Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kili - Day 1

On Saturday, June 5, I bid farewell to my friends at CCS, and headed off for the weeklong challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro.

We did the 7-day Machame route, known to be one of the most scenic routes up the Mountain.  Day 1 consisted of hiking from the gate (1950m - 6400ft) to the Machame camp (3000m - 9800ft).  Day 1 is through what they call the "cloud forest" where rain, fog, and clouds are the norm amongst the the tall trees. 
We started our climb, stopped for a quick lunch 1/2 hour into the hike, and then continued through the jungle.  We started the day off in rain gear, but soon found that getting a bit wet was better than overheating in a rain jacket.  Highlights of day 1 were seeing w couple waterfalls, and watching Mel get eaten by red ants! :)

Our guides, Antipas and Macho, were great!  They encouraged us through our first day.  Macho even carried 4 dozen eggs along with him!

By the time we reached Machame camp, it was dark.  We signed in, dropped our day packs off in our tents, and ate a candle-lit dinner.**  Day 1-  in the books!

**Meals were all fantastic!  Eggs, crepes, porridge and fruit for breakfast.  Soup, chicken, rice, pasta, stewed veggies, fruit, etc for dinner.  And tea, coffee, milo, and nido.  Yum!

Pre-climb Video

Lunch Video

Climbing Video

First View of Kili

The Real World - Kilimanjaro! (Opening Credits)

This is the true story... of four (almost) strangers... who agreed to live in a tent...climb Kilimanjaro together and have their lives taped and photographed... to find out what happens... when people stop breathing oxygen... and start getting real loopy...The Real World – KILIMANJARO!

Location: Machame Route, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Dates: June 5-11, 2010


Sandra Igel - Sandra is also known as Leonardo, The Angry German, and Sandy Pants. She hails from Deutschland, which is Germany for all of us Anglos. After spending 2 years in Vermont and another 6 in London, Sandy is moving on from her hectic life in hotel operations at the Four Seasons. Career break for Sandy includes The Philippines and Tanzania before moving back to Germany. She earned the name “Angry German” during an incident involving a mosque and a shady tour guide.

Jessica Motyl – That’s me! During this season of The Real World – Kilimanjaro, I was known as Michelangelo, The Raunchy American, and the Pocket Rocket. I was born in the D, but now live in paradise (San Diego). My trip to Tanzania was due to an unplanned career break that turned out for the best! I earned the name “Raunchy American” during the climb. 7 days with no showers and limited oxygen turned my language into that of a truck driver. Who are we kidding; I usually speak like a truck driver! (Sorry Mom)

Rohit Roopchand – Also known as Donatello, The Horny Indian, Roadhead, and Double Ro 7. Some would consider Ro, the lone male of our climbing group (excluding guides, cooks, porters), a brave man for climbing a mountain with 3 women. Those who know better realize that this is actually Ro’s dream come true. Nicknamed ‘The Horny Indian,’ Ro likes the ladies. Born in India, schooled in India, Nigeria, the UK and the US, Ro has been gracing the US of A with is presence for the past 12 years. Despite his multinational upbringing, the Ro Hit Wonder is now the definition of New York City….he was the only one out of the group that brought a mirror!!!

Melissa Sweeney – Melissa goes by the following aliases: Raphael, The Crazy Aussie, Sweens, and Mel. Hailing from Perth, Australia, Mel is a P.E. and health teacher. She is full of hilarious stories, challenging mind teasers, and creative songs – all of which would make some (especially our guides) think she was crazy! She is best known for the jackhammer and her newly penned climbing song. To the tune of “Louie Louie,” – Pole Pole, Oh Oh – Haraka Haraka, Haina Baraka! (Slow Slow, Oh Oh, Hurrying has no blessings).

Supporting Cast:

Hans and Daan – Father and son team from The Netherlands. Daan decided (with a little pressure from Pops) that he wanted to climb Kilimanjaro as his secondary school graduation present. Hans and Daan were also on the 7 day Machame Route

Ash and Ravi - Fellow Wolverines that we met on Day 2. They were doing the 6 day Machame route, so we only hiked with them the first 4 days. Proof that it is a small world…not only were these boys graduates of the greatest University in the world, but Ash grew up in Troy! CRAZY!

Captain America and Doc – I think their names were Cody and Alex, but Captain America and Doc worked for us. These brothers were hiking with Ash and Ravi…and from Arkansas. Enough said. Other than the fact that Mel was in love with Captain America.


