June 2 - Kiponzero and Intengulinyi


We had a very busy day today in the field, visiting 12 water projects in the two villages of Kiponzero and Intengulinyi, which are located about two hours' drive from Iringa. We did not return to the hotel until about 8:15 pm, too late to both have dinner and complete the blog before much needed zzzz’s ... so we chose to have dinner! Tune in tomorrow for photos and stories from our dozen-stop day.

A parting thought for the day. We always find unexpected moments of joy on our trips and today definitely had one. We were all in the car, a bit tired, headed back to the hotel about dusk, when we witnessed a beautiful sunset to the west that turned the sky ruby red for more than five minutes. Then, not more than 20 minutes later, we saw a spectacular moonrise in the east ... a full moon, brilliant and large on the horizon. A truly blessed way to end the day!



June 1 - The Iringa Projects


We began our day at 7 a.m., with an early morning flight departing from Dar es Salaam to Iringa. Auric Air has started this route in the last year, which is really great news. It save us one full day’s drive on some not so great roads. This way, we arrive in Iringa by 8:30 and can spend the remainder of the day being productive visiting communities and projects.



Susanne and Dick, just after landing in Iringa.


Our plane was a 12-passenger Cessna ... very cozy. We sat right behind the pilot, so we could see all the action. When the pilot crawled into his seat, Susanne leaned over and said, “He looks like he is 12 years old. Should we ask for his license?” He did a great job of getting us to our destination, but we didn’t think he had started shaving yet!

Our implementing partner in Tanzania is St. Paul Partners. We have been doing projects with them for some time now and have 18 completed water projects in this area. The projects, which were completed in 2013-14, are organized by village and sub-villages. For example, our first stop is Lundamatwe Village, and it is comprised of 3 sub-villages, each of which has a completed W2T well.


 Adila is a dispensary nurse in Lundamatwe.

In Lundamatwe, our first project to visit is the health post/dispensary. The well is really convenient, located just 50 yards from the back door. When we arrived, we met Adila, the nurse at the health post, who was gathering water to use in dispensary. She said she gathers the water several time a day to use in preparing bed linens and washing and treating patients. In the mornings and evenings, this water project is also shared with the community.

After visiting our projects in Lundamatwe, we head to Wangama Village, a short 30-minute drive. This village has six sub-villages, four of which are assigned W2T water projects.


 A fine lunch shared with us in Wangama.

The water committee in Wangama has 12 members (six women and six men), two from each sub-village. The committee is very active and doing a fine job. They have a nice bank balance in the maintenance fund and they collect a monthly fee from each adult using the projects. They were very gracious and excited to have us visit, showing their hospitality by preparing lunch of beef, chicken, rice, pinto beans, and pickled vegetables.


Villager Nabuha and her family.

At our last project of the day, we meet Nabuha, pictured above, gathering water for her family. She is 19 years old, with a four-year-old daughter. She lives a short five-minute walk from the pump. Before the project was completed, she walked more than an hour to fetch water from an untreated river that flows nearby.

When we arrived back in Iringa town, we finished the day with a dinner and discussion with three officials from the local Rotary Club. W2T is in the midst of a 34-project implementation in conjunction with the Eden Prairie MN Rotary Club. Through the work of that Rotary Club, we were able to secure a 3-to-1 match for the money we contributed. We will be making contact with the local Rotary Clubs in each town we visit to have a dialogue about possible collaboration with W2T to help sponsor projects in their local area.



Water to Thrive journeys to Ethiopia - Summer 2015

Sunday May 31

Our summer mission trips to Tanzania and Ethiopia are under way. Susanne Wilson, our new executive director, and our founder Dick Moeller left Austin last Friday, bound first for Tanzania. 

En route, Susanne and Dick had dinner with the management team at International Lifeline Fund in Washington D.C., our implementing partner for our Ugandan projects. Then, after about 20 hours of flying and two absolutely packed flights, we arrived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The travel gods greeted us with a reminder of our hometown of Austin ... as soon as we sat down in the taxicab to go to our hotel, it began raining...and really hard too!

