Last week was spent finishing some projects, preparing for our departure, and saying goodbye. It has been difficult to know exactly when to start saying goodbye to our friends, co-workers, and the children served by BCC here in Moshi. We visit some of the day centers nearly every week, but we do not visit other day centers very often. We feel that we have been delaying our goodbyes until this upcoming week, mostly because long goodbyes are exhausting and, since most of what we have done has been work related, we prefer to simply fade away in hopes that people aren’t even sure that we are gone and they all sustain the programs.
We have worked very hard over the past few months to empower others and to encourage them to lead the projects which we were working to develop. They have done a wonderful job of leading and completing the projects. The BCC staff and management team are amazing and we have learned so much from them. They, through their knowledge, experiences, and friendships, have made this fellowship a powerful learning opportunity.
Preparing to leave is an odd feeling. We have experienced leaving loved ones so often over the past few years that it has almost become second nature; however, that does not make saying goodbye any easier. We said goodbye nearly every year to friends and coworkers throughout college, we said goodbye when John left for Romania, we said goodbye when he left Romania for home, and we said goodbye when we left the United States to live in Moshi. It seems that saying goodbye for an extended or indefinite period of time seems to be a common occurrence for us at this point in our lives.
Another year has passed, and we find ourselves in a familiar yet disheartening situation – we must say goodbye. We have made so many close friends in Moshi and through BCC. Everyone has been incredibly generous, welcoming, and kind to us. But still, we do not know when or if we will be back to visit our friends here.
We were discussing this with Kaaya, the director of BCC, and he had a very interesting take on our situation. He said that in Tanzania, when someone is preparing for a long goodbye, people do not say “goodbye.” They say “karibu tena” or “you are welcome again.” He said that for many Tanzanians saying farewell it is better to leave with a feeling that someone is welcome back and that they would like to return rather than saying goodbye and not being sure when or if that person will return. We like that concept. We decided that instead of saying goodbye this trip we will say, “We will see you again.”
Most of our major projects have been handed over to other people, either from BCC or Mosaic, and we are simply attending meetings to consult and answer questions. It is nice to be fading out of the projects, but sometimes it can be difficult to let go of projects that we helped to initiate. This has been such a wonderful learning experience and we have worked very hard on many of the projects, but we have known for a long time that in order for the projects to continue, we have to do our best to empower others to lead. Others are leading and we are completing our time in Moshi with a lot of hope and belief that the projects will continue to be successful.
We spent the majority of our time this week with Genevieve in preparation for the beginning of the Pro-Mot Health service. As we mentioned a few weeks ago, the Memorandum of Understanding between the ELCT and KCMC has been signed and there was a formal ceremony to celebrate the beginning of the Pro-Mot Health service. Now we are experiencing the actual beginning of the program. KCMC medical students visited a few day centers last week. Below, you will find a few photos of the first day of assessments. We will discuss that visit in more detail in the “Inspirational Tid-Bits” section this week.
In the “Through Their Eyes” section this week, we will discuss one more child that will benefit from the Pro-Mot Health program. While this story will be the final story that we share, it is not the final story. It is clear to us that the program will not only benefit the children whom we have discussed in our blog, but every child served by BCC as well as their families. Many people know that we have successfully completed our Hike 4 Healthcare by reaching the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, but we are still raising funds for the Pro-Mot Healthcare system. If you are interested in donating, please contact Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two blogs discussing our climb that will include pictures and videos that we took along the hike will be posted soon!