Guides – Antipas, Macho, and Baraca

Cook - Linus

Porters - There were 11 of them, but the one that really stuck out was Vincent (aka Gorilla, Super Gorilla, Stone Face, Doggy Dog)

Stay tuned for Episode 1 (Day 1) of The Real World – Kilimanjaro!

Friday, June 4, 2010


Today was my last day at WEECE, so I figured this would be a good time to write more about what the organization does, and what we did during our 3 weeks there.

WEECE stands for Women’s Education and Economic Centre. It was started over 10 years ago by a woman named Valeria Mrema (Mama Mrema to us). After a career with the local Catholic Diocese, she decided she wanted to help women in the area to become more independent and self-sufficient. There are 4 parts of WEECE: VICOBA, SACCOS, WEECE School, and the Nganjoni Centre.

VICOBA (Village Community Bank) is a small scale organization that gives microloans to women to start up a small business. It is similar to a very small credit union. Each VICOBA chapter is made up of 30 women, each part of a smaller group of 5. Each person in the group of 5 is responsible for the other, and is held to the debt of each person in the group. This ensures that a majority of the loans are repaid as the 5 women are usually friends before joining VICOBA and want to see each other succeed, as well as maintain good standing within VICOBA. The microloans are usually $50 to $100, and can, I think, go up to $200.

I don’t know much about SACCOS, but there are many throughout Tanzania. These are larger scale credit unions, and once women in VICOBA have a business that is doing well, they can apply to loans through SACCOS.

Nganjoni Centre is a new venture of Mama Mrema’s. Nganjoni is a village over an hour away from Moshi, and Mama, with the help of a group from Germany has built a school there, planted crops for the students, and is now building a health center.

Finally, there is the WEECE School, where I spent my 3 weeks. WEECE provides a 2-year program for young women (and some men) that have not, or do not have the opportunity to attend secondary school. The students are between the ages of 14 and 25, and attend WEECE School to learn computers, English, Math, Social Studies, Sewing, and other items that could be helpful to them in the future.

Right now at WEECE there are 14 students. The first year students are Mary, Noella, Theresia (Teddy), Theodora, Metheline, and Fatuma. The second year students are Aisha, Ellie, Dorothea, Monica, Mussa (our lone boy), Blandina, Neema (Mussa’s Sister), and Jenipher. They are assisted by a small staff. Johanna runs the office, Jenny teaches computers and sewing, Mama Aurelia teaches sewing, Mama Dominica runs the small shop out front, and Baba John Paul teaches English.

We fell in love with all of these women (And Mussa!) during our three weeks with them. It took them a little while to warm up to us, but by our last week, we were like a family.

Each day started out with morning prayers where the girls would sing songs, and pray the Hail Mary and Our Father. The music was beautiful! If you revisit this blog in a couple weeks, I’ll have a link to a video of them singing.

From 8:30 – 10:00 am each day, we worked on computers. This proved to be a challenge as we only had 6 laptops for 14 students. With 2-3 students per laptop, lessons went slowly. Chris, one of my fellow CCS volunteers worked with the 1st year students on Microsoft Publisher. Chris is an artist, so creating brochures and formatting came easy to her. The girls worked on a brochure for the Nganjoni Center during the first 2 weeks.

Marcia (another CCS volunteer) and I worked with the 2nd year students and the WEECE store to teach both the girls and Mama Dominica how to use excel for budgeting, inventory counts, purchases, sales, profits, clothing costs, etc. Since many of these girls may end up having their own small businesses in the future, it was very beneficial to them to learn how to track what the buy and sell . While we had the girls create their own spreadsheets to learn the business topics, I also created an easy to use template that Johanna, Mama Dominica, and the girls can use for the WEECE store.

By our third week, we decided to drop Excel and Publisher as none of the girls really knew how to type. We found some old typewriter booklets that the girls could use for the computer. With more confidence in typing, we felt the girls would be more efficient and confident in using Microsoft Suite products. With only six computers, we developed a staggered schedule in which some girls would sew or work with us on English speaking while the others typed. We made typing fun by holding competitions on speed/errors, and we made speaking English fun by recording a video of each student telling about themselves.

After computer lessons, Mel, an Aussie volunteer who I will be climbing Kili with, led Phys Ed. Type activities. She is a Health/PE teacher back in Australia, so had plenty of fun activities to encourage the girls and Mussa to let loose. Activities included learning songs/dances, and playing tag. By far, the girls’ favorite was the Macarena (see video soon!)

