Update

Another week has passed and it is time for another update! This week was incredibly productive for BCC! The office was so hectic and things were happening so quickly that a few times we thought we were working in an American nonprofit again! We welcomed new volunteers, began working on new projects, and continued to explore market options for future BCC cooperatives.

A few volunteers from Cornell are working with BCC. They are in the Global Health program at Cornell and they will be volunteering for four weeks with BCC. They are very energetic! Rosemary explained some of the current BCC projects and they decided to help with the alternative health program! For the next four weeks, they will meet with doctors, visit centers, and work to establish a medical baseline for all of the children who attend the day centers! We are very excited to work with them!

There is a new Nebraskan in town! Greg from Lincoln has come to volunteer with BCC for 6 weeks. After that, he will teach English at Agape Seminary, which is located nearby Moshi. Currently he is staying at a hotel a few kilometers from our house. After volunteer orientation at the ELCT office, we decided Greg could work at a center that is very close to our house. Like most volunteers, Greg is very unfamiliar with Moshi. Unlike most volunteers, he is not working with a volunteer organization that can take him to and from the day centers until he knows how to get around. He said he would be willing to walk but someone had to show him where to go.

Since he lives by us, and since he is a fellow Nebraskan, we decided to help! We walked to his hotel, showed him the center near our house where he will be working, walked the opposite direction to work, finished work, walked to pick him up at the cen,ter, walked the opposite direction with him back to his hotel, and then walked back home. Now he knows the way and he will be able to walk to the center on his own! In total, we walked about 10-12 miles that day! We said we were training to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro!

During our adventure with Greg we were able to see a few children at the day center he will be working at. We saw a little girl that we’ve seen many times before, but this time was very exciting! Normally, we find her crawling or scooting around on the floor in order to move about the center. However, this time we found her walking behind a walker! We were very excited, and she was visibly excited to be more mobile! It is the small things with the children that really seem to make the difference. We are continuously inspired and encouraged by the work of the day center staff!

We will also see many more Nebraskans this week! Rev, Martin Russell from the ELCA – Nebraska Synod, brought a group to visit the southern part of Tanzania. They are staying in Moshi for a few days before heading south, so we are excited to meet with Martin again! There is a “Nebraskans volunteering in Tanzania” dinner this week organized by Martin; we are very excited to meet everyone and hear about their projects!

We were also able to visit a Deacon University and primary school for children with physical disabilities at Faraja last week! That was very exciting! We learned many things about the Tanzanian deacon program. We will share our experience with everyone in our “Through our Eyes” post on Tuesday!

This upcoming week will be very interesting. We have several meetings with different people. We will also be working to establish new caregiver cooperatives. The week concludes with a four-day meeting for deacons from all over Europe and Africa called “Deacon Africa.” We aren’t really sure what the event will be like, but we do know that we will be working to sell some of the products that BCC caregivers produce to the visitors!

We are very excited for the upcoming week! We expect that we will learn a lot about the volunteer work in Tanzania as well as the deacon work throughout Africa!

Don’t forget that we will be concluding our four-part segment on the Masai and our experience in the “Inspirational Tid-Bits” section this week!

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