Recent Posts

January 6, 2014

  Welcome to the 2014 Tanzania SST blog!  We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of 23 Goshen students on Friday January 10th, 2014. If they can escape the bitter winter blizzard pounding the Midwest, they should arrive here in Dar es Salaam bright and early (3:45 a.m. in fact) to thawing temperatures in the 90′s! Our family has been in Dar preparing for the SST unit since early December.   Our preparation has included opening a bank account, meeting with host families, planning field-trips,  arranging lectures, and settling our family into our new home here in Dar es Salaam.  We took…

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April 13, 2011

The Zanzibar Retreat

After a flurry of meetings, celebrations, and project presentations in Dar es Salaam, we left on the ferry Friday morning to head to Zanzibar for a few final days of processing, catching up, and preparing to return home. The ferry ride from Dar es Salaam is about a two hour boat ride and we arrived at the port next to Stone Town around lunchtime.  We walked to our hostel, Karibu Inn, in downtown Stone Town and settled in before hitting the town for a quick lunch.  Students had the afternoon off to explore the city on their own.  Many elected…

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April 12, 2011

We just returned from the airport after dropping off 18 of the 22 students for their journey home.  We stayed in the airport until we heard that they were boarding. Then we waited outside hoping to get a glimpse of the airplane.  Indeed, just 6 minutes after their scheduled departure we saw their Ethiopian Airlines plane cruise off into the sunset.  We waved and cheered (drawing some odd stares) and wished them a safe journey. Now before you get too excited about where the other four students disappeared, let me explain!  Josh Miller left this morning by bus for his…

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April 7, 2011

This morning (after a very short night!) we gathered at the unit house for a morning of student presentations (and mandazis, fruit, fresh bread, and cheese).  Each student has been working on an interdisciplinary project of  his/her own choosing during the entire semester in Tanzania.  The goal of the project is to emphasize the connections between multiple disciplines, which are necessary in order to address solutions to complex problems.  It was an impressive showing — here are a smattering of some of the projects.  You guess if you can tell who authored them! – Women Farmers in Tanzania – Perceptions…

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April 7, 2011

Safely in Dar es Salaam

We left Musoma bright and early on Wednesday at 5:00 a.m. without a problem and spent the next 21 hours traveling together by bus to Dar.  Wow!  It was indeed a long trip, but one filled with good conversation, journal writing (and grading!), and a few (many) naps. We arrived in Dar around 1:30 a.m. to an expectant gathering of host parents ready to swoop up their son or daughter.  We are so thankful that we all arrived safely in Dar and are looking forward to a time together of de-briefing and sharing of stories.

April 5, 2011

They’re Back!

We are pleased to report that the students all safely returned to Musoma today!  As the students arrived from their various locations, they were shuttled from the bus stand to the Mennonite Center.  With each new group’s arrival, cheers of excitement went up and hugs were abundant!  Small groups shared stories as we awaited the remaining students.  Most everyone had arrived by noon and after conversing with each other (an amazing buzz throughout the dining room…) we once again enjoyed a meal together as a group.  Following the meal, we held a short meeting to go over the schedule for…

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April 2, 2011

Ariel Ropp and Kaeli Evans are living in the small village of Nyabange, which is about a 15-minute drive from the town of Musoma.  This has also been our home, so we’ve crossed paths with Ariel and Kaeli on the weekends when we were not traveling to visit other students. Nyabange is home to the Mennonite Theological College of East Africa (MTCEA), which is a seminary that provides training in biblical scholarship, church history, peacemaking, and English/computer skills.  MTCEA has been gracious enough to offer us one of their houses, which has been a wonderful home for us.  Additionally, our…

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April 1, 2011

Alison in Mwanza

Alison lives in Mwanza, the second largest city in Tanzania, which is also located on the shores of Lake Victoria about 3 hours south of Musoma.  We left Musoma on Wednesday afternoon and arrived in Mwanza around 4:30 p.m. in time to meet Alison at her workplace.  The drive is a beautiful journey through rolling green hills dotted with small villages among large rocky outcrops.  The road at times follows the shoreline of Lake Victoria and also passes through the edge of the western corridor of the Serengeti National Park, where we viewed wildebeest and zebra from the highway. Arriving…

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April 1, 2011

Abby Hertzler and Mark Meier are both living and working in the town of Musoma, which is nestled above Lake Victoria.  They are living about 20 minutes from our home in Nyabange, so we have seen them a number of times during the 5 weeks.  However, on Monday we arranged for “formal” visits to their homes and places of work. Abby is working at Victoria Secondary School, a private school run by Mr. and Mrs. Olimo.  (The Olimos are parents of Agnes Odhiambo who lives in Goshen!  It is a small world.)  Abby has been working in the school’s library…

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March 29, 2011

Shirati is a town of historical significance for the Mennonite Church in Tanzania.  It is one of the oldest centers of missionary presence in Tanzania, with the arrival of Mennonites in the early 1930’s.  Today it continues to be a thriving Mennonite community with the Shirati hospital and SHED (Shirati Health Education & Development Foundation). Three Goshen students are serving in Shirati, Karla Folker works at the Shirati Hospital, Lydia Yoder is volunteering with SHED, and Leah Thill has been teaching at Zappe Kindergarten School.  All three students live within several minutes walk of one another and have very much…

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