Second Day in Dar

We are in 2nd day in Dar. We had great meeting this morning with HakiElimu (a Tanzanian nonprofit that made a pledge of books for the library once there is a place for them) and now we are at U of Dar es Salaam with a student mixer. Tonight we dine as guests of the… Continue Reading

Rest & Relaxation

After 3 intensive weeks of long days and good works, Sunday has been a day of rest and relaxation, with a spice farm tour and time at a private beach (essential during Ramadan in Zanzibar). We were pure tourists. Nelisha tried out natural lipstick, Rachel (left) and Kate tried out spicy new shades, and the… Continue Reading

Quick Update

We had a fine last day in Musoma. Met with local government officials in the morning seminar, and faith-based NGOs in the afternoon. We had last minute shopping and a farewell dinner at the Afrilux Hotel. Next up, volunteers headed home, student group to Zanzibar! Continue Reading

2013 Serengeti Safari

A game drive doesn’t get much better than: Seeing a leopard with 2 babies in a tree. Watching a cheetah catch a baby gazelle, then not kill it but give it to her baby cheetah to play “catch the gazelle!” It was amazing to watch. Every few minutes the baby cheetah would let the gazelle… Continue Reading

30th Wedding Anniversary

Sunday was for celebrating the 30th wedding anniversary of Kurt and Jeanine/Baba na Mama Anna. There was the 2 hour special Mass (9-11am) presided by Bishop Michael, followed by gift giving, choir performance, and lunch. Gifts to the happy couple included 2 live hens, which Jeanine graciously held for the couple. (They were donated to… Continue Reading

Work Day and Volunteer Island Visit

Today’s project work was a half day. We spent about an hour helping to construct the sign announcing the project (financing, contractor, etc) with each student pounding some nails, then erecting the sign. Later we were passing more sand with students, UMABU board members moving rocks, and NIU students Nelisha Gray and Lindsay Schoeder practicing… Continue Reading

Burgers in Musoma

The cross cultural training sometimes goes from US to Tanzania! We discovered the wonderful cafe behind the Anglican Church that actually serves hamburgers…on a bun….and they taste great! They have food for all kinds of other tasty food too (we have 3 vegetarians in our group). Burude Ndago, our principal logistics manager, had never tasted… Continue Reading

Microfinance around Musoma

The 2nd seminar day was focused on microfinance as a development tool. We visited three microfinance NGOs in the morning: FINCA, AFREDA, and SACCOS Musoma. We learned how they work and who are their clientele. In the afternoon, we met with 19 women from various microfinance groups that work with AFREDA and UMABU to develop… Continue Reading

First Work Day

This was our first work day, and we spent most of the time moving sand from piles into the floor frame. By Thursday we will probably be pouring cement around the rocks that the workers will place on the sand base we laid today. We passed the sand by shovels dropped in cement bags and… Continue Reading

Kiswahili Introductions at Nyegina

The premier event of Monday, July 8, was the NIU students introducing themselves in Kiswahili to the assembled students of Nyegina Secondary School. This was courageous, since they only had a week of Kiswahili language training! But they did a fine job. Of course, they had the students howling with laughter, beginning with Brandi’s bio… Continue Reading

Volunteers Arrived and Islands Visit

Good News! The TDS volunteer group arrived at Epheta in Musoma this evening, about 6pm. All their baggage came with them! They are tired but in good spirits. The student group spent the day on Lake Victoria, visiting two islands with fishing villages. There are many problems on these islands. One is supposed to be… Continue Reading

Last Language Class

Our last language class ended with students perfecting their introductory paragraphs and learning about the challenges of the Tanzanian education system. Standing next to me is Fr. Ed Gorczaty, director of Makoko Language School. In front of me are teachers Dismas, Daniel, and Sylvester. Left foreground is lead teacher Mw. Magdelena. The midterm exam for… Continue Reading

Wi-Fi at Epheta

There is now wi-fi at Epheta, Musoma! It was comical watching 6 students try to all get onto the wifi at the same time when we returned from language lessons today about 3:30. Needless to say, wi-fi traffic jam! There are still some kinks to work out, but hopefully fine tuning tomorrow will help. Once… Continue Reading

