On Tuesday morning we left Musoma early and arrived in the small town of Mogabiri, the service location for Eva Lapp and Andre Eisenbeis. Mogabiri is on the escarpment and enjoys cooler weather at a higher elevation. This is great farming and banana country!
Eva and Andre were waiting for us at the end of the road which leads to the Mogabiri Farm Extension Centre, their service location. The station is run by the Anglican church and seeks to provide agricultural services to local villages in addition to education related to HIV AIDS prevention. Andre’s interest is in agriculture and he has been joining the extension officers in their forays to the local villages where the officers provide training in crop production, raising of chickens and other agricultural practices. Andre has also been helping with the farm chores around the centre, working with Richard who milks and feeds the station’s cows and goats. When we left he was helping Richard clear a new field for planting, as the rains were just beginning. Andre lives with Charles, one of the centre’s staff who also works at the Diocese offices of the Anglican church in the nearby town of Tarime.
Eva’s interests are in women’s studies and peace and justice. She has also been accompanying the staff in their village visits, but focusing on family planning and HIV AIDS education. While some of the staff are doing the agricultural training, another set of colleagues provides education related to family planning and HIV AIDS prevention and healthcare. Eva has been working with Gladness, one of the staff who is also her host mother! Eva has seemingly gotten to know everyone in the entire compound, with special attention to the women and children who called out her name wherever we went. She spends time in the evenings and afternoons entertaining them, playing games with them and sometimes doing art activities. She is well-loved!
On Tuesday after arriving, we took a tour of the centre, caught up with Andre and Eva and had a great lunch of beef stew and rice at the station. The afternoon included Ryan reading journals, Andre helping Richard build a new calf pen and Eva, Donna, and the kids talking and playing with the staff’s children.
Wednesday morning we took Andre and Eva with us to Nyarero to visit Evan and Jess (the next blog post). We returned in the evening to sleep at Mogabiri Wednesday night, and on Thursday morning we visited the Director of the Centre, Roselyne Mosama, expressing thanks for her supervision of Andre and Eva! It is a warm community of people working hard to improve the sustainability of agricultural practices and livelihoods of those who depend on farming. Andre and Eva are doing very well and are quickly becoming part of the community!
-Ryan for the team