Emma and Siobhan on the mic! We made it to Tabora and have had a whirlwind of a week so far! We will take a brief minute to introduce ourselves before updating you on the exciting news of Tabora. Siobhan is from Chapel Hill, NC. She graduated from George Washington University in 2013 with a degree in Anthropology, with a focus in Public Health and Women’s Studies. She spent this past year in Portland, OR, working for a non-profit that focuses on helping at-risk families transition out of homelessness. Emma is from Mansfield, CT. She graduated from Providence College in May of 2014, with a degree in Public and Community Service Studies with a concentration in Community Economics. We are both really looking forward to spending this year with 2Seeds in Tabora.
We arrived on Friday morning, to a group of screaming, smiling children. We spent the morning with Cam and Ana, taking a tour of the village. We got a chance to meet all of our business partners, and to see the kitchen where group cooking sessions take place. We spent the rest of the day exploring and getting settled into our house. In the evening we decided to visit some of our partners, ending up at Mama Hasani’s house. To our surprise she escorted us into a community drum circle, where we were pulled into the middle to dance. We had a wonderful time, even though our dance moves made us the laughing stock of the village! It was a fabulous welcome into life in Tabora.
Yesterday we joined our first cooking session with the women, working from 10:00am until 7:00pm to cook 100 bags of chips. We have never peeled so many potatoes in our lives! The cooking went smoothly, with each woman taking lead on a specific task. Thanks to their patience we learned all of the steps necessary for cooking these delicious chips. These 100 bags were sent on the back of a pikipiki (motorcycle) to shops in Korogwe, the nearby city.
Today we spent half of the day in the kitchen cooking candied peanuts, popcorn, and chips for an order from the capital, Dar Es Salaam. It was great to see how all of the individual products are made. We were able to take part in the business transactions such as transportation and record-keeping. Through broken Swahili, we were able to get a better idea of how the business is run and contributed to the process.
In the coming week we are really looking forward to continuing to develop relationships with our partners, as well as challenging ourselves to strengthen our Swahili and our knowledge of the business.