Update

We are finding that the weeks are flying by here.  While we are only in the third month of our stint, we are surprised that we are already making preparations for next quarter.  It is strange to think about, but we have been in Moshi for almost 12 weeks.  We are quickly approaching one quarter of our trip being complete.  We are excited with the progress that BCC has made on its strategic plan in this short time, but everyone knows that there is a lot left to complete!

Last week we did many office tasks.  Kaaya, the director of BCC, was gone this week, so our time was spent with the other two BCC managers, Rosemary and Genevieve.  We were able to work on various fund raising methods and create a few databases.  We also met with a group of women at a local parish in a region called Pasua.  Rosemary gave these four women microcredit loans.  Their intent is to perfect the skill of beading.  With this skill, we plan to test the market demand for beaded items in Moshi and abroad.  Using the market sample, we can decide if there is a need for a beading cooperative through BCC.  It is tedious work, but it is very exciting to think about!  We are delighted to see how encouraged and proud the four women were after receiving their loans and discussing their plans for their beading!

We plan on a busy week this week.  We are meeting with some U.S. medical students and one of the professors at the medical college in Moshi, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College (KCMC).  We hope to discuss the possibility of the KCMC medical students providing minor medical services for the children who receive services from BCC.  Hopefully this meeting will assist BCC with developing the alternative medical program!

Sister Norah is planning to do the second day of first-aid training this week.  We finally have been able to compile new first-aid kits for the day centers.  Sister Norah plans to teach the day center staff and in-home support workers about practical first-aid treatments.  After her lesson, we will distribute the new first-aid kits!  Sister Norah is an amazing teacher and we are very excited for her to continue to work with BCC!

This weekend we are going to attend a Masai event.  As we have mentioned before, the Masai are a tribe in Tanzania and Kenya that were historically feared by all other tribes.  They have refused to conform to western standards.  In many cases, they still practice many of their rituals, live in their traditional houses, raise mostly cattle, and practice holistic medicine.  We really aren’t sure what we are in for, but we have agreed to attend a Masai singing event.  We are attending the two day event, sleeping in the traditional Masai house (pictured below), and judging the singing competition that concludes the event.

 

After the weekend with the Masai community, Melissa will do her best to bake John a birthday cake for his 26th birthday on June 27!  As long as the power stays on long enough for the cake to bake, it should be a success! 

It should be a very productive week with a very interesting weekend.  You can be sure that we will write more about the meeting with the KCMC students, Sister Nora’s first-aid training, the Masai event, and John’s birthday cake in the near future!

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