May 2012 Archives

More Computer Lessons

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This morning we continued giving the computer lessons at Bukoba Secondary School. The Form 5 girls practiced using Microsoft Office Excel. They learned how to make two different kinds of charts and how to use the program to find the sum and average of a data set. At the end of their session the girls wrote stories or poems in Word, some of which were very interesting to read. We introduced Microsoft Office Power Point to the Form 6 girls. We gave them a set of topics to include in their slide show and then showed them how to view it when they were done. Most of the girls picked it up very quickly! Tomorrow we will be giving the last computer lesson at the school.

Due to our plans for the next few days and internet availability, there's a chance that we won't be able to update the blog until Tuesday. Saturday we will be going to Mugeza, where we will be giving the clothing and sun screen donations to the albino children. Monday we're planning on going to Ntoma to help the orphanage workers take care of the babies.


Yo yo yo from Bukoba

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Hello People of America-

We have now finished our Organic Chemistry times at Bukoba Secondary School. Everything was a complete success in terms of friendships and lessons taught (although the concept of resonance seemed like a stretch for the girls we taught). We now our focusing all of our teaching attention on the computers and we are teaching strictly the form 5 and form 6 girls (seniors and juniors at the high school level) how to use them. There is quite a range of previous computer experience ranging from some girls writing stories and other taking 5 minutes to find all of the keys to write their names. It is a very enjoyable experience and there is never a dull day in this classroom. We are all excited to finish up the week. Carly, Quentin, Kelly, and Kayla went to the hospital today and saw more deliveries in the motherhood ward of the hospital. Quentin and Kayla stayed to see a c-section, but Kelly and Carly needed to go to the school after witnessing the birth. It is a lot to handle apparently, I have yet to see one, so I will update when I get to that point. Anyways, tonight we will be eating Chips maiay and snacking on fruits as we relaz and prepare for our computer lessons tomorrow. I love Chips Maiay and Matti (the cook) is real cool, he delivers to our house with the best Chili sauce in the world (he doesn't make it)... Now I am hungry for chips mayai. Anyways, we love and miss our friends and family. And someone will talk to you tomorrow.

BWB (specifically Kevin)

Scondary School and Hospital

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Today we split up our group to go to different projects. Some people went back to hospital. They started out their day in a meeting with the nurses and doctors, then headed to the maternity ward. They got to see a women give birth to a health baby girl, as well as many newborn babies with their mothers.

Other people went to the secondary school to do another lesson on the computers. Today they focused on giving the girls a typing lesson. There was a wide range of experience in typing. Some figured it out quickly while others struggled more. The whole group will be going back in the evening to teach our second and final organic chemistry lesson. We will be teaching two computer lessons a day for the rest of the week. Other people in the group went to package and distribute food for ISAAZ. We will be going back to package and distribute more food on later Tuesdays.


Bukoba Secondary!

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Hello all!
Today was our first day teaching at the secondary school. We started the day introducing the students to their new computer lab. The computers are all working and we have been able to install Microsoft office on each one (through a connection in Bukoba). It was interesting to see how a few of the students were familiar with computers and even had facebook, while the majority of the girls didn't know how to click or what the internet was. This discrepancy appears to be the result of differences in family circumstances, and it's nice to think that now more students will benefit from having a wroking knowledge of computers.

Today we focused on the very basics of computers (opening and closing programs, typing, clicking, recharging, turning it off and on, etc.). Throughout the week we will move on to more advancedsubjects in Microsoft office. We also taught organic chemistry to the form five students. Usually this is taught by the teachers here but
I think they asked us to do it to give the students more practice with their english. The students also seem to really enjoy asking us about how the US is different from Tanzania and comparing the similarities.

We also visited last year's project, the garden at Uyacho orohanage. Due to the heavy rains this year, much of the top soil has been washed away, but we hope to work with them to fix it up once he rain stops!


Isaaz Orphanage & Mr. Raza

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Greetings from Bukoba!

Yesterday, Friday, we were invited to visit Mr. Raza's orphanage in Bukoba. For those that are not familiar, Mr. Raza is a very well known businessman and philanthropist in Bukoba. He has donated much of his time and money to helping those greatly in need. When we visited the orphanage the children were just finishing their prayer service. All of the children as well as Mr. Raza are Muslim. Many children were brought before us by Mr. Raza and we heard many stories of their lives up to this point. Many children had parents who were HIV positive and many of the children also are as well. While they may or may not know that they have the disease, these children are not deeply sad or unhappy. Many of them are spirited and at the top of their class. In Tanzania, secondary school, the equivalent of high school in America, is not free. Mr. Raza and Isaaz, through donations, fund education for many orphaned children. It is absolutely wonderful that Mr. Raza has provided them with the opportunity to become educated, and as he said to us, is one of the most critical components to one's upbringing.

It was a humbling experience to have the opportunity to eat a meal with the children at Isaaz. The children can eat almost more than we can, because more than often, it is probably the most they have had in days, and they do not know when they will get another meal, so subconsciously they overeat.

Mr. Raza not only gives us a glimpse into his orphanage, but is without a doubt one of the biggest resources we have in Bukoba for getting in touch with sustainable work we can do for this community.

It is the weekend now, and we are relaxing and gearing up for a busy week next week beginning shadowing and observation at the hospital as well as setting up the computer lab at the secondary school and beginning our mini-course in organic chemistry for the students.

We have only been here about a week, and the excitement is just beginning. We look forward to sharing our experiences as they unfold!


Bukoba Secondary School

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Hello everyone!

