Update

Happy daylight savings! The time does not change in Tanzania because it is so close to the equator. We have found that the days do not grow longer or shorter with the seasons in Tanzania. The sun is up at approximately the same time and sets at approximately the same time throughout the entire calendar year. Long story short, we will now be 9 hours ahead of our families in Central Time zone and 10 hours away from our home in Mountain Time zone for the rest of our stay here. That will definitely take some time to get used to.

Last week was crazy for us. We attended trainings with Susie, worked heavily with the bag cooperative, and worked on a few projects for Mosaic International. We were going every moment that our eyes were open. BCC was able to accomplish a lot in a short period of time, but we think that everyone (including Susie!) was a little worn out by the time Susie left.

To begin the week, Susie trained the BCC staff on proactive management. The general concept for the training is to switch management styles from reactive to proactive. It involves meeting regularly with staff, constantly teaching new skills, and communicating. It is an excellent concept and we are excited to work with BCC so that they can implement the program.

Susie continued her training by working with the newly appointed Teaching Curriculum Advisers the last few days of the work week. She did some on-the-sight training with the advisors and worked with them to learn how to observe staff and make suggestions to increase quality of care in the BCC centers. Everyone is a bit confused about their new roles, but they seem to be excited to learn and anxious for some changes. Below is a photo of one of our debriefing sessions after we visited day centers with the new advisors.

Susie traveled back to the United States on Friday. It was great to spend time with her and to learn from her. We learned so much about the BCC staff, BCC programming, what the staff knows, and training in general. It was great to see the BCC staff in action during the trainings. Susie was so much fun and we enjoyed the company! We will definitely miss her! We are excited to see her again when we return to the United States in April.

This weekend, we spent time resting, relaxing, and catching up on projects that were put on hold during Susie’s visit. We spent much of the weekend sleeping, working on presentations for the upcoming BCC Board meeting, and preparing for the upcoming week. We only have two weeks left before we go to Kenya to visit the IMPACT project in Kisumu. We hope to get a lot accomplished before then because Melissa’s parents arrive the day we return! Hopefully we can continue to work hard and accomplish many goals!

Next week we will spend time with the bag cooperatives. The second bag cooperative will begin their work by focusing on conference bags. We will work with them as they learn to make the other bags and develop their business. The current bag cooperative will work on a few special orders this week. Demand is quickly increasing for the bags! We find that we give the cooperative new orders several times a week!

We will also work on completing some items for the BCC Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday. The Board wants to review some documents, such as the policies and procedures, the agreement with KCMC for the preventative healthcare program, and a center accessibility report.

In the blogs this week we will continue with our “Through Their Eyes” series. We will talk about a BCC child named Neema who has an opportunity to be educated at a private school. In the “Inspirational Tid-Bits” section, we will discuss our interaction with another BCC child named Charlie.

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