentines Day project, Nehma’s story, and the farewell songs and...

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And how do I leave these exquisite children behind me, when I have a personal little tradition or a special sound or a clap-game or a memory that only we share? Friends who know me wondered how I could leave the orphanage in Thailand last year, knowing I wouldn’t be back. Or Cancer Village, in the north of Thailand, or my Buddhist community in Bangkok? Usually there are tears involved, on both sides…. and my profound belief in...

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Remember Beheveh, who ran away from his schoolwork in the last Tales? He has spent many hours here, in front of the the numbers chart, reciting…. early morning, afternoon, and evening, with someone to monitor, assist and support him. Some evenings, Sister Helena will collect pens or plastic bottles, and he will count those instead, to make the numbers three dimensional. Beheveh can now count to twenty. The first time he did it,...

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Everybody over two years old shares the work, here at the Center. Tasks are done very, very carefully. While watching Habi fold clothes, I realize how sloppy I am, … Each fold has to be perfect. Sister Helena is demonstrating and teaching the children perfection, speed, and endurance. Survival is not assured here in the bush, and Sister wants these children to succeed! If someone over two years old falls asleep, they are advised...

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One of our recent rituals is pictured above: Sister Helena is passing out a hunk of raw ginger, dipped in salt, for every child to eat. The kids are sick, because one child returned from the holidays with a cold. As Sister said recently, There is no escape…. We don’t have running water or, of course, kleenex or toilet paper, and all the kids blow their nose on the same crusty rag and wash their hands in the same bucket of water...

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Zeru Zeru Simama Sasa! is the name of our website, although the Center’s actual name here in Lamadi is: Mary Mother of God Perpetual Help Center. “Zeru Zeru Simama Sasa” is Kiswahili for Ghosts, Stand Up Now! Edward Fabien died last week, overwhelmed with gastro-intestinal imbalance. He was 35. I went to his funeral yesterday, and cried a lot, though I never met him… Edward was born to the Ulluo tribe (which is more predominant...

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Two hot news items to report, friends: **Sister Helena is now sure that Jesus and Mother Mary have finally returned from their long sabbatical, and are back on the job. She sees signs of miracles all around. It started when she heard a voice telling her to go on the website and surf for albino children in Tanzania. She discovered that a local politician in Parliament (Titus Kamani) was bragging online about having received a five...

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Actually, I can’t give you the full picture, friends. On that motorcycle (below) was : Little Violet in front, the Motorcycle driver, then Sister Helena, then the chicken, then me…. We wound all over the mountainous hillsides on sandy tracks, avoiding the swampy rain-filled ditches, past bullock carts, goats and flocks of sheep, bicycles piled high with firewood… It was such a marvelous sunny breezy day! We spent it (many...

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Hello again, friends. Some of the kids at Zeru Zeru refused to go home to their families for Christmas vacation and instead waited six days, through political strife, and floods, and communication and mechanical breakdowns, for Mama Joy to arrive. I received a rousing reception when I finally did, escorted by two of Sister Helena’s friends, on the bus. We all did yoga first, by request. Then I pulled out my craft supplies and...

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