Ah, the Beauty of Springtime in Moshi

Africa HomeBy Barb Carman

| As I stepped off the plane earlier this week with the new Mosaic Fellow, Meghan Hussey, I noticed a difference in the air right away. A cool dry breeze was blowing, which was an added welcome to the ever present heartfelt karibu (welcome) seen in the faces of Tanzanian people and heard in their words.

I am here for just two weeks because the commitment of the longer stays over a three year period that Rich and I had with Mosaic have reached their end. Needless to say, I’m savoring every minute here. Since this post is in September, you may wonder why I’m calling it springtime. Because Tanzania is south of the equator, the seasons are reversed. So while you may be enjoying fall foliage, spring has spring here in Moshi! For me, springtime in Tanzania is offering some new discoveries such as local people wearing heavier clothing, different flowering plants and trees just budding out, fewer insects, new planting season underway, and generally more energy among people without the severe heat.

Having Meghan here provides me with observations through a new set of eyes. She has traveled extensively, so she is sharing information of cultural similarities that she has already noticed between Tanzania and other countries where she has spent time. Elin, the Fellow who is finishing her time with BCC has her own perspective after being in Tanzania even longer than her one year.

As with the seasons, changes are taking place within Building a Caring Community (BCC), the program in which Mosaic facilitated the start-up and continues to support. There are two additional staff, Rose and Naomi, who as field workers, are providing direct support to micro-credit loan recipients with the goal of ensuring success with their business plans.

In the picture below are Naomi & Rose with Johnson, who supervises finances and oversees their work.

By last fall (in TZ) the ProMot Health program had been operating for one year. A review of it showed many successes, but changes in the delivery of services have resulted in easier access to the medical screenings and care. I visited St. Joseph Hospital to observe a few screenings, visit with the children and their parents, and meet the hospital staff who were involved. The environment was calm and organized and the staff were caring and respectful. Children and parents from one of the eleven BCC day centers were present, having had been transported by BCC staff.

Mama Dixon with her son.

Meghan, Lilian, Salma and her mother.

This is becoming lengthy, so more news about Moshi and BCC will be forthcoming. Our Fellow, Elin who will be leaving BCC in a week, will be writing about how she is leaving a piece of herself here and also taking a piece of Tanzania with her. Meghan will be writing an introduction about herself and her early thoughts about being in Tanzania.

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