First trip to Musoma Market

We had a successful market outing last night (July 1) and several women found skirts and kangas. (Picture to be posted soon!) We have the wireless internet network set up and hope to have use tomorrow when the internet is “turned on” by the internet provider. Now we are looking for a volunteer who could… Continue Reading

The first day of language lessons

FROM THE STUDENTS: The first day of language lessons was really intense, but fun and interesting. It made us think about our own language and the meaning of certain words, for example, the way we express appreciation. One of the words we learned today was “karibu,” which means welcome. At first, we thought that it… Continue Reading

From Arusha to Musoma

We had a VERY long drive from Arusha to Musoma today. We left after breakfast (about 8am) from Arusha. We stopped at Old Dupai Gorge for lunch and lecture on Mary Leakey’s discovery of Australopithicus fossil. This picture is taken of the group at the site (with host Fr. Kazeri). We saw lions, Cape Buffalo,… Continue Reading

Study Abroad Update 1

Hujambo! The NIU Study Abroad to Tanzania is now safely in Arusha. We had many delays and several miracles, but everyone is here, just missing 4 bags. (We ran out of miracles when they let Whitney into the country without a yellow fever vaccine, because we came through Naiobi (Kenya). So today we are visiting… Continue Reading

Contact Information

In a little over 24 hours, students will start heading to OHARE International to meet with the study abroad group and catch the first of three flights to Kilimanjaro Airport in Arusha, Tanzania. Below, friends and family can find contact information of key members of the leadership team for the 2013 Experiential Learning with NGOs… Continue Reading

The Countdown Begins!

The countdown for the 2013 Tanzania Work-Study Program is racing ahead. The NIU and UW-Lacrosse students will leave for Tanzania with Prof. Thurmaier on Thursday, June 27. The students are busy writing their first papers and reflection letters. The clock is ticking down but the fundraising by the Work-Study volunteers (and a few students!) is… Continue Reading

Letters from Nyegina

Tanzania Development Support has been active in the Nyegina Community for nearly 5 years. During those years we have been lucky enough to establish connections with some of the community’s most inspiring people: its students. This letter from Nyegina is an illustration of the life story of one of Nyegina’s students—an invitation into her world.… Continue Reading

Last day in Tanzania

Yesterday we had a shopping day at the market and the AIDS/HIV NGO. Evening was a big birthday bash for Anna and Nadia, with a huge cake and Nyegina School Choir original songs of celebration of their birthdays. Bishop Michael attended as well, and gave warm thanks for all of our work and our special… Continue Reading

Wonderful Day of Presenting Funds

Yesterday we presented the Nyegina Community with a check for $26,000 to kick off the library and community resource center project. As we arrived by car to Nyegina, we were greeted by primary and secondary school students and teachers lining both sides of the road, singing and dancing and welcoming us to the village. It… Continue Reading

They’re back!

We just returned from picking up the climbers. All arrived at the gate in relatively good shape and most were able to help the local economy by purchasing T-Shirts and art works from the vendors who congregate at the gate. They’re anxious to shower and celebrate. They had amazing success in reaching the summit by… Continue Reading

Update from Springlands Hotel

I’m sorry to report that we had no news from the mountain yesterday. Will let you know if we hear anything today. My understanding is that if the hikers make it to a certain point and cannot go on, they wait at the camp while others go up. They reconnect at the camp when the… Continue Reading

One climber returning early

We had news this morning from the climbers: one is coming down the mountain today, aborting the climb. Staying at the Springlands Hotel turns out to be a very good thing, which Madaraka arranged for us. Springlands is owned and operated by Zara Tours, the outfitter guiding our people on the mountain. So if anyone… Continue Reading

From the adventures of Leroy and Georgette

Not all of our volunteers are climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Two, Georgette (who you’ve heard from in previous posts) and Leroy are travelling to sites throughout northern Tanzania. If you’ve joined us for past volunteer and study trips, you’ll be familiar with some of these places already. No calls from the climbers today, Wednesday June 6,… Continue Reading

Countdown to Kili Climb

Our group of intrepid volunteers will depart today, June 2, for Tanzania to begin their journey to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain. They will head to Kilimanjaro International Airport and arrive in Moshi on Sunday evening. The next day, after breakfast on the morning of June 11, they begin their ascent. Supported… Continue Reading

The Dorm is Finished!