I'd like to say that this is my first blog post ever and I'm a little nervous because we have had our most exciting morning here so far today. Today we brought all of the computers (24 laptops in total) to Bukoba Secondary School where we will be making a computer lab for them. The school put on a ceremony for us and handing over the computers.. First we dropped the computers off and visited the water tank that the group made 2 years ago near the girls dorms. Some of the girls accompanied us and it was fun to get to have a conversation with some of the local people. They are very grateful for the water tank and it seems like it has been very beneficial for them. Its nice to hear that past projects have been so successful. Then we went back to the school where we each introduced ourselves and two of the girls gave a speech they had prepared for us. The head master of the school also spoke showing his gratitude for everything BWB has done for them in the past and for this new project. He said that the cost of 25 laptops would be 15 million shillings, which is half of their yearly income. Therefore, this computer lab is a big deal for them. Props to Becca for putting all of this together! After the ceremony, the head master gave the students half an hour before class restarted so they took advantage of having the microphones and speakers and a few of them were rapping and groups took turns dancing. Overall, it was a really fun day and it was the first time we were really a part of the community here.

After leaving the ceremony we went to the market and the girls bought fabric. We need it to wear it to cover our heads at a lunch we will be going to on Friday with Mr. Rossa and the plan is to make them into custom made skirts afterwards. We have the rest of the afternoon open so I'm not sure what we will be up to but tonight we will be going to Tinus to get chips mayai! This is my new favorite food here- breakfast-like potatoes in an omelet basically. As always we hope all is well at home and miss you all!

-Kelly and BWB

greetings from rainy bukoba!

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Unfortunately, we got stuck in a downpour today inbetween meetings but I don't think everyone minds the cooler temps and overcast clouds. Between yesterday and today, we've met with alot of people and organizations that we will be working with over the next few weeks and are getting our schedule set. Mr. Rutta, assistant to Mr. Raza, took us to the regional government center today and talked to a regional commisioner about our proposed projects at the albino and other orphanages and then we stopped by the hospital to talk to a chief medical doctor about observing surgeries in the near future. We will start at the secondary school tomorrow and will be bringing laptops for a computer lab there. Everyone here seems just as excited for us to start as we are! Otherwise, it's been a pretty relaxed day and we are off to the market to pick up some food for dinner!

kayla jankins

We discuss our Projects!


Today, Tuesday, we woke to a good amount of rain. We had some bananas and figured out how to make toast. After the rain was subdued, we left the house for William's office to figure out how to activate our phone card. Four of us went to the bank which ended up being too long of a line. The rest of us enjoyed some fantas on the Lake Victoria beach. We checked out the bandas which are little huts that you can sleep in for a night for $10. We talked with some people. I talked with Kaisa in particular. His english was fairly good. He spoke of the island in front of us with population 300 and of fishing. It was really exciting and refreshing working through conversation with him. We headed back to the town to the secondary school where we would set up the computer lab. We talked with the headmaster and deliberated on our plans to teach Organic chemistry to the advanced secondary school students next week.They were very welcoming and even had a welcome sign on the chalkboard. We are so excited to bring the computers on Thursday and begin teaching this upcoming Monday. We got a sim card and will figure out how to call home soon. Then we headed to Mr. Raza's place to talk about projects we could be involved in. We will have lunch with him this upcoming Friday. He also suggested visiting the albino orphanage on weekends. Mr. Raza is a very respectable man with many connections in Bukoba. He talked about visiting a house for repairs. He told us we could also visit the Deft and Dumb orphanage. He said that the contributions we could give to the causes of Bukoba were very wonderful. That poor students who work overtime are able to come here to help is very appreciated. We will meet at 9am tomorrow at Mr. Raza's to get a ride to the Town council and Regional officers office to gain approval for the projects we hope to work on. The sun is shining. Our next task is dinner. Things are looking up and we are excited to have laid the groundwork for our projects here in Bukoba!

-BWB (Quentin)

Howdy y'all

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The trip to Bukoba started out fine, but then at around 5 in the morn, the clouds begun to turn a darker gray and the storms kicked in. There was waves, there was lightning, thunder, and a whole lot of rain! That is what we get for coming to Tanzania between the rain season and the dry season, soon it should be completely dry here, but last night was a different story. The boat tossed and turned and waves crashed up onto the deck! We had to grab pails and shovel the water off of the ferry just to keep the ferry afloat. It was a tremendous use of our skeletal muscle system as well as a test of our cardiac strength. We all survived and made it off of the drenched ferry to tell the tale. William told us that when we arrive rain is good luck, the reason behind that is the rain brings the green vegetation apparently we are the green vegetation. We came to Bukoba and were greeted with open arms and yummy breakfast of eggs and toast (we will probably eat eggs a lot because there are chickens everywhere!). Then we got situated, went to the market, got ripped off when buying a mosquito net for a bed, and now we are all sitting at an internet cafe which has sticky buttons on the keyboard and very slow connection. We miss everyone back home and want to say we are very well. Got to go times up for internet! p.s. I am kidding about the severity of the storm. The ferry ride was splendid, there was only a little rain.


There was rain, but no storm, no danger, and definitely no shoveling water. We got to Bukoba with no porblems and will be starting our projects tomorrow.


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Hello everyone!
We arrived in Amsterdam with no problems and have spent the day roaming the city. Now we are back at the airport, checked in, and waiting to board our flight to Nairobi, Kenya. Next stop Africa!



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Hello everyone!
We arrived in Amsterdam with no problems and have spent the day roaming the city. Now we are back at the airport, checked in, and waiting to board our flight to Nairobi, Kenya. Next stop Africa!


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This page is an archive of entries from May 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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