Tag: tanzania

Wiki Mbili – The Tanzania Tree Huggers Get to Boma

Hujambo from Tanzania! This week, the Tanzania Tree Huggers moved to Boma Ng’ombe where we will be staying for the remainder of the trip. On Friday, we said our good-byes at Old Moshi Hostel and Tesha picked us up. We would be staying at John’s house, a friendly man with a passion for gardening, for the next 3.5 weeks. It was exciting getting to start this leg of the trip because we knew that we were going to have a great time working at both Nkwamakuu primary school and Orkolili secondary school.

On saturday, we got to go on one of the most exciting parts of the trip – a safari! We headed to Snowview Hotel to meet the tour guide before dawn before heading to Arusha (about an hour away) to pick up Mary who had just come in from Kenya the night before. Our guide picked up our lunchboxes and we were off to Tarangire National Park. It was about 2 hours further but along the way, we got to see Maasai herding their cows and a lot of the more rural parts of Tanzania. On the safari, we saw wildebeests, ostriches, antelope, elephants, giraffes, cheetah, a whole bunch of zebras, and nine lions! A monkey even managed to steal Madi’s sandwich!

After such an eventful day, we mostly used Sunday to rest up before starting in the schools that week. Monday was dedicated to going to the district office for the schools and talking to the folks over at Nkwamakuu and Orkolili about what their expectations and goals were for our time with them. Nkwamakuu encouraged us to pursue a project of our choice and to teach everyday while Orkolili invited us to attend a science fair with them in Moshi, teach, and help teach a class on PowerPoint to teachers the following day.

Tuesday was our first real day in the school and it was a whirlwind. We started the day by giving lessons in mathematics and science to the standard seven class at Nkwamakuu before jumping in a bajaji and heading to Orkolili. We spent 3.5 hours working with the teachers on their PowerPoint skills and then they created a slideshow to present to the group about the topic they normally teach. There was a lot of enthusiasm from some of the teachers who did not have much prior experience with PowerPoint but saw how it could be beneficial to their arsenal of teaching methods.

Wednesday was the first day that we got to spend entirely at Nkwamakuu. We planned to go back to the standard seven class and work on english and mathematics. The activity that we had planned to make teaching english more engaging was to play a form of charades where the students got to act out things written on the board like animals, activities, and responsibilities. One of our favorites was the group of students acting out elephant turned their school sweaters into trunks. After our lessons, we enjoyed breakfast before going and observing standard four, the class we were planning on teaching next. We wanted to get a feel for what they were learning and what methods the teachers used so we sat in on mathematics and swahili. Before heading out, we had some lunch and played a million rounds of patty cake with the kids!

Week two was an exciting one! We can’t wait to see what will be in store for us week three!

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Wiki Moja – The Tanzania Tree Huggers Get to Moshi

Hujambo from Tanzania! This week, the Tanzania Tree Huggers got to Tanzania and spent the week in Moshi.  After getting off of our plane at about 9:30 PM Wednesday night, Ewald Tesha from Asante Africa picked us up and brought us to stay at Snowview Hotel in Boma N’gombe for one night before we continued onward to Moshi.  We got up the next morning and after having a delicious first meal in Tanzania, we headed to tour the two schools we would be working with later on in the trip – Orkolili and Nkwamakuu.  First up, we stopped at Orkolili where Mama M’cha gave us a tour of their facilities.  They are a secondary school that offers vocational programs such as welding and masonry to help prepare their students for the workforce.  We then headed over to Nkwamakuu where we had chai (morning tea and snacks such as fresh fruit) with the headmaster before getting a tour of their school.  Both schools were not in session so we did not get a chance to meet more than just a few students at each school.

After finishing up at the school, we drove over to Moshi to get situated at the hostel we would be staying at for the next week, Old Moshi Hostel.  We got to meet Eva, our wonderful host who would be helping us organize projects, excursions, and showing us the city.  She is the best! After settling in to our room a bit, we went to visit Msamaria Children’s Home.  Having not heard anything from Amani’s Children’s Home (one of the sites past teams had worked with), we were exploring new options for future teams.  Msamaria Children’s Home was home to about 80 children who come from the streets, are orphans, or are from destructive homes who haven’t been able to be re-united with their extended families.  The kids were mostly around 7-12 years old and were excited to dance with us or use Madi’s hand sanitizer.  We identified a possible future project for teams to do as preparing some lessons on things such as sanitation to teach the students, a need that was expressed by the man who runs Msamaria.

