Woman who married into African tribe tells her story to Shepparton District Probus Club.ESTELLE GRIEPINK July 5, 2014 3:55am
It was a personal connection to the Goulburn Valley that brought Testigo Africa founder Tracey Sawyer to Shepparton yesterday.
Ms Sawyer founded the Tanzania-based not-for-profit organisation after visiting the country on safari in 2004.
As much as she loved seeing the African animals, it was the semi-nomadic Masai tribe who captured her imagination.
‘‘They became my teachers of what life can be like when a sense of community and a connection to nature exists,’’ she said.
Ms Sawyer decided to make the move Tanzania, where she lives in a mud hut with her Masai husband Emanuel Saakai.
Together they run a series of projects that help people in Tanzania and across Africa.
Ms Sawyer and her husband visited Shepparton Park Bowls Club yesterday to share her incredible story with Shepparton District Probus Club.
It was not by chance the pair decided to visit Shepparton.
Ms Sawyer said she had formed a strong friendship with Cosgrove’s Glenda Haigh, who is friends with Probus Club member Joy Ricardo.
‘‘I was on a plane through Africa and I met Glenda and her daughter .
‘‘When we got to our destination I asked if I could get a lift with them and they gave me a lift and at the end of their safari I invited them to come and see the village where I lived with the mud huts and my projects.’’
Ms Sawyer said the Cosgrove women had visited her village many times since and she had caught up with them when she was in Melbourne.
So when Mrs Haigh asked Ms Sawyer to speak at the Probus Club, she was only too happy to oblige. Ms Sawyer and Mr Saakai spoke to the club about their life in Tanzania and the various projects they ran for people in the country.
Ms Sawyer said she was undertaking a project teaching rural women to grow food for themselves and Mr Saakai ran the Lengo Football Academy, training and supporting street boys.
‘‘They wanted to know about my story — how I was working in a corporate career and ended up living in a mud hut with the Masai,’’ Ms Sawyer said.
Probus club member Mrs Ricardo said it was fantastic to hear the Testigo Africa story.
‘‘This was a golden opportunity and it’s so interesting,’’ she said.
‘‘Tracey and Emanuel are both such lovely people.’’
When Sam Atukorala addresses his children in his mother tongue of Sinhalese, they understand him completely, but they always reply in English.
Mulwala’s own motor racing sensation Steve ‘Harro’ Harrison has won the 2014 Victorian Super Tin Tops Championship.
St Augustines College, Kyabram, has won the inaugural School’s Sustainability Cup for 2014, beating several Melbourne schools.
Stanhope’s Fonterra plant will have cheese flowing again next week after a fire at the plant on Tuesday morning.
Four people, including a father and his two children, were fined more than $18,000 for their role in an alcohol-fuelled brawl at a Lockington party earlier this year which ended in a teenager beaten up and forced into a dog cage.
New faces for Girgarre FNC
A time to include late loved ones in the spirit of the season.
Firefighters were able to save a Finley property's buildings after a large stack of hay bales went up in flames on Monday.
Eppalock Primary School has gone global.
Scout Group hopes to raise funds for World Scout Jamboree through novel 24-hour endurance test.
Forest tour only way to understand impact.
Fodder depots have been set up in Euroa and Thoona for farmers hit by the recent fires.
The rail tracks are in such disrepear V/Line is having to close the buffet car between Euroa and Seymour due to health and safety concerns to hospitality staff.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.