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Greetings from Tanzania

A Message from Director of Global Learning Mike Cinson

December 17, 2017

The Third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday and it reserved to rejoice in the coming of the Lord. It is befitting because I write to you today from a Blouin Global Scholar Community that is filled with joy and happiness. Our community has been overwhelmed with the level of hospitality and kind treatment we have received by the Diocese of Moshi and the community members we have met along the way. It is hard to believe the group has been in Tanzania for a week and I hear from the students how it has felt like a lifetime, but time is going by so fast.

As a short recap, the students were welcomed by Fr. Aloyce Urio and Fr. Daniel Amani at the beginning of the week who gave us an introduction to the Diocese of Moshi, the Chancellery, Caritas (Catholic Charities) of Moshi, and the office who support the missions of the Diocese. The students were also given an introduction to Mwenge Sacred Heart Priest Center where we are staying. We visited 3 different communities (2 parishes and minor seminary) that are a part of the Diocese Water well project. The students were able to see direct effect of how water impacts a community. We also visited the Uru Shamba Coffee Plantation, a property owned by the Diocese. This visit allowed the students to see a valuable cash crop for the region and the sustainable ways to grow and maintain their harvest. This plantation also grows bananas and avocados. Students from Mwenge University showed our students their University. Last Thursday, we went to a more rural district (Rombo) to visit the Ngleku Orphanage Center, Huruma School of Nursing, Huruma Hospital, a bakery that supports the Upendo orphanage, and water and juice bottling facility. This past weekend the students traveled to safari with stops along the way at a snake park, Maasai museum, and Maasai village. The students enjoyed the safari as we saw many animals including elephants, baboons, ostrich, zebra, giraffe, multiple varieties of antelope, and lions! Today, the students went to Mass at the Cathedral, rested, and visited the St. Francis School for the disabled.

Looking ahead we are excited to visit Kibosho seminary (a seminary that virtually self-sustaining from what they grow on their property). We will also visit Kilacha Production, a vocation program that trains students on either farming or culinary services. We also have time to visit a cultural site for the Chagga people (the tribe of Moshi), and to visit markets here to compare how food is packaged, marketed, and sold.

Although are students have had a busy week, they remain positive, upbeat, and ready to learn more. Both the faculty (Jennifer Vokoun) and I have been impressed with the students capacity to adjust, adapt, and soak in a new culture. We are both very proud of how they are finding cultural connections and to learn from our hosts, each other, and their environment. We believe each of these students have a great capacity to use the experience they have gained to affect change! We are humbled by their creativity and passion. We do apologize in advance for how tired they will be in on their return. Please continue to support them as they share their experiences with you!

With most kind regards,