For the remainder of the morning, Chris taught art to the girls. Our thought was to expand the girls’ creativity in order for them to use their new skills to someday make a profit. Chris worked with the girls on drawing and necklace making. The necklaces were super cute, made using braided fabric scraps and a fabric lined bottle cap. These were free to make, so any necklaces sold would be pure profit. During this time, Marcia and I worked with Mama Mrema on emails, and with Johanna and Mama Dominica on business skills.

I feel that our time at WEECE was very well spent, and that we made at least a small impact on all of the girls there. There is so much more I wish I could do for the girls and the organization, but 3 weeks is not much time. Luckily, there is an organization that was started by a former WEECE volunteer called “Friends of WEECE.” The group brings together former volunteers to support WEECE from abroad. More than anything, I hope to somehow stay in touch with the girls. While all of the girls have been given a second chance on education, I think many of them will need the encouragement to continue following their dreams.

Our last day at WEECE was a tough one. So hard to say goodbye to so many wonderful people. To our surprise, Mama Mrema, the staff, and the students threw a going away party for us. We were treated with tea and chipati, kind words, skirts made by Mama Dominica, and a performance of 4 or 5 songs wishing us well. When leaving for the day, we got plenty of hugs, and a few tears. The girls would not even let me walk to the van…they carried me!

I know I have already thanked many of you who are reading this blog, but once again, I am so grateful for both your financial support for this experience as well as your words of encouragement. I never imagined I would have an opportunity to do something like this, and it was more than I thought it could be. THANK YOU!!!

Week 3 at CCS Karanga

Our time outside of placement was still jam packed moving into Week Three. Here are a couple of highlights of things we got to experience:

Batik Making: Fabric plays a large part of daily life in Moshi and Tanzania as a whole. Women use basic kangas as skirts, wraps, or baby backpacks. Kitenge fabric is sold in many places around town. Once you buy this fabric, you can work with one of the hundreds of sewers/tailors sitting on the streets with their foot powered sewing machines to make dresses, skirts, pants, and handbags. A third type of fabric here is Batik, which is made using plain cloth, wax, and dye.

Most batik consists of repeating patterns, but some batik is more artistic and is used as a wall hanging much like a canvas. At CCS we were given batik lessons by a local artist, and had the opportunity to make our own piece of art. While I realize I have VERY little artistic talent, I found the activity to be a lot of fun, especially when it came to using the dye to create different shades of similar colors. The whole batik process took a long time, but I think all of us were pretty happy with our masterpieces.

Local Dance: On Tuesday night, we were treated to dinner out and a traditional dance show. The dance show consisted of both acrobats and tribal dancers. The acrobats were really cool, although some of the really skinny ones that could fold their bodies in weird ways scared me. The dancers were a lot of fun, and invited us onto the floor to dance with them. The flowing wine, Tusker, and Konyagi helped us to think we were dancing like real Africans. 

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR): On Wednesday we took a trip to the United Nations building in Arusha, where the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwandan War Crimes is being held. The ICTR began in 1995 to arrest and complete trials for those involved in the 1994 Genocide. Since 1995, over 80 individuals responsible for decision making in the Genocide have been arrested. This includes former Rwanda Prime Minister Jean Kambanda, the first head of government to ever be convicted of committing war crimes. His sentence of life in prison was the first to be handed down in an international court for the crime of genocide.

Unfortunately, the only court session being held the day we were there was a closed court case (for witness protection). We found out just as we were about to go into the viewing room. We were a bit disappointed, but got to spend the rest of our visit in the ICTR Library as well as with different ICTR officials learning about the International Court. While the local courts In Rwanda are handling many of the smaller cases, and will continue to do so, ICTR plans to close in the next year or two as many of the top leaders of the genocide have been arrested and convicted.

It was a very eye-opening experience. Close to 1 million people were killed in a matter of months. It is amazing how quickly something like this can happen in a third world country. While I try to avoid bringing up politics, the whole experience made me think quite a bit. The UN has spent the past 15 years dealing with the aftermath of this Genocide. Should this have even been necessary? The US knew this was happening, the UN knew this was happening, but neither stepped in to stop it. Is this because Rwanda doesn’t have oil? Was it because the genocide happened with a Democratic administration in office in the US? People in the US say that we’re too smart to let something like the Holocaust happen again, but it happens over and over. Uganda, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda. When and where should the US step in? The UN? Other nations? I don’t have an answer, or even a proper opinion, as the implications of these decisions are huge (can we say Iraq?) How do you place value on human life? Who is responsible for stopping disgusting crimes like these? The ICTR hopes that showing the world that Government leaders and others responsible for genocide will be caught and will be convicted will serve as a deterrent for those thinking of doing something similar in the future. Will it work?

