Recent Posts

March 28, 2011

Mogabiri is home to the Mogabiri Farm Extension Centre, an organization run by the Anglican Church, devoted to improving the farming practices of local farmers and increasing their livelihoods through farming.  Alain and Matt have been working here and we spent two nights at Mogabiri, staying in the center’s dormitory complex. The center is located on the edge of the escarpment and one can view the entire valley from the property… amazing.  The higher elevation creates a cooler climate (ahhhhh!), and this combined with fertile soils provides an agricultural haven for banana trees, coffee, cassava, corn, and other crops.  Matt…

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March 28, 2011

I hope the delay in posting has not been too long!  We did not have internet on our trip through Nyarero, Mogabili, and Shirati.  Goshen College also experienced some server problems on Sunday.   However, now we are back online! Last week, after getting our car fully fixed in Musoma, we left for another week long safari to visit students in Mogabiri, Nyarero, and Shirati.  In order to visit Nyarero, we first stopped at Mobabiri, where Alain and Matt are serving.  This served as our base for two nights, in order to visit those in Nyarero and Mogabiri, two towns on…

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March 20, 2011

We arrived in Kemgesi late on Thursday night after our long safari through the rolling hills of surrounding villages. Kemgesi town is nestled on the slopes of a rocky hill in front of a treeless plain of green pasture.  Our headlights didn’t allow us to gain a full feel of the vista, but we succeeded in finding our waiting welcoming party!  Ted and Meg were alongside the road with their host parents, David Maganya and Josephine Bias, respectively.  After an excited flurry of hugs and hellos, we stowed our luggage at Josephine’s house and walked the short distance to David’s…

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March 19, 2011

We left early Thursday morning for Kenyana, a very rural town about an hour west of Mugumu.  We met Josh Miller and the pastor of the Mennonite Church in Kenyana along the roadside flagging us down.  Otherwise, we may have passed right through Kenyana! Kenyana is a beautiful town with mountain ranges framing the sky in all directions.  Josh lives here with his host mother, Mama Kisaka, and her children.  We were warmly welcomed into their home for a tasty brunch of tea and pancakes.  Mama Kisaka’s energy and smile fills a room and we were instantly at “home.”  Josh…

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March 19, 2011

Emily Bowman and Laura Krabill are both living in Mugumu town, about an hour west of the Serengeti National Park.  Mugumu is a town with connections to Goshen!  Professor of nursing Jan Emswiler and her husband Kajungu lived in Mugumu before coming to Goshen.  We met many of their friends in the community and in the Mennonite Church.  Jan and Kajungu – watu wa Mugumu walimsalamia sana! (We extend many greetings back to Jan, Kajungu, and others familiar with the community!) Emily is working with the organization called IMARA, a non-profit working with HIV AIDS awareness. Her host father, Mr…

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March 18, 2011

Nata is a small town of several thousand people on the western edge of the Serengeti National Park. Erica Grasse, David Graber, and Jonathan Mast are living and volunteering in Nata and we visited them on Monday and Tuesday of this week. We arrived in time to share a lunch on the town (at the “TEXAS” restaurant of all places) of rice and meat and chips (French fries) with eggs. It was a great time of story telling about life in Nata. With Nata’s proximity to the Serengeti National Park, the challenges and opportunities related to ecotourism are important issues….

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March 13, 2011

This past week marks our first service visit!  Thursday and Friday we spent in Murangi, a town about 1 ½ hours south of Musoma directly on Lake Victoria.  The town is a small village of several thousand residents nestled on a hill overlooking the water, with a very splendid view. Anna Ruth and Annika Miller have made Murangi their home and we were treated to a wonderful 2-day taste of their daily life. We arrived in Murangi just after noon on Thursday (after waiting several days to get our vehicle fixed) and met Anna and Annika at Murangi Secondary School…

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March 4, 2011

On Sunday the students and our family attended the Nyabange Mennonite Church in Nyabange, a small village on the outskirts of Musoma where the Mennonite Theological College of East Africa (MTCEA) is located.  We have also been offered a house by the college to stay in during our time on service, for which we are very grateful.  In addition, Ariel Ropp is doing her service assignment with the college, which includes some teaching and work in the library. During the Sunday service we were warmly welcomed by the congregation, by Bishop Christopher Ndege, and the leaders of the Theological College,…

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March 3, 2011

Ikoma Cultural Center

During our visit to Grumeti we stayed at the Ikoma Cultural Center located between Mugumu and Nata.  The cultural center is run by Agnes and her husband and provides an opportunity for visitors to experience some of the local culture surrounding the Serengeti, while at the same time providing economic benefits to the communities. Upon our arrival, we were warmly welcomed with tea and water, something we all needed after the dusty 3 hour ride from the Serengeti.  A cultural dance troupe danced and played for us as we drank our tea, followed by introductions and welcomes.  After setting up…

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March 1, 2011

Grumeti Reserve

Tanzania’s land management comprises a mix of complete protected areas (national parks like the Serengeti), areas where wildlife can be comsumed (wildlife management areas – WMA), and areas where humans can live and coexist with wildlife (akin to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area).  Our goal was to explore these multiple land use options and examine the strengths and weaknesses of these various models. Our last stop was to visit the Grumeti Reserve, another type of land management with a slightly different strategy.  Grumeti is located on a WMA where a wealthy American bought up all the hunting rights.  In place of…

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