The girls’ dormitory is finished.  After three years since the project started, we have raised over $150,000 to build a dorm for 160 girls.  Furnished with 80 metal bunk beds and a sanitation block, which holds the school’s first flush toilets and running showers, we are proud of our achievement.  Having passed the Tanzanian Government inspection, the… Continue Reading

Unforgettable Smiles

My trip to Tanzania was an unforgettable experience of contrasts and differences. The people we met were so welcoming that I felt a connection with them almost immediately. The children have an insatiable appetite for learning and are very knowledgeable despite the fact that they don’t own textbooks for school. The local government officials (with… Continue Reading

$4000 Goal Achieved!

I am so pleased to report that the donations from many friends and family members have helped us reach our goal of raising $4000 to finish buying the materials to finish the girls dormitory. Thank you to all who have contributed to this project! We’ll be posting lots more pictures from the trip in the… Continue Reading

24 Hours Left

Only 24 hours left until the students leave Tanzania and we only need $700  to reach our goal of $4,000 to finish buying the materials for the dorm. Please help us reach this goal with your donation today. Bagamoyo was a successful outing!  We ended the day with dinner by the sea side hosted by… Continue Reading

Dinner with Justice Bwana

The students had the chance to have dinner with Tanzania Court of Appeals Justice Steven Bwana last night.  He was gracious to host us as his house for a wonderful meal.  The students enjoyed asking him questions and learning more about Tanzania’s government and politics. Today we are off to explore Bagamoyo, a historic slave trading… Continue Reading

Goal in Sight…$3000 Donated!

Friends, I am so excited to report that we have reached the $3000 mark toward gathering $4000 in donations by Saturday to buy the materials needed to finish the dormitory for 160 girls at the Nyegina Secondary School. The generous gifts, small and large, are adding up to a wonderful future for girls who are… Continue Reading

Finish the Dorm Wing!

We are getting close to finishing the Form 6 wing of the dormitory. We want to raise $4000 in the next 5 days to buy the materials to finish the structure itself. Please be one of the friends and family members who can contribute $40 to help finish this wing. You can donate at www.tdsnfp.org… Continue Reading

Successful Safari to Serengeti

We just returned yesterday from a very successful Serengeti safari. The highlight was a dawn drive on Tuesday (12July) where we found a pride of 20 lions after a successful gnu (wildebeast) kill. There were about 10 mothers and 10 cubs feasting (not at the same time!). We also saw this beautiful cheetah (picture) with… Continue Reading

The new dormitory

December 2011 Update: We are currently gathering contributions to buy these same beds for the other wing of the dormitory. Please consider making a contribution today. We got to see the new bunk beds yesterday.  In each room there are four new beautiful bunk beds. Outside of the new form five girls’ dormitory.  What a… Continue Reading

Jambo! We had a great first day of language training today (Monday). The 9 of us are split into 2 class sections. We have 3 instructors who rotate between the two. THen in the afternoon the three of them presented cultural training on greetings and being invited into homes. It was very intense and all… Continue Reading

Safe & Happy Arrival in Musoma!

I am pleased to report that we arrived this evening at the Epheta Retreat Centre, safe, sound, and pretty tired. It was a long 13 hour day, but a happy one. We left Arusha at 7:30 this morning (an hour late).We made stops at Old Duvai Gorge (discovery site by Mary Leakey and others of… Continue Reading

Pictures from an Expedition

Here are three pictures from Musoma, Tanzania from our group’s trip. This is a picture of our group’s first visit to the future site of the new girls’ dormitory.  In the picture we are standing on the base of the foundation.  The stones piled on top will be fitted together on top of the dirt… Continue Reading

Home safely

It is offical, we are home and the post trip blues have set in. A couple of us had airline issues which caused our luggage to take a different route than we did. The amazing thing is that after being together for a month, Dr. Thurmaier recognized my bags and he and Jeannine grabbed them… Continue Reading

Not an Africa story….