Ok – off my soapbox. While I didn’t get as much free time during my time at CCS as I had previously expected, I really appreciated all of the cultural experiences we were able to take part in. It brought about a great respect and understanding of the Tanzanian and East African people, and made a great impact on my takeaways from this trip.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Number 16

While I’ve written quite a bit about my experience at WEECE, most of the crew at CCS is working at pre-schools around the Moshi area and it has been really interesting to hear about their placements. Here are a couple of examples of what my friends are experiencing:

Lu Dao Montessori Pre-School - Derek and Natalie are working at Lu Dao teaching pre-school. One of the things they noticed when they arrived was that the floor was dirty, the tables were dirty, and the kids were dirty….all the time! Derek and Natalie worked with the students and teachers and showed them the importance of cleaning both the school and themselves. They even made up a song that will remind the kids to wash their hands after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing or sneezing. The kids have really caught on, and love washing their hands now!

Bridge Pre-School – Kasey and Amy are at Bridge Pre-school. They are in our van everyday so we see them get dropped off each morning. The best thing to see is when they arrive at the gate, all of the kids arriving at school crowd around them, grabbing their legs and hands, chanting teacha teacha (teacher teacher). Although they get annoyed with it after their day is done, I think it is pretty cute.

Magareza – Brando, Ashley, and Lara are teaching pre-school/kindergarten (ages 3-6) at Magareza. One of the most interesting things about this is that Magareza is a prison across the highway from Karanga, and the students are the children of the prison workers. Some of the prison workers live on the prison grounds, while many commute from other villages.

I’m not sure if all prisons in Tanzania are this way, but many of the prisoners are allowed to walk around the entire prison grounds during the day. Around employees’ houses. Around the school children. All dressed in orange. Most of them are doing work such as landscaping and farming, and most are accompanied by a guard with a gun, but not all.

It’s not unusual for Brando, Ashley, and Lara to be outside with the kids while surrounded by prisoners doing work. Brando mentioned that last week Mama Hilda, the head teacher at the school, was carrying a large ax so she could chop some wood. Brando, being the gentleman that he is (Brando – I get free drinks for saying that, right?) offered to help Mama out. Brando did not have very good wood chopping skills, so one of the nearby prisoners started laughing and offered to help. It took him about five seconds after he handed the prisoner the ax that “Holy Sh*t….I just gave the random prisoner next to me an ax!” I thought that was pretty funny.

The stories about their students keep me entertained. There’s Little Kanye….who looks like a miniature version of the real Kanye. Then there is the boy named ‘God.’ Can you imagine your response if you asked a 4 year old boy what his name was and he replied ‘God?’

Finally, as a whole, for some reason the students at Magereza were never taught the number 16. When they count, they say 14, 15, 17, 18, 19….The past three weeks have been a challenge trying to teach the kids 16. With two days left of placement, about 60% now remember 16.

All of the volunteers at pre-schools/kindergartens have mentioned that although the students can count in English, and say their ABCs in English, they do not know what the letters or numbers look like. They can recite verbally, but they don’t really understand. It would be very interesting to learn more about education methods in Tanzania. We had a guest speaker come in last week to explain the education system (i.e.Primary School, Secondary School), but we didn’t get into methods of teaching. I see some of the same at WEECE. The students and employees can recite quite a bit, but many times they have no idea what they are talking about.

Overall, I think each of us here at CCS will be leaving knowing that we all made a positive impact. Whether it is the one on one attention given to the pre-schoolers to help them learn their letters, or the concept of budgeting and saving that we are giving the girls at WEECE, I hope we made a difference in at least one person’s life.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Moshi Town Weekend

When I was planning my trip, I was originally thinking about heading to Zanzibar this past weekend for a little fun in the sun. However, after two weeks jam packed with our volunteer placements, cultural activities, and a safari, my body told me that it would be a better idea to stay in town to recover and reenergize instead. Rest also moved up on the priority list when it hit me that I’ll be climbing up Kilimanjaro in just a few short days. So, myself, and everyone else here in the Karanga house, decided to stay at the home base this weekend and enjoy a bit of Moshi Town.

