May at a Glance

We thought it would be nice, for you and for us, to write a blog to reflect on each month we’ve been here.  Looking back at a glance at May, we’ve had a lot of firsts, met with many different people, and visited a ton of places across Tanzania.  It’s been a great experience so far, as we hope you’ve gathered from our previous blogs, and it’s nice to be able to stop and reflect on where we’ve been and what we’ve done and exactly how it’s played into the progress of the project and into our lives here.

Settling into our Tanzanian lifestyle has been a definitely been a transition but we’re slowly figuring out how to combine our work life, our daily chores, and the limited daylight we have.  We’ve managed to navigate the markets, negotiate prices, master how to hand-wash our laundry, travel on buses, and speak basic Swahili.  Although our unwelcome house-guests (massive cockroaches and giant spiders) came as a surprise, we’ve managed to eliminate most of them and have developed plans of attack in case of their return.  We continue to develop our skills every day and we’re certain that eventually rural Tanzanian life will be a breeze!

Many of the meetings we had during our stay in Dar es Salaam and Morogoro got us involved with some of the universities and organizations working on interesting projects that address similar goals and objectives as the Tanzanian Poultry Project, directly and indirectly.  The conversations we had about One Health issues in Tanzanian gave us a really good perspective on how to tackle some of the concerns with our Tanzanian Poultry Project and how to approach working with the farmers to make the project a success.  Some of the connections we made also allowed us to work together on formulating a concept note proposal to the IDRC for future funding.  The ideas and potential direction that came out of that concept note may open new doors for the project and land us working on implementing the first stages of the project in August before we depart.  It’s a very exciting opportunity and we’re eager to expand the project and take it to new levels in Tanzania!

Travelling from Dar es Salaam through all the major cities to reach our home in Ushirika has also given us the opportunity to experience the beauty of Tanzania.  The landscape provides epic, picturesque scenery at every turn and the wildlife we met on our journey through Mikumi National Park will definitely be a lasting memory for us.  However, the greatest beauty of Tanzania has been its people.  The kindness, generosity, and appreciation from everyone we’ve met has been absolutely overwhelming.  The excitement of the children at Ilima Primary School as they sang and clapped when they saw us, the generosity of the school teachers and teacher farmers who provided us food at our meetings, and the warm and welcoming nature of everyone we’ve met has made the transition much easier on both of us.  We’re so thankful that our first month here has been filled with such positive experiences!

We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about our adventures thus far as much as we’ve enjoyed living them.  It’s great to be able to share our experiences with everyone and give all of you an idea about what it’s like to be here in Tanzania working on the Poultry Project.  If there is anything you want to know, please leave us a comment so we can give you the inside scoop – we would love to share even more with you!