Update

The first week of the second half of our adventure in Tanzania went incredibly well! The second rainy season seems to be here. Every evening, storm clouds gather and the unfamiliar sound of raindrops hitting the tin roof fills the house. The power is on a little more regularly, the dust has washed off of the leaves, and the plants appear green again, and the dry earth has turned into mud.

There is something special about the rainy season here. Everyone seems to have a more optimistic attitude. This phenomenon is difficult to explain, but the city seems to have more life after an evening rain the previous day. This rainy season comes at a time where new life is occurring within BCC. Kaaya, BCC’s project director, and his wife just had a baby boy. The day Ebenezer was born, Kaaya could not hide his excitement. We are very happy for his family and we are excited to visit them this week to see the new child!

The current bag cooperative has created a fourth bag! It is a laptop bag that will be able to be carried by handles or over the shoulder. We think it looks great! We will send a picture of the final product soon! Also, the second bag cooperative is beginning to work with the current bag cooperative in order to learn how to sew the bags and understand the business. The new bag cooperative has submitted a business plan and should be approved to start with a micro-loan by next week! It is a very exciting time for the BCC social businesses!!!

We were able to meet with Dr. Declare, the KCMC liaison assigned to BCC for the preventative medical program. We worked out a few details and he explained some ideas to us. We submitted a proposed budget to him and BCC is working on a Memorandum of Understanding with KCMC as well as a one-year pilot agreement for the preventative medical program!

We also worked with Rosemary to design the first module of a financial training for parents of children served by BCC. The training focuses on financial goals and budgeting. We originally thought it would be good to specifically train micro-loan recipients, but after discussion, we all determined that it will be good to train all parents as everyone can learn from this vital information. We also hope that it might inspire more parents to enter the micro-loan program!

This week, we are changing our “Through Our Eyes” section to “Through Their Eyes.” In this new section, we will talk about some of the children served by BCC, their family situations, and the benefits they are receiving from BCC.

This weekend, we made makande, a Tanzanian dish, with Jesse and his wife. In honor of this, we will omit the “Inspirational Tid-Bits” section and substitute “Get in My Belly” so that we can talk about our cooking experience!

This next week should be interesting. We will complete some follow-up tasks left over from last week. We will also visit the bag cooperative a couple of times to check out the new bag and to visit with the second bag cooperative. Nyerere Day, a Tanzanian holiday celebrating their first president, will be celebrated Friday. Because of the day off, we are heading to Zanzibar! Zanzibar is part of Tanzania. It is a small island directly to the east of Tanzania. We really aren’t sure what to expect in Zanzibar, but we are excited to see another part of Tanzania!!! We will write more about our experience next week!

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