For those who know nothing more about where I am other than somewhere on the African continent, I am in Karanga Village, Moshi Municipality, Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. Tanzania is on the east coast of Africa, situated just below Kenya, and just east of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Congo. Moshi is in the Northeast part of the country, at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and only 30 miles or so from the Kenyan border. The Karanga Village (similar to a neighborhood in the States) is about 3 miles outside of the center of town, and our house is about a mile down the very bumpy, muddy, rutted out Karanga dirt road. I don’t think our street has a name. I don’t think any of the streets in Karanga have a name for that matter. People use PO boxes for mail, if they get mail, and each house is on a numbered parcel of land in the Karanga Village, which makes finding places quite a challenge. For example, the way to tell someone how to get here from town, you’d say…Take the Moshi-Arusha Hwy to Margareza (the prison) and turn left. Go down the road past the Amani Centre for Street Children. When you see the store (which is in a mud hut) turn left. We are the white gate on your left.

There are some really nice houses in Karanga, like the one that CCS rents out for the program. There are also many dirt huts throughout the village. All of our immediate neighbors live in small dirt huts, and own cow, pigs, chickens, goats and sheep to help sustain their families. I see many children wearing the same dirty, ripped clothing 2 days in a row. Money is very scarce in these families, and it amazes me how intrigued they are by seeing themselves on my digital camera, or looking at my pictures I brought from home. Over the past 2 weeks, I have met Patric (16 years old), Evon (8 years old), Augustino (7 years old), and Brenda (3 years old). Great kids who love to interact with us Mzungus! They are always so excited to see us!

Anyway, back to the weekend. Friday was a cloudy, dreary day, so most of us laid low at the home base, took naps, and read books in the couple hours before dinner. After dinner, a group of us headed out to The Watering Hole for a couple of beers…and a brownie. Remember how I mentioned that there’s not much in the way of dessert in this area. We girls needed a chocolate and sugar fix!

Saturday started off very slowly. The younger crew at the house was doing a Kilimanjaro Day climb, so the remainder of us slept in, read, did laundry, and chatted until after lunch. The slow morning also gave me time to go on a short run (really short…2 miles…It’s hot, humid, hilly, and muddy here!) As a blonde Mzungu wearing spandex and running deep into the village on my own, I got plenty of interesting looks and laughs. Just the sight of me scared a little 2 year old boy. As I ran past, he turned into his mom’s legs and started screaming and crying. Running white girls are more of an oddity here than I thought!

The highlight of Saturday was our night out to dinner. We headed out to El Rancho, which despite its name is an Indian restaurant, not a Mexican restaurant. Fabulous, cheap Indian food and plenty of drinks to go around. I think I downed a whole bottle of wine that night. When in Africa, right?

Sunday was the highlight of our weekend. 8 of us from the house signed up for a Coffee Tour in Materuni, one of the nearby Chagga mountain villages. Edward from Pristine Adventures picked us up in the ‘Happy People’ daladala to take us into the village. (Sidenote: The daladalas – busses- here all have themes. Ours was ‘Happy People’ and was covered with pictures of Jay-Z and Snoop, and the driver played lots of hip hop music for our journey).

Materuni is a Catholic Chagga village. We learned that each ridge in the area was settled by different missionaries, so the next ridge over was Lutheran, and the ridge next to that was also Catholic. Really interesting! Anyway, when we got to Materuni, we met Oscar, who helps run the coffee farm on his family’s land. Oscar was awesome! And so was his family. We chatted with his Mama and Baba, as well as his nieces and nephews (including one very outgoing ‘Little Obama’). Oscar had so much knowledge about the coffee process, and had us help him make our own batch to drink. While we were able to pick the coffee ‘berries’ off the tree, and get the beans out of them and soak them, we didn’t have the 2 days required for soaking, and the 7 days required for drying. So, similar to the magic we see on cooking shows in the States, Oscar had a dried batch of beans ready for us to process.

Step 1: We used a very large mortar and pestle to pound the dried beans in order to remove the dried shucks. This took at least 20 minutes to do, and was extremely tiring in the hot sun. Luckily there were 8 of us to help and take turns.

Step 2: Oscar built a fire and placed a large pot on top of it. It took about ½ hour to roast the beans. Someone had to constantly stir the beans during this process in order to keep the coffee from burning.

Step 3: We used the mortar and pestle again to grind the beans into a fine powder (think powdered sugar consistency)

Step 4: We boiled water over the fire and added the coffee powder directly to the water, letting it steep for about 2 minutes

Step 5: We poured the coffee/water mixture through a filter into a thermos.