The next day, Eva organized for us to head over to the Kiviwama Conservation Center to work on their tree planting project.  It was a beautiful slice of the rainforest just seconds from the city center of Moshi that had a lovely river cutting through it.  This project involved us being given a huge pile of native seeds and planting them in soil to start growing.  Another future project for teams would be to take part in their weekly tree transport and planting at schools around Moshi as an attempt to create natural shade using local plants.  It was a really cool project that we wished that we could work on more, but we lacked the necessary funds and time.  After planting all of our seeds and getting an overview of the different trees and plants that they raise there, we headed back to Msamaria’s to take part in a birthday party being thrown there for one of our fellow hostel-mates.  We all danced with the kids to fun renditions of “Happy Birthday” that we had never heard before, had a lunch of chicken and potatoes, and a celebratory chocolate cake.  It was so fun seeing all of the kids having a such a great time!

We were off the next two days since it was the weekend and we got to enjoy a few excursions! All three of us went with the hostel to the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro and hiked the 8 km up to Mandara Hut and then headed back.  It was incredible getting to experience such a iconic part of Tanzania.  The next day, Emily joined the hostel in a trip to hot springs where she got to see lots of monkeys and fish that nibble on your toes.

On Monday, we met up with our professor Mary Raber to discuss our time here so far and our upcoming plans for the next few weeks.  After hanging out for a bit, we went to lunch with Tesha and Eva at a local restaurant where we all tried some different Tanzanian dishes such as chips mayai (omelette with french fries) and maandazi (fried donuts).

We dropped Mary at her hotel and then headed over to check out our final site here in Moshi, the Children of Destiny Foundation children’s home.  It was conveniently located just two streets away from Old Moshi Hostel and it consisted of an orphanage that took care of about 20 kids that went to Kenya for boarding school much of the year and also a daycare for local children.  The orphanage had been running for about 12 years with the same group of kids growing up there as a family.  The children attended boarding school in Kenya through sponsorships by people around the world because they were able to get better educations that would prepare them to go to college or enter the workforce for about half the price ($720 USD) of what it would cost to get the same type of education in Tanzania.  The first of the kids to go off to college was Gideon who we had gotten to know at our hostel.  The day we had arrived had been a tumultuous one, there had been a complaint about their sewage leaking so they had received fines and due to a lack of communication from some of their sponsors, the kids had missed the first week of school because they lacked the funds to attend.  Spirits were overall down but Margaret, the woman who had lead the operation since the beginning, was optimistic that things would turn around as she explained some of their plans to work towards being less reliant on donations by opening a store and selling crops such as coriander, lettuce, and kale from their garden.  The daycare had been created in order to help generate more money to fund the orphanage and it currently has about 15-20 kids in it, many being away during our visit because school was still out for the season so some of the parents that are teachers at the nearby school were around.

We discussed the ways in which we could work with them and it was established that we could be the most helpful by helping update their website so that it had current information in order to make it easier for potential sponsors to get involved.  It was agreed between us and Margaret that the site was the most beneficial help we could give during our short time with them.  In our extra time, we would help out around the preschool doing things like teaching lessons or helping with feeding them.

When we went back to Margaret’s the next day, we heard the exciting news.  The students were going back to school! The Spaniards that had been staying at our hostel had given enough money to get them back into school in Kenya and all of the kids looked overjoyed.  With most of the focus being needed on getting the kids ready to head out, we helped out in the daycare until lunch.  For lunch, we tried out IndoItaliano, a great restaurant in downtown Moshi that lots of tourists visit for their great Indian and Italian food.  Emily and Madi tried tawa chicken and butter naan while Sam and Eva had margherita pizza.  We then headed to check out some of the stores and pick up some souvenirs.

The other project that we have been working on was updating Old Moshi Hostel’s website.  When Madi mentioned that she was going to be working on Margaret’s site, Eva asked if we could help her on her website too as it was out of date and in need of new pictures.  Wednesday morning while Sam and Emily headed back to Margaret’s, Madi worked with Eva to figure out what should be changed on the website.  Overall, it gave off a better impression of what the values and goals of the hostel were and the different projects that could be done by visitors.  In the future, teams could check back up with Eva and see if there is anything else she needs changed on the website.

