Thursday, May 12, 2016

Food, lots of food!

Latest report from South Africa

We went on Wednesday to a vegetable and fruit market and bought tons of food for the kids.
It cost R700.00 which is $46.47. We could barely fit it in our car. So fun to deliver it.
Kids were all at school but the director was there to receive it.

case of apples
case of bananas
case of oranges
2  gunny sac size bags of potatoes
6 basketball size pumpkins
6 watermelon size cabbages
large bag of onions
2 large bags of carrots
case of tomatoes

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Good sister helping out

update from MaryAnn Roberts April 30 2016

It was sooooo gratifying to fill the cupboards and fridge with food yesterday. The children are somewhat oblivious. The older ones thanked us but the younger ones are still unaware that food doesn’t just come to them. And may it stay that way for many years. “Children have claim on their parents”  if they have them. His sister was so thankful. I’ll send a photo of her. Its not very good but at least you could get an idea. She actually has large beautiful eyes but blinked. We filled all the cupboards to her right. She and four other people are taking turns staying with the kids for several hours and then they go back to work and another sibling takes his/her turn.

Bro M's mother was going along just fine with no indication of illness or health issues. Then she fell and hit her head and died suddenly. So they were all completely taken unawares and unprepared for the consequences. It’s hard for a man here to admit that he is having problems. No one ever cries or complains or tells of their troubles. You have to find out from someone who might mention something offhandedly. And then dig into it. Mostly they just hold everything inside. I think they’ve had to do this from living under generations of oppression. 

Another senior couple has made contact with the director of orphanages here and that director is anxious to step in and help out. If that happens then they will be taken care of. 

But in the mean time they still have to eat everyday and you are helping to fill that gap. The food we bought yesterday was from a few other missionary senior couples and us. We plan on using WEGO donated money in a few weeks when their present food supply gets depleted. 

Thank you thank you thank you, Sister Roberts

P.S. Bro Roberts wants to do a family "sub for Santa" for the kids there. If we get their names and ages maybe everyone could write a little note and send enough money for some small gift such as a rugby ball or . . . I think the girls like makeup or maybe a tea set or art supplies - the same stuff Americans like. They could use clothes too but it would be easier and cheaper to get money and go buy it here at Mr. Price. We could get nice things for $3-5 dollars. Maybe two of us go in on one of them. Since there are about twice as many of us as there are of them. It would only be about $5.00 each.

I know we can’t help everyone here in SA but we can help someone.  

Friday, April 29, 2016

A First Look at the Orphanage

Donate to help here!

Here’s the front gate. Almost every house here has a spiked front gate. 

 These two little guys had just returned from school and were running around by the gate. They happily stood to get their photos taken. Then went inside to see what we were doing.
Here’s inside the front gate. They play in the dirt but always rake it neatly to look nice. No grass. We’re in the 7th year of a drought here.
These are a few of the jr high and high school guys. They thanked us nicely for bringing food. Cute guys. They are in their new school uniforms (well. . . the lower half of them) that someone generously donated to them.

Here is the "washing machine". She was so sweet. Just standing there washing all the white shirts. She would dip her fingers in the soap and then scrub and scrub the collars to get them pure white. I tried to talk to her but she only spoke Africaans. They don’t learn English until Jr. High.

Here’s the dryer. Its in the backyard. You can see that they keep it very neat and tidy. Their previous director was very good about teaching them how to work. Bro. M’s sister was there and SOOOOO thankful. 

She must have said thank you 20 times and with a huge smile. She took the food as quickly as we could give it to her and put it into the cupboards and fridge. The fridge had been completely full with loaves of bread and a bag of carrots from kind donors this week, but she moved it all and put the fruit and vegetables in. 

When I handed her the cabbage she said. Oh, I am cooking this tonight and with onions and carrots and then she described how to cook it all and then put it on pap. “And they will love it.” she said. Very wonderful to see her excitement.

Giant cabbages. These are about as large as a . . . well, you can see that they fill the whole sink.

Three of the tweens who posed for us. (They always refuse to smile)but they have the most beautiful smiles if you can catch them.

Three little people who came in to watch the food being delivered. School is out early on Fridays.

Here’s Bro Roberts accessing what needs to be done to paint the bathroom at the orphanage. It looks like it’s been remodeled and then left. It could be a nice bathroom if it were painted. We inherited a bunch of paint last week from various sources. So it was good timing. We can use it for several rooms in the orphanage.

Project WEGO South Africa Orphanage

Since last week when South Africa Missionaries visited the Orphanage in their area, much has happened for good and children are getting the food they need.
Donate to help if you can spare a few dollars for they make a huge impact!

A little history: I received this communication from my mother serving a mission in South Africa.

April 24,

Hi Tam, just a thought here. There is an orphanage here with 27 kids in it ranging from ages 4 to 18. They are in need of food.
If the area is doing a service project they could collect money and you could deposit it into our account and we could buy food with it. Just a thought if that would work.

I felt an immediate tug at my heart

On April 25 I received this message from my parents serving a mission in South Africa.

April 25
We visited the orphanage yesterday. It was owned by the parents of a man in our church. His father died several years ago leaving it to the mother to run. Then last week the mother died.

Thus leaving 27 children with no one to cook or clean or provide anything for them.
The man, Bro M was sitting on the couch when we arrived with his head in his hands looking extremely stressed. The kids were running around laughing and playing with a makeshift ball in the yard. There are 4 who are mentally handicapped. 

I walked into the kitchen to see what kind of supplies there were. Sort of gutsy on my part. But I opened every cupboard and closet and the fridge. There was no food anywhere except a few spices in one cupboard. There was a very large pot of boiling water on the stove. Bro M was going to prepare pap, which is sort of like corn meal/cream of wheat mush. They eat it every meal. I asked if there was any food anywhere else. Nothing. 

