In the last few months, I’ve made several trips to the village of Malya, about 2 hours out of Mwanza. In addition to home visits, my boss and I have been helping the parish women’s group become more of a working co-op. We’ve been helping them draft a constitution, elect officers, and decide on which group projects to pursue. I really like this group and enjoy my time out of the city.
We also invite two representatives of each of the co-ops to the Capacitar office at Mrs. Mbogoma’s house to meet each other and share ideas and concerns. The women did swap ideas and one group shared its constitution with the others to use as a guide for creating their own. A representative of SIDO (Small Industry Development Organization) also spoke and shared about what they do and the types of services they offer groups (microfinance options, trainings, etc). The women were very appreciative of the information they received. While the planning of this seminar was a collective effort, the idea was mine, so it was very satisfying to see it come to fruition.
Since my Kiswahili is still pretty lousy, most of my work is behind the scenes. I’ve designed a series of worksheets to serve as a guide to help the women select a feasible project that will be successful and profitable. The women have many good ideas, but a good idea doesn’t always translate into a realistic business plan. I have also been designing a website for Capacitar Tanzania. I hope to have it live online soon.
I’ve also been quite busy working on the arrival of our two new missioners, I’m in charge of orientation for the next year, so there have been emails, skype calls, immigration documents, etc to deal with. Additionally, I helmed the reapplication of 5 current missioners residency permits. Tanzania is updating its system for residency permits and cancelled all current permits. We had to reapply. It was frustrating. No exciting stories there. Just lots of paperwork and frustration. Bang your head against the wall a few times and you’ll get a close approximation.
I also built this thing in our backyard (with the help of a neighbor). I’m very happy with how it turned out, and we have christened it “The Embassy.” It’s a safe place to serve as an escape when TZ beats us down.
So that’s it for now. Katie’s mom and stepdad are here for 2 weeks, so I’ll have plenty of new stories to share soon.
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