Overall, it was a great start to our time in Tanzania! We are looking forward to everything that wiki mbili brings!

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Travelling with the Tanzamaniacs

Hujambo (Hello)! We are the 2018 Global Leadership team that is travelling to Tanzania to work on projects relating to education, water, health, and safety. We will embark on this exciting adventure on July 3rd and will spend three weeks in Boma Ng’ombe followed by two weeks in Moshi, both of which are cities near Mount Kilimanjaro. To give you an idea of how interesting (or uninteresting) we are, here is some general information about us:

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Ian Johnson

idjohnso@mtu.edu

Ian is a third year Materials Science & Engineering student at Michigan Tech. He hails from Bloomington, Indiana, a mid-sized college town in southern Indiana. He has two younger sisters with whom he’s spent countless adventures with and an odd ecclection of pets. Growing up, Ian always had a love for science and the outdoors, which eventually drove him to Michigan Tech to pursue a career in engineering. He is involved in the Materials United professional society as well as the Advanced Metalworks Enterprise in order to further his education. Outside of his studies, Ian enjoys hiking with the Outdoor Venture Crew and participating in recreational college sports such as broomball and soccer.

Jennifer (2)

Jennifer McDonald

jrmcdona@mtu.edu

Jennifer just finished her third year as a psychology student at Michigan Tech. She is from Cannon Falls, Minnesota, a small country town that sits in Southeastern Minnesota. She is the youngest of two children, one older brother, and a proud aunt to one nephew. On campus, she participates in two organizations: Huskies Pep Band and Ducks Unlimited, a organization that supports the conservation and restoration of Wetlands in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Off campus, she is involved in Lutheran Collegians Campus Ministry and attends Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church. Jennifer enjoys hiking, broomball, soccer, snowmobiling, skiing, and hunting with her father and brother. When not outside or in school, Jennifer enjoys reading, writing, and playing the piano and trumpet. She is looking forward to the new adventures that are ahead of her with her travels to Tanzania.

Andrew

Andrew Miscimarra

ajmiscim@mtu.edu

Andrew just finished his second year as a civil engineering student. He is from Hinsdale, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and he has two younger brothers. On campus, he is involved in Outdoor Venture Crew, Engineers Without Borders, and St. Al’s Catholic Church. For the past two summers, he has enjoyed working as a day-camp counselor to a group of thirty elementary school children. Additionally, he loves hiking, skiing, sledding, and has been a gymnast for 13 years. After graduating, he plans on serving in the U.S. Peace Corps and becoming a water and sanitation specialist. He is very excited to work with his astonishing teammates in Tanzania this summer!

Lauren (3)

Lauren Sandy

lasandy@mtu.edu

Lauren just finished her third year studying biomedical engineering. She is from a small town called Somerset, WI and has one younger brother. At Michigan Tech Lauren is involved in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the Michigan Tech Women’s Soccer Club, along with the Pavlis Honors College. She enjoys volunteering, especially doing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) outreach and has been an assistant youth soccer coach for the past few summers. In her free time, Lauren enjoys snowboarding, exploring the outdoors, playing broomball, and traveling. After going to graduate school, Lauren hopes to go into the medical device industry working as an engineer.

Where We Are Traveling

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thicc map 2

Tanzania is a country on the eastern side of Africa that is famous for Mount Kilimanjaro, which, according to the 1980’s rock band Toto, “rises like Olympus above the Serengeti.” We will actually be working in two towns that are right next to Kilimanjaro, so we will have a great view to share with you all! For the first three weeks, we will be working with three schools in the town, Boma Ng’ombe. Our last two weeks will be spent working with a children’s home and school in the town, Moshi.

What We Will Be Doing

In Boma, we will be working with the three schools on various projects relating to education, mental health, and hygiene. We will all be working on each project together, with one team member taking the lead. Lauren and Ian will lead the educational projects, which will include teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) lessons and piloting a math competition program for the students. Jennifer will lead the mental health project, which will include presenting information on testing anxiety, career choices, and the importance of education. Andrew will lead the hygiene project, which will include filtering the water at one of the schools, as well as teaching the children proper hygiene techniques.

We are very excited (and a little nervous) about our trip, and we look forward to sharing our adventures with you all on this weekly blog!

Tutaonana Baadaye (See you later)!

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