This past week of my internship was my favourite by far. We visited Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater! I enjoyed the safari immensely; it was amazing to see zebras, wildebeest, lions, elephants and even the elusive cheetah! Some of the animals were so close we could almost reach out and touch them. The sunrises and sunsets over the plains, with animals and trees silhouetted, took my breath away. The crater was beautiful too – it was a completely different landscape from the savannah. Everywhere you turned, you saw the steep, forested crater rim – it was like being in a giant bowl! We saw several Maasai people with their cattle as well. I think I took more photographs that weekend than I ever have.
After returning from the Serengeti, we got right down to work. I spent most of this week at Foundation Karibu Tanzania, a home for severely abused children that allows them to heal physically while also providing counselling and reintegration to their families. Kathy and I will be implementing Fiti juice and uji (porridge) here over the next month and see how well it’s received by the children. We’ve really enjoyed teaching their kitchen how to make juice. The children usually help out by washing dishes and so on, and they’re very affectionate – my favourite moment was one little boy running up to me and hugging my legs.
We’ve also been helping the mamas at Tukwamuane with their bookkeeping. They have a very detailed system, and the only constructive feedback we had was tracking capital and their own salaries. We hope this way they will be able to track their savings and invest in new equipment.
Last weekend, I got to visit a local church with Maimuna! The topic was “family” – Maimuna spoke about domestic violence and encouraged a discussion about it with the congregation. A few people shared stories of neighbours they had helped through such a situation. It was great to see people invested in finding a solution. Then, Kathy and I spoke about Fiti, its health benefits, and how it allows women to be economically empowered. Most people expressed skepticism at the idea of consuming bacteria for health – clearly, more public education is needed. But once the pastor expressed his support, the congregation was trusting.
Nearly two months of my internship are finished! It felt so long initially, but now time is flying by. I miss home a lot, but we’re starting to put down some roots here in Mwanza as well.