March 2014

Time really is marching on, or is it life moving forward?

For me, it is in a good way, and life is running at a busy, fast but comfortable pace.

Which leads me to today’s blog focus – Kilimanjaro Marathon 2014. The big event in Moshi’s calendar. The event which I will participate in at the same pace as my life itself with a particular emphasis on comfortable!

In its 12th year and attracting a fair few international participants and athletes its aim is to promote the sport within Tanzania and as such it holds all the proper accreditations for such an event. With a programme covering both a full and half marathon plus a 10km disabled event and a 5km fun run – it is a major event in the Moshi annual social calendar as well as an accredited and highly esteemed sporting event.

I should have told you of this sooner, so that some of you could have risen to the challenge and joined us but if you commit to being here next year, so will I.

This year an official Amani squad of 25 will enter the 5km fun run, plus extra staff and volunteers (such as yours truly) each making a personal contribution to the event. There are no prizes for guessing which level of participation I shall be involved in! One of the events major sponsors is the Kilimanjaro Water Company and they are promoting the Amani Centre on each of the t-shirts handed out to runners.

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On a personal note I will be walking the 5km route in the company of a lady who I admire greatly within the Moshi community. She is my friend and landlady and has inspired many of comments in previous posts:

The women are a picture of African elegance springs to mind.

In a country struggling to establish women’s rights against a backdrop of many different tribal cultures she is an inspiration to the young women of today. She is a successful business woman and highly active local community member and leader. I am proud to know her.

I will treat you are to a visual follow up of the event, hopefully tomorrow – the day of the race – if not, as soon as electricity and time allow. I fear I may be distracted after the event by the social scene!

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On a day to day basis there is a lot going on right now. A lot to tell you and I promise I will, but like all good story tellers I will close on a cliff hanger.

How one girl’s short stay at Amani broke my heart. My disillusionment with many of the volunteer projects being promoted here. My frustration at feeling I am not making a difference, oh and …

Remember Joshua from the Rescuing Children story? The boy that Gill in the story spotted on the steps of the sports stadium in Arusha, the little guy that she had last seen at the Children’s centre?   The little guy that caused her all the emotional turmoil at the close of that story? Easter in the Street Kids Don’t have Birthdays story.

The real life inspiration for that character has been a big part of my thoughts and plans for Part Two – Restoring Hope and next week will see his reunification with his family.   I hope that from there he can continue to inspire me for Part Three – Transforming Lives.

Until next time my friends.

Be Happy, Be Healthy and Be Thankful.

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