The younger grades get one meal at school but that’s it. The older kids run home at noon for another bowl of pap. I thought of all the food in my basement at home and indeed all the food in my cupboard here. We came home and started soaking a huge pot of beans and I put some pork and onions into the crock pot which I left all night. We will take it over tonight but that’s a drop in the bucket. They need a permanent solution. They have applied for government aid but it hasn’t come yet. Too much paper work. Anyway, the need is great if the church area wants to collect money for it. In the mean time, I guess we’ll try to help the best we can. Sweet cute little people. I asked them to line up for a picture. They all stopped running and lined up immediately. The older girls had been washing the school uniforms and hanging them out to dry. I’m sure they would have been cooking something if there were something to cook.

I put together a gofundme that morning and threw it on Facebook. The response was immediate- nearly $600.00 in just a few days.

With a few more days work I was able to channel efforts through WEGO and create a webpage for the project called WEGO- South Africa Orphanage.

Now all donations are tax deductible. 

When my mother heard of the money that had been donated, she cried on the phone and said she was just amazed at how generous people are. She said that even $5 would make a huge difference there. 

April 27
Tamee, I’m just amazed that people would send money just like that. 
We are going in the morning to get some fruit and vegetables and meat with money from one of the other missionary couples.
People are amazing. Thank you so much. Love Mom

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Taking a little break

I got married last month and WEGO activities have been at a minimum. I will be back when I feel I'm ready. kisses to all. Any funds donated will be gratefully used to forward the work of assisting women refugees in Utah over the next year or so.  Your funds are always welcome.  Thanks and see soon.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


There are periods of my life when I can not define my status.  There are tasks and obligations and events and titles, but for all intents and purposes I don't know what I'm doing. I'm learning however that it's okay and although being undefined is scary, it's a place for creativity, change, learning, and growth.  

On the very day I received word of WEGO's non-profit 501c(3) status approval two summers ago, I experienced a third date with a man named Jeff.  A third date is a pretty monumental event in the life of a single 39 year old woman in Utah. I've never been married, and as the oldest of eight--all of whom are married with children born and unborn--the juxtaposition in my life, the sheer mind numbing contrast of our lives was paralyzing, devastating, confusing and at times, created in me such a monster of victim, I was unable to progress at any level of happiness.  I created the barriers but they were still real and I spent a great deal of my inner contemplation in pain.  All was well and dandy to the world outside, but I gave my pain a great deal of time and energy and I fed it often. So, it grew. 

It was less than a year before that first date when I decided to really get help and I began a journey to freedom from my self-made misery.   They say, when the student is ready the teacher will appear and perhaps that was what happened. But I also know that when the lover is ready, her partner will appear. 

I thought I would let my dream of marriage and a family go and focus on WEGO when I was able to get a bit of clarity that year before Jeff.  I would travel and help others.  I would build other's dreams and in turn I would find a level of self satisfaction by getting outside myself. I would be unselfish and giving and open to helping others.  But I would let my dream go, I would mourn no more my unborn children. I would no longer curse the fates when each menus cycle came long reminding me of my barren status. I would sleep alone and eat lone in my little house. I would focus my love and attention on my huge extended family- nieces and nephews. All this was going to be my life and I waited for my 501c(3) status with great anticipation, ready to begin my Florence Nightingale life. 

I've heard that each of us has the love life we really want. I scoffed at this simplistic and brutal summation in the past, as I made lists of what I wanted in a man and family and argued I didn't have what I wanted.  But I did. I wasn't willing to allowing myself to change enough to invite someone into my life and I felt safer alone. I didn't know that then, but I do now. 

Just at the moment I was most prepared to create one dream, the other dream manifested itself. Jeff and I had a "define the relationship talk" that third date in August 2012 and we began to progress toward exclusive commitment.  Meshing two lives of 40 plus years together is a huge undertaking. I suppose that creating a non-profit is also a huge undertaking. I didn't understand how to do either perfectly and I began to learn to do them both at the same time while juggling three contracting jobs to pay the bills.  Needless to say it hasn't been pretty.  

I've found myself pretty scatterbrained during the last year and the real critical judging part of me has shamed me with statements like "you've taken your eye off the WEGO ball!" "Why aren't you doing anything?", "This thing isn't going to create itself!"  I have felt like I wasn't doing anything and should just shut the thing down.  

I came to something this morning though and there was a measure of relief.  My sister should have some of the credit here as she talked me down from the ledge a week ago.  "Have you embezzled?" she questioned "no!" "Have you hurt anyone?" "no!".  "Has anything WEGO did been bad?", "No!"  "Then you have not failed and you need to stop the shame train in your head. Just say you are on hold right now while you work on your personal life," she encouraged.

Is it going to kill me to say that I'm putting WEGO on the back burner for a year or so while I create a family?  Nope!  In fact, what woman in their right mind would trust an organization whose leader could not prioritize herself?

I've kept the doors open, the lights on and I've helped a handful of refugees and supported two projects overseas, but I'm creating a life for myself and I am now managing the nasty voices inside.

It's been yet another journey or learning and I'm happy to say that I've got this glimpse of clarity.  It's peace and I can't wish for anything more at this time of year.

When Jeff proposes, (holding my breath) I'll share my joy-- for now it is an anticipating and happy Christmas season full of life and hope. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013


It's been some time since I was able to voice thoughts here. I've built a great thing and now it's ready. I'm actually unsure of what will come next but I'm open and excited. I welcome the next phase here with open arms.