OK, we left Nairobi on Sunday night, headed to home. Little did we know that we were diverted to Bunjubura, Burundi to deliver a critical part for a Brussels airliner that hit an antelope either landing or taking off. So we left 2 hours late from NBO becase the incoming flight was delayed getting the… Continue Reading

Musoma Departing

It is 5:30 in the morning in Musoma, just before dawn. The Epheta center is bustling with all of us getting our last showers, last packing as we prepare for departing about 6:45. We had a wonderful Friday, with a debriefing and listening session with Bishop Michael, followed by a lunch together (and a cake).… Continue Reading

Last Work Day

Our last work day on the dorm project was Thursday, 25 June, as we have debriefing meeting and lunch with the bishop on Friday. The walls are rising from all of the concrete we poured on the floor. The outlines of the dividing walls for the rooms inside the dorm are visible in the pic… Continue Reading

Wednesday Work

We were a divided group on Wednesday. About half of us were in meetings in Musoma, while the other half worked at the dorm building site, moving more bricks to the floor so the masons can lay the walls. Tristan and Megan were pursuing interviews of microfinance loan recipients from FINCA, as well as the… Continue Reading

Cheetahs, Hippos, and bricks

The last three days have been among the highest points of the trip for me. The experience in the Serengeti Nat’l Park is something that I will never forget. The opportunity to see elephants and giraffes grazing less than a few steps outside your vehicle is hard to describe. Early yesterday morning we even had… Continue Reading

Camping on Serengeti a Success

Our Sunday/Monday safari into the Serengeti was a big success. We enjoyed seeing lots of animals, with twiga (giraffe), tembo (elephant), simba (lion) and leopards as highlights. Camping overnight was also very cool. Lots of pics to share on that, but slow internet suggests adding pics later. Today was spent on the job site, moving… Continue Reading

The Next Big Event!

Today we go to see the animals! And they are not in a zoo. We are all excited and curious as well. The construction project has been another opportunity for us to learn how business is conducted in a different culture. The pouring of the concrete alone has caused us to realize how life is… Continue Reading

The Wailing Wall

We learned that Saturdays are half days for work, but not before standing around awhile waiting for the fundi to return to work with us in the afternoon! The picture shows many in the group “wailing” on a wall inside the PC Lab, breaking off the smooth surface so plaster will adhere. It was an… Continue Reading

The events continue!

We had a day off from construction today, but that does not mean we didn’t learn and work. Several students conducted research interviews for their independent study projects while some visited the local nonprofit organization Community Alive. A few enjoyed the local market to find gifts to bring home. Our seminar session in the evening… Continue Reading

Another long day pouring floor

We had another long day pouring floors for the PC lab. It wasn’t nearly as fun the second day. We had less help today; the Etaro congregation was to join us but could not because there was a funeral in Etaro, which they all had to attend. Attached is a video of the concrete bucket… Continue Reading

Dedication Ceremony

The ceremony day began with the students, teachers and community members lining either side of the road as the bus drove up the road to the school. It was a sight we will  never forget. As we departed the bus we were hugged by so many people! A mass was held in the Nyegina Village… Continue Reading

Laying the floor

This clip shows men laying the rocks for the floor. Next step is pouring the concrete around the rocks to make the floor, with a rebar reinforced concrete ring around the foundation. All work is by hand, which makes it really amazing to watch. Continue Reading

The building begins!

Here is a picture of the foundation of the new dormitory. It is very big–enough for 160 girls, 2 matrons! We will only be working on the end closest to the group in the picture. Also, my new Tanzania phone number is 011.255.789.865.568 More pics to come! Continue Reading

We’re in Musoma!

We finally made it to Musoma! The group got a tour of the Nyegina Secondary School this afternoon, and its first look at the new dormitory building site–it is huge! This dorm will serve 160 girls, plus have space for matrons and the shower/toilet attached building. We will be working on one section of the… Continue Reading

June 4 from Dar es Salaam

We’ve had trouble accessing internet services in Arusha. But we have some access in Dar, so hopefully students will be adding to the blog soon. Conducting a 2 hour seminar (with break) on a moving bus down Tanzanian highways was a blast. Lively discussions which continued long after I concluded the seminar. Despite several bumps,… Continue Reading

Welcome!

Welcome to the blog for Tanzania Development Support. Our first blog project is reporting from the study abroad to Musoma/Nyegina, Tanzania, where we will study the role of NGOs in Development and help the Nyegina community build a new dormitory for girls at the Nyegina Secondary School. Continue Reading