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Our very first day of leisure, since our journey launched last week, commenced with a visit to Regina’s home so that we could enjoy the privilege of meeting her husband, Sebastian. Limited by multiple strokes and subsequent partial paralysis, Mr. Majailiwa proved to be a most welcoming host. The love between them, nurtured over 43 years of marriage and the raising of seven children, was quite palpable. The highlight of our brief discussion was his staunch support of his wife’s tireless work in initiating and building the Bukoba Women’s Empowerment Association, BUWEA. Kudos to this couple who have overcome obstacles known to few Americans. They continue to inspire us all.
Our next pause in the excursion was to drop off Neeta at the BUWEA office so she could do some training with Jesca and Polina about grant writing and future strategic planning (Guess it wasn’t a day of leisure for all four of us!).
We then proceeded to the beach, led by our able tour director, Regina, who also happens to function as the venerable leader of BUWEA. We were greeted there by Methodear Kiroyera, who manages several beachside enterprises owned by her sister (replicas of Tanzanian homes of yesteryear, which can be rented for overnight stays; a bar and party house; a tour company; and a gift shop).
After we purchased several items from the gift shop, Ms. Kiroyera escorted us to the Kagera Museum, where she serves as curator. We learned along the way that she once lived in Europe for several years. Nevertheless, her pride in, and affection for, her homeland (where she said she “belongs”) was evident as she described the history behind the art, photographs and artifacts housed in the museum.
Our final stop on today’s enjoyable journey – the Bukoba Market. There, we were delighted to find gorgeous Tanzanian fabric for purchase that satisfied our desires. Taking our purchases to a seamstress at the BUWEA office for dressmaking exposed us to additional beautiful fabric for sale, which, of course, led to more purchases. We were thrilled to add that to our bounty by supporting BUWEA women entrepreneurs.
All in all, a most gratifying day.