As I finish my Kiva fellowship in Tanzania, I have mixed feelings. I am excited to get back to New York with my friends and family but sad to leave the new friends and family I made in Tanzania. I want to share some of my favorite memories / experiences. I feel lucky to have had this opportunity to be a Kiva Fellow at Tujijenge and see microfinance in the field. Below are some of my favorite memories from my Fellowship at Tujijenge Tanzania.
1) Meeting Borrowers
One of the reasons I left my job and became a Kiva Fellow was to see microfinance in action. One of my favorite experiences was going out into the field and meeting clients, learning about their businesses, and how the loan changed their lives.
2) Working at Tujijenge
The staff welcomed me with open arms and helped me with anything from getting home to getting around. I was able to participate in the entire loan process from disbursing loans to going out with a loan officer for repayments. Thank you Tujijenge !
3) Weekends in Dar
There were always beaches to go to or social events and festivals to attend. The city is hot, but there are a lot of nice escapes nearby
4. Village Life
I enjoyed getting out of the big city to see the villages and how people live.
I went on a 5 day safari in the Seregenti and Nogororo Crater with my husband and family
Zanzibar is a beautiful island only 30 miles from mainland Tanzania. I spent 4 days there after my safari.
8) Work Trip to the Lake Zone
Yessaya and I spent a week training Tujijenge staff in the Lake Zone on Kiva. It was great to see another area of Tanzania, meet the staff there, and eat a lot of fish. The Lake is famous for its Tilapia. There are now loans on Kiva.org for those 2 branches based on our work. I also checked a bucket of fish on a plane just like it was luggage - a memorable experience
9) Holiday Travel
Over the Christmas and New Year Holiday I took a trip to Ethiopia and then met up with my husband for New Year's in the Seychelles
10) My last Day as a Kiva Fellow in Tanzania
The staff at Tujijenge arranged a goodbye party. They presented me with a beautiful wood piece of art and fabric from a local market. We had cake and a soda. After only 4 months I was suprised at everything we had accomplished and how I had become part of the team. I will miss woking with everyone and coming to the office daily, but I know I am always welcome back. As they say in Tanzania "Karibu" - welcome.