Sue Werner is the founder and director of Hearts in Unity, a local non-profit organization dedicated to a mission to feed, clothe and educate the orphan and at-risk children of Tanzania. Join us as we explore a world on the other side of the world and life in the small, remote villages of Tanzania, Africa. Karibu! Welcome!
As we get closer to the Tengeru market in Tanzania, our senses are increasingly bombarded. The sights, sounds and smells vividly announce to us that we have arrived. Vibrant color is everywhere – in the clothes worn by the people, and in the fresh produce for sale. In the food stalls, vendors announce their prices and encourage potential buyers to purchase from them instead of from the 20 people near them selling the same produce at the exact same price. There are street vendors frying fish and roasting corn to buy for a tasty snack. Even the sense of touch is not spared as we navigate shoulder against shoulder, pushing through the crowds.
We are about to begin a food distribution to the people in the village of Seela in Tanzania, Africa. We’ve purchased at the Tengeru market 100 kg of beans and 50 kg of rice to supplement the 1,000 kg of maize which has already arrived to help alleviate hunger here.
Despite best efforts and unwavering faith, year after year much of the maize/corn crop fails due to the ongoing drought in this Mt. Meru region. To further exasperate the situation, the economies of supply and demand push food prices beyond the means of those already “living on the edge” – those struggling to survive on an income of less than $1 a day.
It’s early November in Tanzania, Africa – high on Mt. Meru. The annual corn crops have been planted everywhere there is available land – in large and small farm fields; in fields both on level ground and on steep hills. Corn is an important staple food in this region.
By early November, there are fields with corn plants that have grown to a height of just a few feet, and fields with plants stretching up to 5 feet into the air. The corn is planted in hand tilled and hand planted rows separated by shallow troughs to aid in irrigation when it does rain.