But we are here, and ready for the rest of this journey. Join us for the next two weeks as we travel through Tanzania and Ethiopia, visiting potential project sites. touring the ones in progress, and celebrating those that have been completed.


Water to Thrive Selects New Executive Director

 AUSTIN, Texas -- Water to Thrive, a faith-based non-profit dedicated to relieving the water crisis in rural Africa, is pleased to announce the selection of Susanne Wilson as its new executive director. Wilson, chosen by Water to Thrive’s board and current president after a lengthy selection process, will be the first executive director in the organization’s six-year history.
“After six years of volunteer leadership, the Board of Water to Thrive believes that it is time to have a full-time, dedicated Executive Director leading the organization,” said Dick Moeller, president and founder of Water to Thrive. “This appointment will dramatically increase our ability to serve more people, giving us greater capacity to reach those with a heart to support our mission and providing continuity of leadership to ensure Water to Thrive’s long-term success.”
Wilson comes to Water to Thrive from an eight-year appointment as Executive Director of Henderson Community College Foundation in Henderson, Kentucky, and as board chair of Companion Community Development Alternatives and a member of Rotary International, has been deeply engaged in work to alleviate the global water crisis.
“Susanne is a great match for Water to Thrive,” Moeller said. “She is an experienced, successful non-profit Executive Director, and her work to address the water crises in Africa and Central America demonstrates her passion for serving people in developing countries. We are excited about the future of Water to Thrive under Susanne’s leadership.”
Wilson’s years of experience in non-profit and education leadership include executive planning, administration, communications and marketing, development, financial oversight, and higher education. She received her MBA from Auburn University and is further certified in fundraising management by the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Philanthropy. In her work with Rotary International, she served as chair of an international water project and on the board of Rotary Club of Evansville.
“Joining Water to Thrive gives me a tremendous opportunity to align my passion for making an impact with my background in philanthropy,” Wilson said. “I have witnessed what having access to clean, safe water means for people in developing nations – it provides hope and unlocks human potential. I look forward to taking the mission and service of Water to Thrive to new heights.”

Live Auctions: Where the competition heats up!

Mark your calendars for Chef’s Table Austin on May 6th, 2015.

You’ve heard it in movies, TV shows, maybe even experienced it yourself but the live chatter and loud caller at auctions is a unique experience that cannot be compared to any other sort of gathering! You can experience this plus some great food at Chef’s Table Austin hosted by Water to Thrive on May 6th at the Long Center from 6:30pm-9:30pm.

What are you bidding on? Having a once in a lifetime dining experience with Austin’s greatest chef’s. Including executive chefs from Uchi, Foreign and Domestic, Congress, Fabi+Rosi, Fork & Vine, Barlata, Nova, Salt Time, and Greenhouse. There are other prizes besides dining with one of these fantastic chefs, come out to see what these other items are!

What is the theme? Blue Party. Grab your blue dress, shoes, purses, tux, anything blue to have a great night out with your family, friends or co-workers!

For more information visit



Daily Inspiration

Everybody has those days were you need a little inspiration to keep on doing what you’re doing. It could be a busy job, staying at home with the kids, or just facing the daily challenges life throws at you can be hard to handle. To keep you going, here is a list of great quotes via W2T’s Pinterest!

1.  “You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.”

2.  “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

3.  “It always seems impossible until it is done.”

4.  “Be the change you wish to see.”

5.  “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.” 

Hope these inspired you, for more check out W2T’s Pinterest!


How New Water Technology Can Shape Africa’s Future.

