A Baby Surprise

We never thought we’d be welcoming an infant to our widening network in Karatu, Tanzania, but recently such a lovely development has taken place.

Baby Sammy, Maasai Partners
Proud baba (father) John smiles at his new mtoto, Sammy.

As we move into the latter half of our sixth year in Tanzania, we’re extraordinarily pleased to see our reach and family there grow. And it’s grown quite literally!

Sammy Michael Nguruko was born to our two newest staff members, Jess Broughton and her partner John Nguruko, on August 25.

At just under 8 pounds, this baby boy (expected to be a girl until birth!) was born hale and hearty at FAME hospital, one of the health centers to which Maasai Partners sends village members in difficult medical situation.

Jess has served as fellow at the Tanzanian hub for Womens Microfinance Initiative (MP’s partner loan program) since the beginning of the year, and her partner John recently joined our team as a web designer and liaison for Alailelai Maasai Sustainability Organization (MP’s Tanzanian partner organization).

Baby Sammy, Maasai Partners
Jess and her baby had a month of rest together before Jess returned to work.

The two, who have known each other for quite some time, met when Scottish native Jess was doing research for her final thesis for university in the Arusha area. Since then, they’ve lived and worked together in Tanzania and slowly added to their family with pet after pet (their menagerie includes two puppies, a cat and squirrel) and eventually a baby!

Jess, who has been very well received by the women in the loan program, has recently returned to work after a month at home with the baby. Happily, he’s able to accompany her on work days, so mother and child can stay together.

“The GWOCO staff [in-country loan partner] have been incredibly understanding and patient as I’ve been slowly adjusting to balancing a normal work schedule with a newborn,” Jess says of the women in Karatu. She couldn’t be surrounded by a more experienced or baby-friendly group of mothers.

Baby Sammy, Maasai Partners
As per Tanzanian custom with firstborns, John and Jess will forever be known as Baba Sammy and Mama Sammy.

“Though the Tanzanian mamas and I are disagreeing about how many layers I should be wrapping him in,” Jess jokes—both adults and children in Tanzania seem to dress for arctic conditions on days that top out at 80 degrees or more! Infants, in particular, are an immobile and stiff bundle of base layers, sweatshirt and more fabric of any form.

These kind, smart and lovely parents and their baby are low on sleep but very high on happiness, and we look forward to watching Sammy grow up and (fingers-crossed) become a Maasai Partners’ staff member when he’s older!

Baby Sammy, Maasai Partners
Sammy was predicted to be a girl, but everyone was surprised when ‘she’ turned out to be a ‘he!’

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