Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2009/01/25

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Subject: [Leica] Phillip Tambala: A tribute
From: dlridings at (Daniel Ridings)
Date: Sun Jan 25 11:29:59 2009
References: <> <> <>

Hi again,

Some people have expressed a desire to help. It would be difficult
(for me) to channel help through me. Put yourselves in my situation.

There's thousands of people who need help in the places I go. I make
it clear that I am not a rich man. I can do only so much. When they
actually see that I DO what I can, they know I'm telling the truth.

If I were to come down channelling funds that came from others, they'd
get the impression I was independently rich. You can't image the
problems that would cause for me on the streets.

But I know who this lady is. She is a saving angel for many. She takes
on children whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS and she runs a farm
to help feed them. She's way out there in front. She's a saint.

I'm referring the the lady they mention in the beginning of the
article, Esther. There's a picture of her too.

She too lives around Zomba. I can get details so that anyone who wants
to do anything can go directly to her instead of through me. Western
Union works just fine. She can pick up contributions at the post
office in Zomba. She's making it. But the more she does, the more she
adds to her burden.

She says that with the proceeds from selling fish she had enough to
buy fertilizer "with the government subsidy". That means, if she gets
coupons from the government (I've seen one single couple during my
time there ... they disappear) then she can buy a bag of fertilizer.

I needed eight baqs altogether and my guess is that her stand is about
the same size.

She can buy one bag cheap (probably about 25 USD). The other bags,
which she will have to buy at market prices, will cost her 95 USD
each. She does not have that kind of money, I assure you. When Phillip
worked full-time as a gardener at a hotel, he got 25 USD a month. The
vast majority have no access to hard currency, none. That 95 USD is
just not going to be there.

That was just an example. That's not what she needs now. She would
have needed that in November (when the rains came). The second round
of fertilization has also come and gone. But there are plenty of other
holes to fill.

That her. You'll know who you're helping and I can assure you that
it's genuine. I don't know what she needs, but she has a lot of
orphans. She'll be able to tell you.

Anyway, that's the best I can come up with.


On Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 7:50 PM, Daniel Ridings <> wrote:
> Thanks George and Steve, and others too, I hope I've replied off-list.
> I've had a hard time keeping up lately.
> It was sad. But the way I figure, the best way to handle it, is just
> to go forward. The little girl who kept trekking of with my camera bag
> is his daughter. There's a portrait of the family in the LUG yearbook.
> There are so many of these stories, so many. The only way I can handle
> it is by doing the little I can.
> I'll report back in the beginning of March. I look forward to seeing
> the fields. Opens up new problems ... once it gets harvested I'll have
> to make sure the house is secured (doors and windows). Otherwise,
> people will break in and steal it from her.
> Thanks again.
> Daniel
> On Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 7:24 PM, George Lottermoser <> 
> wrote:
>> Daniel,
>> Both a beautiful and tragic story.
>> You, and Phillip, provide many lessons for us.
>> Among them; the lessons on how to truly give as well as accept.
>> Your ability to walk this path, with such clear eyes, leaves me 
>> speechless.
>> Regards,
>> George Lottermoser
>> Picture A Week -
>> On Jan 24, 2009, at 1:34 PM, Daniel Ridings wrote:
>>> Some of you who know me know that I work a lot in Africa. In the past
>>> it was Zimbabwe, Tanzania and South Africa. Now it is Malawi.
>>> I met a man, Phillip Tambala:
>>> After the initial reaction of "oh-no-not-another-beggar", I realized I
>>> was dealing with a special man. He was industrious, focused (on his
>>> family) and generous. Besides his own immediate family, he took on
>>> many orphans.
>>> I don't give away money. That's useless. I do things. We had our
>>> little projects. A house, crops, things like that.
>>> Phillip died a couple (now few if a couple is more than two) of months
>>> ago. Malaria. Basically, that meant his family would probably starve
>>> to death.
>>> I'm now a farmer. Ask me about the hideous prices of fertilizer that
>>> is required in order to make gene manipulated corn to grow, and I can
>>> tell you. I finance about 12 acres of corn (and beans). If any of you
>>> get a chance, that is the way to help. Things are looking good and if
>>> it keeps up (the rains have come), there will be enough of a harvest
>>> to feed the family the whole year with a surplus that can be sold to
>>> finance next year's crop.
>>> I'm going back in a couple of weeks and am taking prints with me.
>>> Here's a sample.
>>> Political: those of you who know me know that I would never praise
>>> George W. Bush, a catastrophe for the world, without reason. But
>>> locally, in Africa, he has been a blessing. Not a blessing in
>>> disguise, but an outright, full-fledged blessing. I hope Obama can at
>>> least hold the course, a difficult task in its own. When it comes to
>>> US politics in Africa, Bush is a hard act to follow.
>>> Now ... just waiting for that little fever top from the yellow fever
>>> vaccination and I'm off.
>>> Daniel
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Leica Users Group.
>>> See for more information
>> _______________________________________________
>> Leica Users Group.
>> See for more information

In reply to: Message from dlridings at (Daniel Ridings) ([Leica] Phillip Tambala: A tribute)
Message from imagist3 at (George Lottermoser) ([Leica] Phillip Tambala: A tribute)
Message from dlridings at (Daniel Ridings) ([Leica] Phillip Tambala: A tribute)