Friday, May 16, 2008

Doing Good at Kili Center

Dave:

Another Full Day....

Last night's rain must have agitated the roosters, because they were crowing nonstop this morning. I have to say though, that I would much rather wake up to the crow of a rooster in Africa, than the alarm clock I have back home. After another great breakfast (of fresh mango, pineapple, banana, eggs, etc), we traveled to the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute. The bus rides to and from our destinations each day end up being some of the most memorable experiences of the day. The warm greetings (smiles, waves, and "jambo"s) given to us by children on the street always make us melt. The coffee farm was an interesting experience. It was raining, so we did much of the tour by our bus. The guide we had was very jolly. After leaving the farm, we went to the TCB (Tanzanian Coffee Board---not the Terry College of Business) and learned about the way the coffee industry works in Tanzania. We also taste-tested several different brews.

The highlight of our day was our trip to the Kilimanjaro Center for Orphans and Street Children. It was an amazing experience. They currently are housing 38 children. We were able to interact with them--jump-roping, blowing bubbles, throwing a ball....doing all the things that children everywhere love to do. Several of us brought candy, chocolate, stickers, and UGA pens, pencils, band aids, etc to give them. I'm sure you can imagine how big of a hit that was. The children performed dances, acrobatics, and skits that metaphorically demonstrated the severity of AIDS in Africa. None of us wanted to leave. Just before leaving, two of the orphans came up to me, gave me a hug, a pinky shake, and said "Rafiki pamoja," meaning "friend, together." It was heartbreaking to leave. One of my new "rafiki"s held my hand all the way to the bus. It's amazing to think about what the Center does for this area of Tanzania.

After leaving the Kili Center, some of us had a consulting meeting with Mama Zara (owner of the hotel in which we are staying) to discuss possible ways we can help her with a business plan. Mama Zara is providing all of us complimentary massages/pedicures/manicures since we are leaving tomorrow to go to Dar es Salaam. Tonight, after dinner and packing, we are going to a local club with some of the hotel staff--should make for a very interesting experience!

1 comment:

tracespace said...

its sunday morning and i'm brewing coffee right now, the smell makes me feel like i'm there with you. how was their coffee?