Daniel’s Story Part 2 – The Road from Tanzania to the USA!

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Daniel's stories, Written by Daniel | 0 comments

As a young man, Daniel felt a deep obligation to help his mother and father who were continuing to struggle in the Toloha village in Tanzania.  After Daniel completed his secondary education, his brother encouraged him to pursue a job and send money home rather than returning to the village.  Daniel started working at Mkwaja Ranch for a prominent British family and quickly earned the respect of his boss. Daniel was a valued and trusted employee and was promoted and transferred several times.    

During that time, some of Daniel’s friends decided to apply for the Diversity Visa Lottery.  The Diversity Visa Lottery is a program sponsored through the US Government, which offers 55,000 permanent residence US visas yearly to individuals from countries with low US immigration.  Daniel did not know much about the program but filled out the application along with his friends and sent it in with no real hope of anything more. 
Over a year later Daniel received a very large packet in the mail from the New Hampshire Visa Center.  Daniel immediately opened it and tried to read it but he had very poor English so he was not able to understand it.  A friend read it to him and he realized it was a chance to go to the USA!
Even with this amazing opportunity before him, the requirements for a visa still seemed impossible for Daniel. His friends did not think he was going to be able to make it happen. And he didn’t – God did! There were visa fees, a medical exam and a large sum of money that had to be paid in order for him to attain the visa. The other option was to find a sponsor – someone in the USA to agree to help him financially if needed. Daniel did not know anyone in the USA.  He tried desperately to locate a sponsor but he had no contacts in the USA to aide him.  It was discouraging, but he just could not let himself give up. 

With the visa application deadline only a few months away, Daniel was in town working when he ran into the brother of his friend Joshua, who Daniel knew in high school. The brother told Daniel that Joshua was in the USA! The brother was in a hurry and quickly wrote down Joshua’s email address for Daniel and then ran off.  The Internet was not available in many places, so while in town, Daniel took the opportunity to send Joshua an email. He told Joshua about his opportunity to come to the USA, but described all the obstacles he was facing – they money it required and leaving his wife and child in Tanzania. Joshua responded and said he would help find a sponsor for Daniel.  Within a few weeks, Joshua had found Daniel a sponsor in the United States!

Now the deadline was less than one month away, so Daniel immediately took the completed paperwork and went to the US Embassy.  He didn’t have an appointment, but surprisingly Daniel was allowed to meet with the US consular.  Daniel entered the office, and the consular said, “Are you ready to go to the USA?” Daniel stood in awe as the consular stamped his paperwork and handed them back to Daniel. Daniel’s visa was approved for entry to the USA! 
Daniel walked out of the embassy with such excitement and disbelief, and then as he was leaving, he heard orders for everyone to immediately leave the US Embassy. The date was September 11, 2001. Daniel later learned about the attack on twin towers in New York City. When Daniel returned home all of his friends were consoling him because they knew he must not have gotten his visa because of the tragedy – but he had… just moments before the tragedy struck!
On November 30, 2001 Daniel left Tanzania for the United States of America!  Daniel left his wife and his 2-year-old son in the care of his father and mother in his home village of Toloha.   At 4am, Daniel began the 6-hour walk to the nearest town where he caught a bus to Dar es Salam (the capital of TZ).   Daniel knew a man named Bernard who was in the United States.  Bernard was living in Kinston, NC, and so Daniel traveled directly to Kinston to stay with Bernard. 
Once Daniel was settled in the USA he began seeking a way to bring his wife and young son from Tanzania – he had to wait several years for them to have the opportunity to come to the USA, but they are now all together and their family has grown!

While Daniel has continued his education in the medical field here in the USA, he has not given up his passion to continue helping his Village of Toloha, and he continues to have faith that God will do a great work there! 

Daniel holds this phrase in his heart, “Kumbuka Kijijini,” which means in Swahili “Remember the Village.”

This has become a slogan for the Toloha Partnership Team as we work to bring hope and a future to the village of Toloha. We are so thankful that God brought Daniel to Kinston, NC and has invited us to show the people of Toloha just how much he loves them. 

One of Daniel’s visions is to bring clean water to the 6,000 people in the Toloha Village region. In two weeks, he will embark on a trip back to Toloha with our Program Engineer, Burt Rudolph and an assessment team to plan out the repair of a gravity system that will bring sustainable clean water to the people! We will be sharing more about that trip on the blog next week!


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