Month: July 2016

The Farm

BUWEA store front

Yesterday we visited the BUWEA office, store front, and farm.

The farm sits on 50 acres, but only 10 acres are manageable due to limits set by lack of an irrigation system.

Originally the women and men worked on the side closest to the village jail, but moved the farm closer to the road for ease of transportation.

Men and women get stipends for their work and work for two days and are then rotated.  This is because of the distance from the city of Bukoba and thebvillages and also because it discourages people from setting fire to the crops.

Consulata has been an asset to BUWEA.  Everytime a new set of women go to the farm ahe is there to greet them and assure that they are comfortable.

The community around the farm has been helpful as well.  Officers from the jail buy the soy milk and yogurt and one of the officers helped set the beds at farm.

When we returned from the farm Dr. Singh met with the agriculture director to see how far along the list the farm is from receiving an irrigation system.  It was a good meeting.

Rain Water Harvesters and Projects

Good evening friends!  It is currently 7:48 PM local time.  I just had some dinner and I wanted to share today’s experince with y’all. 

In the morning the officers from BUWEA met us at the hotel where we planned the meals, budget, and tinkered with the modules.

After a break I traveled with Jesca to the villages to visit some of the women and the rain harvesters.

I am working on a video compilation of the women sharing their projects.  Everyone was so welcoming.  They openly invited us to their homes and shared so much.  They are very grateful for every opportunity.

 Afterwards, we stopped at Dolly’s cash and carry for some ice cream and water.  The small bottles there are 500 TZS vs 1,000 TZS at the hotel.  I think I’m addicted to the ice cream.  It’s airy and creamy.

Back at BUWEA

Good evening friends!

Today we spent the morning at BUWEA. 

Dr. Singh presented an empowerment and business presentation while I say with some of the officers so that they could take their pretest.

After a tea break I presented a breastfeeding presentation to the women.   Meanwhile, Dr. Singh spent time at the daycare.

We got good feedback and will update our presentations to meet the women’s needs.


She was there during the children’s lunchtime.  They were fed beans, rice, and vegetables.After we viaited Fidodido’s and Hampton’s where we ordered a drink called a “cappuccino”. 😂

Hike to Hekima

Good morning.   It’s 4:40 PM local time and today were at BUWEA.

Yesterday, we spent the day at Hekima.

Form 3 (11th grade) girls who participated in the nutrition class.

Initailly there was some confussiom about transportation to the school.  We thought the driver from the school would be picking us up, but Sister Esther thought we were going to be driven there by the BUWEA van.  So, we got a taxi from the hotel.

There was some confusion about roas closures so the driver took the back roads.  However, the back road was the one closed and when were close thr city officials were upset with the driver.  There was some confussion and we did end up hiking the remaining way to Hekima.  I would say it was about 3/4-1 mile walk/hike.  

We were greeted and escorted to the office.  We had a tour of the new guest house and gardens.  The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful.

The girls amazed us.  They were so well behaved throughout the two hours.  They asked questions and were very sweet.After the presentation they played the amino acid game to drive home the message of the importance of obtaining the essential amino acids from their diet.

Afterwards the sisters treated us to a traditional Tanzanian lunch of bananas and beans, rice, meat stew, and greens.  It was delicious and lunch was complemented with a juice mix of pineapples, passion fruit, and avocado.  All of the food was from their garden.

We then made our way back to the hotel using the main road- no closures.  Note to the next group: do not go the back way. 🙂

First day at BUWEA

I didn’t get a chance to post last night because I could not find the modem (yes, modem) to go online but we were at BUWEA yesterday.

We received a very warm welcome with warm soy milk, a tour, and dancers. 

At the daycare center the children sang for us.  The women who completed the child nutrition workshop recieved a certificate. 

It was a great day.

Mama Regina showing us the BUWEA fish pond.

Traditional African dancers welcome us to BUWEA.


The new daycare center.

The Spirit of Tanzania

Good evening y’all!  I am writing this from the future (just kidding, but we are eight hours ahead.)

Today Dr. Singh and I spent the day preparing and finalizing the workshops for the week.  We did manage to get some free time to walk around town.  We visited a local restaurant and had lunch there.  Simon was our waiter and he was very funny.  There was a fellow American university student in the café and he asked us why the student wasn’t in a tie and collared white shirt.  We laughed and explained to him that the college culture in the US is relaxed.  So maybe the group coming after us should dress very business professional and visit him :).

Well, as promised last night I am going to share the stalled taxi story.

This happened Friday night after we arrived in Tanzania.  We were tired and were looking for a taxi to the hotel we were staying in for the night.  Now, I will say that Dr. Singh is a great barterer.  She dropped the price down from $50 USD to $25 with both a ride to the hotel and an AM pickup.

We got into the cab and soon after we left the airport the driver pulls into a closed gas station. (Side note: my mother is Guatemalan and she put the fear of God in me in regards to cab drivers in foreign countries.)  I did get a little paranoid and I craned my neck to ensure that the needle was on “E”, and it was.  But, the gas station was closed and he drove away.

10 minutes down the road the car starts stalling.  At first I did not notice because I am amazed at how organized traffic is and there are no stop signs and no stop lights to direct the traffic flow.  I did notice when the driver keeps turning the key but the enigine will not turn.  This goes on for about a minute but it feels like a good 20 minutes because cars are honking and I’m sweating!

The driver unlocks the doors and gets out.  At this point I’m worried because it’s dark, I don’t know the language, and I don’t know the emergency services number.  But, the driver starts yelling and a group of about 4 young men start pushing the cab.  Thankfully the gas station was about 1/4 mile away.  We get there safe thanks be to the wonderful pedestrians.  We all have a good laugh and make it to the hotel to rest for the night.

The willingness of the people to help and not be bystanders was a warm welcome indeed.  I feel lucky and blessed to be here and I cannot wait to hit the ground running tomorrow.

Talk to y’all  soon,


First Day in Bukoba

Howdy!  After 6 stops, 3 layovers, and one stalled taxi we made it to Bukoba!

Today we met with the women from BUWEA at the airport.  After settling in the hotel we all caravaned to the microfinancing meeting.  

The women at the meeting were welcoming and the message presented to the women was that the loans were not to be used for personal use, but for their businesses.  This has got to be tough but that’s what reminders are for.

At the meeting one of the local women brought their soy beans to sale.  BUWEA purchased the 25 kilos.

After the meeting there was an impromptu market.  The women brought their products.  There was dries fiah, vegetables, coffee beans, and BUWEA brought soy milk, soy yogurt, and cakes to sale. 

Now we are back at the hotel.  Charging up electronics and grabbing some dinner.

Tomorrow I will post again and share the stalled taxi story.   You don’t want to miss!