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, but we do have a report from the adventures of Leroy and Georgette. Among the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Father Leroy aranged to visit with them was the Community Based Health Care Council (CBHCC) which he was instrumental in founding. Accompanying Father Leo, Georgette, and Leroy was Father Kennedy.

The small group drove from Moshi where they are staying, to Arusha to visit the headquarters of CBHCC and meet with Engineer Shija Mlingwa who outlined the organization’s goals and accomplishments. One of their main projects is the construction of gravity water supply to seven villages south of Arusha and health, sanitation, and hygiene education to community and schools in those rural communities. The engineer devoted the afternoon to driving us to three villages to view firsthand the completed first phase of the project. We saw the pipes that carry water to large tanks and the central spigots where the women come to buy water for 10 shillings (approx. 1/2 cent) per bucket. In the absence of this water supply, the women would typically walk for hours to a water source of questionable quality.

We also went to a Massai market in one of the villages – quite unlike any market I’ve ever seen!

—Georgette Rocheleau

What would you like to know about life in northern Tanzania? Post your questions or comments below.

5 Responses to From the adventures of Leroy and Georgette

  1. Hope you are all holding up well despite being tired. It is great to see the updates. Good luck as you head for the top! ~Lisa C.

  2. Shelly, here’s what Georgette tells us about cooking and eating in northern Tanzania:

    There are 3 main types of meals:
    1. Rice with beans along with chicken, beef, pork or goat.
    2. Ugali – a maize meal that is eaten with fish, meat or vegetable sauce.
    3. Bananas with meat or fish.

    One of the hotel staff, Simon, told me that in the villages, the main food is banana, where it is readily available. They cook it with beef, goat or pork. In season they make maize into flour or maize meal when prepared is the ugali. They also make a porridge-like bread with the maize flour. Both in the villages and town, vegetable sauce is made.

    Also in the village, maize and beans are prepared in a dish called
    ngararimo. The maize is cooked using just water and salt; no oil is used. In cities, rice is used more. Near the Serengeti, wild animals are consumed.

    Most cooking is done over fire made with wood or charcoal. Even in
    the cities, where electricity is available, much cooking is done
    outside over fire, because electricity is so expensive.

    The Massai have a different diet, centered on meat. When we went to the Massai market, in one of the villages served by the gravity water system and where 90% of the people are Massai, we saw much goat being roasted over fire.

    I would add from my own trip there in 2009, that Musoma and Nyegina (where the new Library and Community Resource Center will be built), which are further west from where our group is now, is a more impoverished area and so meat is usually only eaten on special occasions. Visiting guest, such as our volunteer groups, are considered special occasions, which is why we often have meat there every day.

    The main staple in that area is also ugali, which is something like mashed potatoes, but without butter. In the Musoma region, ugali is made from Cassava, a root that looks like a yam, but is less sweet and more starchy.

    Thank you for that question!

  3. I’m curious about the food people in northern Tanzania eat. Can you tell us about what they eat and how they cook?

  4. Love this LO and am so jealous of your trip. Thanks for sharing this great LO with us.