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Archive for July 10th, 2016

I have returned from the trip of a lifetime.  For my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday, she treated me and my sister-in-law to an Overseas Adventure Travel tour of Tanzania, Africa.  O.A.T. is a tour company that prides itself on providing a total cultural experience.  You don’t just view a country, you experience it.

Our trip to Tanzania began on June 25th, but we did not arrive into Kilimanjaro airport until the night of June 26th after two lengthy flights, Houston to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Tanzania.  There is no way around it.  Africa is far away!

This experience was so full that I will be writing multiple blog posts to share as much as I can with you.

We spent the first few days in Arusha.  Arusha is a bustling city.  Our first stop was a clay water filter project.

Front of Safe Water Ceramics in Arusha, Tanzania.

Front of Safe Water Ceramics in Arusha, Tanzania.

The Safe Water Ceramics of East Africa produces clay water filters to provide clean water to families and schools around Tanzania and Kenya.  The number one health problem in Africa comes from limited access to clean water.  We were fascinated by the process of creating these filters.

Surrounded by drying water filters, Mesiaki demonstrates his foot powered pottery wheel.

Surrounded by drying water filters, Mesiaki demonstrates his foot powered pottery wheel.

In 2005, Tracy Hawkins met Mesiaki Kimerei, a master potter in Arusha, Tanzania.  After learning of the dire need for filtered water and the process for making these clay water filters, she teamed up with Mesiaki to produce these ceramic filters.  In 2015, Safe Water Ceramics won the Energy Globe Award.

Proud of his Globe Award, Mesiaki is passing the skills to his daughter.

Proud of his Globe Award, Mesiaki is passing the skills to his daughter.

Eleven people in our group lined up to donate.  One water filter for a family or school costs $40.  You can learn more about the project and donate here.   Already, on the first day, I knew that this experience would have a profound effect on me.  Something that we take for granted, clean water, is a privilege in the country of Tanzania.

At the end of our first day, we were treated to a view of Mt. Kilimanjaro peeking out and saying “Jambo!”

Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance.

Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance.

 

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