Through our eyes

More questions from Avenue City School’s 8th Grade Students

What inspired you to help these people? Why do you feel you’re responsible?

We have been inspired to help others for many years. We have walked alongside others in Mexico, Guatemala, Romania, Alaska, Colorado, Nebraska, Louisiana, and New Mexico. Our desire to help people who are less fortunate, in general, does not come from a feeling of responsibility or a need to help those with less than us. It comes from a general understanding that it is necessary to assist any person who desires assistance. Simply stated, we yearn to work with people through advocating for their rights and working towards their equality because it is who we are and it is the right thing to do.

How long will you be staying in Tanzania?

We are scheduled to be in Tanzania for one year, which means we should leave Tanzania April 2012.

Will you be staying in a populated area, or in a very remote area?

As mentioned in the previous “Through Our Eyes” post, our house is situated in a district of Moshi called Soweto. We are about 1.5 miles outside of Moshi central. The area is very populated. Moshi’s population is approximately 220,000, which includes the districts. Moshi covers 5,029 square kilometers. (Can you figure out how many square miles that is?) In other words, the population is quite dense. In many areas there are several small houses packed into fairly small areas. There are a few main, paved roads, but most of the roads that run to houses are extremely narrow and unpaved. So, to answer the question, we are in a very populated area. Yesterday we were in a very remote area where the Masai tribe lives. We will write more about this tribe in our posts later this week and throughout our time here.

What is your favorite part about Moshi, Tanzania so far?

Hmmm…..this is a very difficult question for us to answer! We love many things! We love that we can look out our window (when the rain clouds part) and see Mt. Kilimanjaro. If you look closely, you can see a piece of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the photo below. It’s truly a HUGE mountain! We promise to share much better photos of Mt. Kilimanjaro after the rainy season.

We love the Indian influence on the food that Tanzanian’s serve. For instance, today we had vegetable curry, rice, and chapatti for lunch. We love how lush the country is. Check out the photos below for an example of the landscape; it’s simply beautiful!

Finally, our favorite part about Moshi is the people. We have never been in a place where we felt so welcome. This culture is extremely hospitable and caring. It is not uncommon for people on the street to say “Jambo, karibu sana!” which means “hello, you are very welcome!” As foreigners in Tanzania, it’s amazing to feel welcomed.

We do not know the language or the culture, but Tanzanian’s are still very welcoming to us. We challenge all of you to say hello to the strangers in St. Joseph, or anywhere else in the U.S. People enter other countries for many reasons. Some enter due to persecution in their home country, adoption, war, work, wanting to experience a new culture, or many other reasons. No matter the reason, it always feels wonderful to be welcomed, even when you are unfamiliar with the language and the culture.

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