Step 6: We got to drink the coffee! When I first saw the coffee, I was scared. It looked like very muddy water…nothing like my Starbucks coffee. I was afraid of how strong and bitter it would be. 1 sip and I was floored! This was the most AMAZING coffee I had EVER tasted! It was super smooth. Everyone agreed that it was better than anything we had ever tasted. No worries to those back in San Diego. I’m bringing some back with me! 

After coffee and lunch, Oscar and Edward led us on a hike through Materuni to the Mnambe Waterfall. The hike was beautiful, and Oscar taught us how certain plants were used by the Chagga tribe. Yucca is very important in the culture, marking territory, as a peace offering, and showing the direction of beer. We also got to see the leaves they use as natural ‘sandpaper’ and try out the tree branch they used for toothbrushes.

After hiking for an hour, we finally reached the waterfall! While we had been to the Kilasiya Waterfall on Wednesday, this one knocked it out of the park! Mnambe was much taller, and had a larger pool at the bottom that we could actually swim in without worrying about the current. The water was extremely cold, and the force from the waterfall felt like standing in a hurricane, but it was so so beautiful! I have pictures and video, but they will never do Mnambe justice.

We arrived back at home just in time for dinner, and despite the copious amounts of coffee, headed to bed early. Back to placement tomorrow morning! Ahhh…Mondays!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tanzanian Eats and Drinks

Many have asked what I have been eating here, and if my stomach is hanging in there with the new foods. My stomach has done surprisingly well! I don’t want to jinx myself, but I have not yet touched my Tums, Immodium, or Cipro! (Yes, I am knocking on wood right now). Here’s a good idea of what we’ve been eating.


• Chai tea with ginger

• Fresh fruit juices (mango, passion fruit, etc.)

• Tusker, Kilimanjaro, Safari, and Serengeti Beer

• Banana beer (if you are brave)

• Coffee

• South African Wines


• Chai Tea with ginger. Yum!

• Porridge with Honey

• Fried or hardboiled egg

• Small, but not very sweet doughnuts

• Thin crepe-like pancakes with honey

• Bananas, bananas, bananas (over 120 different species of banana in TZ!)

• Mango

While I’m not a huge breakfast fan back home, breakfast has been my absolute favorite here in TZ!


• Ugali – corn based mashed potato looking stuff that you can mold into a bowl looking utensil and used to eat meat, veggies, etc

• Rice

• Beans

• Fried chicken parts (wings, legs, etc). Chickens are fresh here, and they fry or cook up everything

• Beef in tomato sauce, beef with bananas, plain beef. Not sirloin, not filet, not ground beef, just meat from a cow

• Cooked Spinach-like green stuff. Sometimes it is spinach, sometimes not. You can’t tell by looking, but some of the “spinach” stuff is better than others.

• Leeks with lemon. Really good!

• Salad with tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, onions. We have an enormous avocado tree in the back yard, so we almost always have avocado with our meals

• Cooked mixed veggies (carrots, green beans)

• Chipati

• Fruit

The kitchen staff has also tried some Western favorites such as Enchiladas, spaghetti with veggie meatballs, pizza, and veggie burgers. All were pretty good, but definitely not like home. Well, except for the veggie burgers. Best I’ve ever tasted. Need to get the recipe they use for the veggie patties.

Dessert is not a normal thing here in Tanzania. I guess people get their sugar cravings satisfied by fruit alone. I tried that for awhile, but every once in awhile you really need some ice cream. Luckily, there is a ‘supermarket’ about 1.5 miles down the road that sells ice cream cups!

I have only eaten out once since arriving here in TZ. Last night, Ashley, Sara and I decided we were ready for some real pizza. We headed out to the Indoitaliano, the Indian/Italian restaurant in town, for a fun night of food and drink. We had garlic naan as an appetizer, and then each got a small pizza. It was wonderful! Granted, not as good as most that I’ve had in the States, but close enough! We polished off 2 bottles of wine and milkshakes for dessert. Such a great night! The restaurant was completely filled with Mzungus (white people). I guess the Tanzanians don’t really crave Italian like we do.

A little side note: While eating at Indoitaliano, I ran into Mel, the girl I volunteer with at WEECE, who I am also climbing Kilimanjaro with. She was with her hostel group, so I got to meet Rohit again, and meet Sandra for the first time. They are the two rounding out our climbing group. Mel is from Australia, Rohit is from India/UK/now US, and Sandra is from Germany. Should be a really fun experience!