Monday, July 21, 2008



Today, we went on a school fieldtrip to the conservation site where
Mitch had been previously been working. We met with the 80 kids we
were taking and 2 teachers. There was no need to count the number of
kids or keep track of them like a fieldtrip in the U.S., jus start
walking and they all will follow. Once we arrived at the project
site, our host father, Samwell, spoke to the kids about a few plants.
Then, they played around drinking and splashing water on themselves
and each other. They appeared to be having a blast. One student even
recommended that we take them here every Friday. I love conversing
with several of the students, but one in particular really stands out
to me, Wai (pronounced 'why'). He is older and has a wonderful
vocabulary. He asks me all sorts of questions about the U.S. on a
regular basis in addition to the questions about UFO'S, my favorite
foods and how I get to school. I had to repress my laughter when
another student said that her favorite American food was "Coco Puffs."
I'm pretty sure I've never even had those in my life.


Kordula, a friend from Switzerland, arrived to Moshi on Saturday
morning. We walked over to Chagga to rent some bikes for the day.
After some slightly annoying bargaining (where we did not come out on
top), we left the shop with 4 bikes, 3 with working brakes, and 1
where the chain falls off every couple of minutes. Once we got out of
town, the ride was very beautiful. We had a lot of time to see it as
we were always going uphill. We rode through many coffee plantations
and small villages. The route was supposed to get us to the Mwenka
gate of Kilimanjaro National Park, however, I think we turned around a
few kilometers from our goal. Fortunately, I didn't have to pedal
After stopping by Mr. Price Grocery andonce on the way down
returning the bikes, we walked over to Kindoroko Hotel and had a drink
on the rooftop bar where there is supposed to be a wonderful view of
Kilimanjaro (when the clouds are missing).


I woke up nice and early to go to church with Oscar. Service began at 8am and was actually the most punctual event I had attended since arriving in Africa. The “two hour” service lasted until 10:30am. It was fun to attend, even though it was all in Swahili. Much of the time was consumed by singing and dancing. There were only short segments of preaching. I also took sacrament at the front of the church and unlike the grape juice I was used to I drank a tiny glass of “white wine.” I have never tasted any white wine like that before…


I finally had the students write their pen-pal letters:) They were very excited and involved in all of their letters. This was the first activity that I really noticed the difference in academic levels among this class of 46. Some clearly excelled in English, while others copied straight from their workbooks. That part of the class made me very sad and I asked them to rewrite about their own hobbies and use their own names in their letters. After analyzing their looks of confusion, I quickly realized that they were not able to do this activity on their own. Later, I will send the letters to the U.S. and probably make my way to the best smelling place in Moshi – the Patisserie.

This might be my last post – unless I decide to squeeze one more in. My parents will be here on Thursday and therefore I will head back to Arusha to meet with them. Our plan is to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, go on safari in the Serengeti and relax in Zanzibar for the final days :)