26 October 2015

there's no place like home.

Often times, when I reveal that I am an American, Tanzanians will immediately sing praises of the United States and ask how I can help them get there. 

“Will you take me with you next time you go home?”

“How much would it cost to get to the United States?”

“If only I could get a sponsor to educate me in America…”

"Here, at least take my child with you."

The desire to get to the United States is endless, especially among young people. But for those Tanzanians and East Africans I’ve met who have been to Europe or the United States, they always move back here. Why?

19 October 2015

it ain't over 'til the tanzanian ladies sing.

Life and work have been very busy for the past couple of months, both for things expected and unexpected. In particular, I recently completed another month of business training for young mothers, teaching them entrepreneurship and how to choose, start and run a business. Following this, I was asked by another organization to plan and facilitate three weeks of business training for women in vulnerable living situations, often with children who have run away and are living on the streets.

young mother, felister, smiles during a recent training on entrepreneurship and group enterprise.

Facilitating seminars and leading trainings on business is the most wonderful and most challenging aspect of my ministry here in Tanzania. It is an activity fraught with language, cultural and learning barriers, but also filled with tremendous hope and possibility.

12 October 2015

building self-confidence through handcrafts.

What do you get when you mix 100 Tanzanian young women, 1 American, 120 spools of yarn, and many, many yards of fabric together? A week-long LULU handcrafts workshop!

If you are a reader of this blog, you know that I work with young Tanzanian women but you may have a hard time understanding what it is that we actually do. Here's what a week in the life of yours truly looks like!

05 October 2015

a thief in the night.

It was two o’clock in the morning. The electricity was out. Everything was completely dark. Six men approached our office with guns. One threw a rock atop the tin roof, intentionally wanting to stir the night guard to see where he was positioned. As the watchman appeared in the darkness, the six thieves began to climb and jump the fence. Immediately the guard grabbed his whistle to sound a call for help, but was promptly deterred by one of the thieves with a gun. “If you blow that whistle we’ll shoot you!”