Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tanzania Day 2- "Microloans & Fish" (Tanzania)

"Today's journey to Manyire, Tanzania to visit the Shirima family has me questioning what makes a GOOD Christmas gift? Is it a new IPad, snazzy new shoes, or a gift certificate to your favorite store? Or Is it how much money someone spends or how excited the recipient is when they open the wrapping paper on Christmas morning? What if I told you that I would give you $50 for Christmas...but you'd have to repay it in a few years??? You'd probably look at me like I was crazy! Getting money ....but then having to pay it back?! That's not a real gift.

Yet you'd have a tough time convincing the Shirimas that a loan isn't a good Christmas gift. In fact, that's one of the top things on their Christmas list this year. That's because a few years ago, they received a loan from World Vision. Keep in mind, at that point they barely had enough money to feed their entire family of 6. In fact, some days they went hungry. But when they got the loan, they used it to construct a fish pond in their backyard. It's not one of those fishponds that some Americans put in iryard to be a pretty landscaping addition with a bubbling fountain and oversized gold fish. This is a giant fishpond the size of several swimming pools that they now use to help feed their family. In fact, today they've become a focal point in their African community and neighbors come from all over Manyire to reap the benefits of the many fish they now cultivate.

Today I asked the Shirima's if a microloan, like the ones featured in this year's World Vision Christmas Catalog, make a good Christmas gift. Emphatically, they both answered INDEED! And Merry Christmas."

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