Busy Busy Busy, no time to write

It has been a busy time since I returned to Tanzania 1.5 weeks ago.  I had a 70 hour straight trip from oz to Ifakara.  I had a few days with Raphael to catch up on the project and friends.  As we had known Raphael has taken the project forward to a new level, advancing our reporting systems, administration and team structure.  This is not my forte, so he has really added a valuable contribution in that regard.  Also, Raphael is very good with languages and is now fluent in Swahili, he puts me to shame - enough to inspire me to finally look at some structured language course to rectify my bush swahili.  Last Monday we travelled to Dar and had a full day of meetings on Tuesday with Tanzanian Breweries Limited, US Embassy and a Dar Goat Races presentation.  TBL was a nice surprise.  We had a great discussion with them and it looks like we are moving towards a collaboration with them - which would be great because we would be receiving support from a Tanzanian corporation.  We will work together to build a solid MSABI project slowly but surely to ensure we continue our ability to deliver a high energy and high quality community based program.  The US Embassy invited us to present our project so that they could understand better what we are doing.  They receive over 500 application for assistance each year, so it was very nice for them to find us and request a meeting.  The meeting went really well, and they have asked us to put together a small proposal - and another interesting thing was we got to see what was on the other side of the great big US embassy fortress - and no unfortunately there is no golf course or airstrip inside (that we saw).  Lastly, we were running late for the Dar Goat Races presentation, and it was one of those rare days when things roll smoothly....just as we walked through the door they announced MSABI and we walked straight to the front of the large crowd and collected our cheque for TSH10 million - which we used a portion of the next day to purchase 2 more second hand 90cc red honda posty bikes....we will start to trial using a small  motorbike for our Tanzanian field supervisors.  Oh and I nearly forgot to mention that Mirco our new Swiss manager is here.  We met him in Dar and he hit the ground running - attending the US Embassy meeting and helping with the purchase of the motorbikes - something that took all day to do!!!  So late last night we returned by bus to Ifkara - a long and tiring - yet exciting 1.5 weeks.  Things are not going to slow down, we have 1.5 weeks before Raphael leaves - so he has an intensive handover program for Mirco, whilst I watch on and learn.  Also I have to try and write a few  proposals and prepare for our 2 EWB volunteers and our other Swiss volunteer Nico who all come in July.  And I did forget someone.....Anders my Danish friend arrived also last night by train from Dar.  He is here to work on developing a microfinance model for our water project - involving loans for pumps and irrigation schemes.  We actually met up with him in Dar before we left and we had a meeting with one of MSABIs directors, Mr Mlinga - who established YOSEFO microfinance way back in the 1980s.  He is a pioneer of microcredit in Tanzania, and it was good to see him and Anders hit it off straight off.  We hope something will eventuate from Anders stay here.  Well its time for me to go and have a nap.  The weather is perfect, the World cup is on tonight and things seem to be working out.