Student News

Tanzania #3 — Planning for the Journey

Christina Kopp – March 11, 2014

This blog post, written by Sam Morse and Zz Salvador, details some of the planning the group did this past weekend to prepare for their trip and their work at JBFC:



Sunday at the Red Roof Inn started with a casual walk down 5&10 to the South Deerfield Dunkin Donuts. Skipping along, led by today’s student risk manager (daily assigned leadership role), Katherine Goguen, the group loaded up on Dunkin’ energy in order to attack our last day of prep. #Tanzaniarunsondunkin’.

 After an hour-long lesson plan preparation session, each group completed the necessary topics to teach 4th and 7th graders Math and Science.  William Ughetta, while completing a fairly complex 4th-grade science lesson plan, full of charts and graphs, which probably would have stumped a majority of DA freshman, refocused his plan for 7th graders.

  The next part of our day was devoted to gathering supplies, for the group and our own personal needs. After a few power claps and a fairly uneventful trip to Target, the group headed off to Whole Foods for lunch and any of our food desires. The group split up, collecting any necessary nutritional or needed snack. Even after enjoying the buffets and casseroles of DA, the group will probably have to get use to eating humbly for the next few weeks. 

 As evening settled over western Massachusetts, the group drove down Albany Road once more. A slight feeling of melancholy overcame us, created from seeing our second home, mixed with the anxious jitters of going somewhere new. But we headed up the Koch’s glass staircase as if class had never ended, ready to show our presentations. 

 Young and old, anxious and curious sets of eyes gazed at the three, soon-to-be Tanzania travelers. David Kim, Meghan Mozea, and Katherine Goguen enlightened the group on the developing world’s malnutrition issues. Stunting, Edema, Wasting: three powerful, new words that seemed a little more realistic for the seventeen people in Koch Room 305. Even though most of us have never come into contact with the reality of these words, the presenting group’s information seeped a little deeper into each intrigued and engaged mind. A more solemn expression went over each of the student’s faces, as some of the harsh realities of the developing world appear on the PowerPoint.

 Then each group summarized JBFC’s four pillars: Agriculture, Health, Refuge, and Education.  David Miller summed up the presentation session profoundly: “The fog in my mind has cleared. I now have a better understanding of our purpose in Tanzania.” He was referring to his earlier “personal weather report exercise” where students expressed their feelings and concerns with weather terminology. Most people felt ‘sunny’ or ‘clear’, but others had anxious ‘fog’ on their horizons. David knew the purpose of our trip, but concluded the meeting with a sentence, which tied our first meeting of the trip to our last one before setting out. 

  ‘Alleviating extreme poverty’ was the subtitle advertised with the trip we have just begun. Each student on our trip has the privileged opportunity to make a difference thousands of miles away. And the presentations that ranged from the ‘ethics of permaculture’ to ‘Montessori teaching styles’ reminded each of us of our intended goals. 

  The members of our expedition include Katherine Chen, William Ughetta, Tamara Deshong, Ali Barber, Lucy Lytle, Mirjam Keochakian, Nahla Achi, Sam Morse, Zz Salvador, Christie Jok, David Kim, Meghan Mozea, and Katherine Goguen. Our trip faculty leaders include David Thiel, Sheryl Cabral, Yanik Nichols, and David Miller. We also have a special guest joining us for the trip, Bill Frederick, who is going to help both our group and the staff at JBFC to stay safe and healthy throughout our trip.  

 On Monday, 3/10/14, the group energetically departed the Red Roof Inn (aka Four Seasons of Deerfield) around 2:45 AM (woot woot). We then took a quick pit stop at the 24-hour diner in Deerfield to fuel our bodies and get us excited for the adventure that lies ahead. Sheryl Cabral aided the ‘one man’ kitchen staff in completing our orders of vanilla milkshakes and bacon. 

 Tanzania Group at Whatley Diner

We then started the four-hour journey on a green machine to JFK. Our flight leaves approximately at 11 AM. Supposedly Sheryl ‘Anna’ Cabral is participating in a ‘Walking Dead’ four-season marathon.  Send us your prayers. 

 We will be in touch again from Dubai. (Home of Nahla Achi)! 

 Power Clap on tatu (three in Swahili) moja (1), mbili (2), tatu (3)… 

 Swahili phrase of the day: Habari Gani – How are you

 Today’s communication leaders,

 Sam Morse and Zz Salvador