Musoma: Naomi and Trevor

Friday March 24, 2023

Naomi – Lake Victoria Disability Center

On Friday we visited Naomi and Trevor at their respective service locations in Musoma. Naomi is assisting at the Lake Victoria Disability Center, a non-profit that seeks to provided vocational educational opportunities for students, including those with disabilities.

On arrival we met the director, Denis Maina (whom the SST program has known for many years) and his assistant Perys. One of LVDC’s main goals is to provide Tanzanian Sign Language training for local constituents, including teachers and healthcare workers. It is estimated that in the Mara region there are about 7000-8000 deaf residents, so the need for these services is pronounced.

Naomi gave us a tour of the compound and we met some of her colleagues and students. The center teaches welding, sewing, carpentry, lab technical skills, and even mining! The school also includes a girls and boys dormitory for those coming from afar. It was very obvious that Naomi has made many friends there, among teachers and students alike, as we had numerous conversations throughout our tour!

Naomi has been attending some Tanzanian Sign trainings, has helped with teaching sign on Fridays, participated in weekend sign training events at a local church, and is working to create a handbook with the common signs for the eleven different areas of study that the center offers.

After our visit, we visited Naomi’s host, Mama Javin, who lives in Nyabange with her young baby! We had coffee and peanuts, and of course the whole time we were  “oohing” and “aahing” over little Javin!

Trevor – Musoma Water Authority

In the afternoon, we visited Trevor’s office in downtown Musoma. He has been volunteering at the local water authority, splitting his time between the water quality division and the water resources division. Trevor had just returned from a 2-day field visit with the water team collecting water samples in Bunda (see his pics below).

We received a tour of the water quality lab, met Trevor’s colleagues, and learned about the goals and mission of this government agency, which is to monitor and maintain healthy water systems for the town residents. They also visit local surface water tributaries to monitor the water quality for nearby villages.

Trevor’s project is to analyze past rainfall data for the water resources division and make graphs using the statistical R software program. He spends many hours in the office wrangling data and is producing some excellent visuals for their reports. His goal is to also create R code templates which they can use to create images in the future.

In the afternoon, we returned to Nyabange and visited Trevor’s host mama in her hair salon. We also stopped by his house and met his host siblings. It was a delight to see both Naomi and Trevor engaging so well in their communities!