Almost two months of silence has likely erased anyone’s memory of the last “Crazy Idea” update titled, Dreaming Big, Starting Small. Christmas and New Year family celebrations have certainly participated in the muffling of my periodic sound-off. Preoccupation with both business, and interpersonal communications with Tanzanian friends and associates have also erected one or two sound barriers.
I want to keep my communications short, so that they remain realistically readable to anyone who maintains any interest in following my continuing crazy Tanzania ventures. Therefore, over the next couple days, maybe a week, expect a series of updates covering several activities or projects of a Tanzanian flavor, as summarized in the following:
- Matilda’s Greenhouse Venture – Jim Van Houw and I are completing our first year, and Matilda’s first full growing season, involving the erection of a second greenhouse on her property, and the growing and selling of big, healthy green peppers raised with Matilda’s loving hands and tender care. Matilda has made Jim and I bigger sinners, inasmuch as she has caused our pride in her to just about burst our shirt buttons and loosen our neckties. I believe the apostle Paul warned us about pride. Say a prayer for us, please.
- J&E Smart Company (Dental Practice) – Eric and I launched our dental partnership just over a year ago. The Tanzania government surprised us and upset our first-year income projections by effectively nationalizing the health insurance business. Therefore, instead of experiencing a first-year ramp-up of patient volume fueled by patients carrying health insurance, the government blocked insurance patients from Eric’s services. Eric’s practice has relied upon cash-paying patients, only. On the threshold of receiving full government authorization to receive insurance patients, we now face the threat of our landlord selling the house that we leased, and our possibly having to find new facilities. Nevertheless, we both maintain a mountain of optimism that great things will happen, shortly. Eric is not only a wonderful and talented dentist; he also embraces a Christian spirit that inspires even me. We believe God has great plans for our success, in spite of the obstacles that we discover along the way. Eric has also embraced the crazy idea that paying forward our talents by providing opportunities to others reflects an appropriate expression of Christian love. He also looks forward to the indescribable return of satisfaction and (dare I say it?) Christian pride in the success of others who are provided opportunity that might not otherwise come their way.
- Poultry Business Planning – Two aspiring entrepreneurs and I have exchanged many communications trying to assemble credible business plans for the poultry business. As of this writing, it remains an elusive objective. Our ambitions reflect, perhaps, the difficulty of business planning coordination via e-mail. Face-to-face planning could likely bridge the frustrating gaps between dream and credible investment potential. I remain hopeful.
- Entrepreneurship Consultancy Planning – Over the past two months or so, an already accomplished and experienced entrepreneurship lecturer and coach and I have begun to put together a comprehensive, strategic business plan for an entrepreneurship consulting venture. Tentatively, we agreed to call our future consultancy, Incubator for Imagination and Innovation, or simply 3I for short. We’ve exchanged progressively more imaginative and creative ideas about future scope and potential program component integration. An energetic and already talented individual, my planning partner continues to demonstrate determination and imagination of his own, as we march toward a business plan that we believe will bear fruit.
- Medical Mission – Over the past several weeks, a physician friend of mine and I have begun to explore and conceptualize the development of a continuing medical professional visitation program to Tanzania. Inasmuch as Arusha Lutheran Medical Center would probably not have need for temporary and transient foreign medical help, any rotation of US based medical professionals to Tanzanian locations will require significant planning. Nevertheless, expressions of initial potential interest have exchanged between the head of health work for the whole Lutheran Church in Tanzania (overseeing 24 hospitals throughout Tanzania) and the two of us here from Rockland Church. This looks like perhaps a long-shot; nevertheless, it seems to hold a reservoir of exciting Christian purpose and vision. We’ll see if and where this idea goes.
- A Novel Idea – I threw out the idea of writing a book involving Tanzania culture and examples of Tanzanian life. I’ve received very few responses to this 3rd crazy idea. However, a young lady who holds with me a mountain of respect and admiration, volunteered to work with me to leverage her personal growing-up and maturation experience into a novel that combines essentially her biography with an articulation of Tanzanian past and current culture and custom. We are both excited about trying to make this crazy ambition into a best-seller (at least in our own minds).
Although I consider myself semi-retired, I continue to maintain a small tax practice. My tax season begins now and continues through April 15th, approximately. Therefore, my continuing involvement in various ventures in Tanzania will slow down considerably during this period. Updates will likely reflect this impaired pace. Your continued interest in my slightly detoured efforts will certainly obtain my appreciation.
Thanks for your continuing interest in following these updates and stories. Let me know if you would like to be dropped off of the e-mailing list. Most updates and stories will be posted on the TalentTrippers.com web site, as well as the Facebook Crazy Idea Group (Let me know if you would like to be admitted to this site. It’s a closed group.).
All the best;
February 10, 2019