Progress is on the way for many African nations along the Nile River. It is unprecedented for the government, the private sector and for the welfare of the people to be put side by side, except for in the new and innovative plan created by the leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan. New ideas are bringing modern water technology to a region where change has slowly been advancing into the communities through small projects. Water to Thrive is one of just a couple non-profits dedicated to solely bringing in new water technology (water wells) to the communities in need  while at the same time specifically meeting their individual water problems. Although the agreement is preliminary, but this is a step in the right direction to bring basic needs to rural Africa. W2T is anticipating for these changes to happen in the next couple of years so that we can better help the communities through the new dam that the Ethiopian government is constructing along the Nile River. Be on the lookout for news about these countries incredible partnership! Read more on the Egyptian based news source, Egyptian Streets.

You don’t have to wait until the project begins to help, you can start right now! Water to Thrive accepts donations and campaigns year-round from schools, churches, individuals, or maybe just a group of friends and family members that want to raise funds towards a good cause. Contact to begin!



Chef’s Table Austin 2015

Living in Austin, you quickly come to realize that the city LOVES food. From bar- b-q to breakfast tacos to holding some of the best fine dining restaurants in the country, Austin has it all. Lucky for you, Water to Thrive is hosting Chef’s Table Austin to bring some of the best chefs in the community to showcase their talent (aka creating yummy food) to support our cause. Think of it as a live auction with the prize being a great meal while at the same time surrounded by great people! So far we have chefs from Congress, Fabi + Rosi, Uchi, Fork and Vine, and Greenhouse Craft +Food that are participating in CTA.

In the meantime, explore some of the best restaurants in Austin! Here is a list of some of my favorite casual spots to eat (vegetarian friendly too) to enjoy the Austin community.

Slake- Honestly some of the best yellow tofu curry you can find downtown at a cheap price.

Hopdoddy’s- What is life without a good burger? La Bandita black bean burger is a good pick.

Maoz Vegetarian- Falafel and tons of it. It’s a little bit of a drive up north but definitely worth it!

888- Vietnamese food that packs a punch with big servings for those late night cravings.

Ramen Tatsuya- Japanese ramen that is surprisingly not what we all ate during college.


Don’t’ forget about Chef’s Table Austin after you tried these recommended spots; enjoy Austin’s best cuisine at CTA! RSVP through this link:

When? May 6th, 2015 from 6:30-9:30pm

A Little Time Makes a Big Difference...The United States 100 Years Ago: Then and Now

Have you thought of how much has changed in the world around you? Health, economic, and social statuses have continued to improve in developed countries for the past couple of years. It’s time for W2T’s partner countries (Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania) to get in on this too! Now imagine what is possible for Africa. Global aid flowing into Africa can catapult the start to changes that are capable of occurring! Here are a couple of interesting facts of the U.S. 100 years ago to put into perspective:
·       The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
·       Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
·       Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
·       The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
·       The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
·       More than 95 percent of all births took place at home.
·       Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and only 6 percent
of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Many of these are occurring in Africa today: low life expectancy, low literacy rate, and low income. But with continued progress by outside organizations dedicated to improving the basic needs such as clean water and good health, the countries can see some change! Clean and accessible water wells play a huge rule. The literacy rate increases when there is more time to spend on going to school than in walking long distances to get water. Extension of life expectancy because there is clean water!! And income may increase because of the greater opportunity to go to school.

Let’s see what just a couple of years can do to impact Africa! 

5 Myths About Lent

Here are a few myths circling around Lent and its practices:
Myth #1:
It’s only 40 days. Nope it’s actually 46 days, if you count Sundays!
Myth #2:
It’s a time when you give up Facebook? Not quite, it’s a time to leave unnecessary aspects in your life and bring yourself closer to God.
Myth #3:
Wait…so I can’t eat meat…  Don’t worry you can! Just not on Fridays and Ash Wednesday.
Myth #4:
Fasting and Abstinence sound the same so they must be the same? Fasting requires only one meal per day while abstinence is a ‘no meat’ day.
Myth #5:
Easter is the last day, so I can eat my guilty pleasures again?! Good news for you: it ends the Thursday before!
Fact #1:You can do this.

Good Luck!  Check out W2T’s Lent Calendar: 

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