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.’’
Nerdmania is coming to Shepparton.
Local kayaking athletes Brea Roadley and Kayla Whinray have continued making a splash in their sport on both a national and international level.
Dairy Australia is celebrating Australia’s most vibrant regional communities through a search for Australia’s Legendairy Capital 2015.
An all-in brawl last month could be the knockout blow for Echuca Magistrates Court.
Rochester petrol station operators welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement last week it was launching an inquiry into petrol drive-offs, but maintained drive-offs were not common in the town.
Jackson Gentle beats younger sibling Cooper in thrilling Parkland decider
What will it take for politicians to start taking Nagambie's case for an ambulance seriously?
Record cattle prices were recorded at the Finley Saleyards on Friday
The hard work and loyal service of district police officers was formally recognised last week with three Heathcote officers receiving awards or commendations from Victoria Police.
This weekend, Barooga Football and Netball Club will take a walk down memory lane when it revisits the club’s special and spectacular hlights as part of a special Heritage Round on Saturday.
First Deniliquin crop shows promise.
There may never be a solution to the Murray-Darling Basin and managing its water — Australia’s greatest natural asset.
Benalla/Mansfield under-16s narrowly missed out on the top honours at interleague compeition.
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.