It’s the final countdown!
In only 21 days I depart for Tanzania once more.
The last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic preparing for this trip. Even though my airfare was purchased months ago, there is still a lot of planning to do! I recently purchased a train ticket to get to my departure city, round trip bus fare to get to and from Nairobi, and bus fare to return from the airport when I arrive back in the US. I’ve still got to arrange transportation between the train station and the airport, from downtown Arusha to the school, from the school to the hotel pickup in Arusha, and from the bus drop off to get home!
With so much travel planning still happening, I haven’t had a lot of time to devote to laying out a plan of action for Grace and I to get to work when I arrive. As discussed in my previous post, there are a lot of projects I intend to work on during the course of my stay at the school. Once I’ve laid out a schedule for working on everything I can be sure that my trip will really be worthwhile.
One incidental plan I hoped to accomplish while visiting was helping Grace get the library completed. However, our crowdfunding campaign to invest in the library isn’t attracting as much attention as we had hoped. Given the small amount of funds raised to date, Grace and I may focus our energies on purchasing books for the forthcoming library, as we have decided that we will use any funds collected from this campaign to do at least that. Although we won’t have a permanent place to keep these books, the students will still benefit from the addition of reading material to their school.
As I count down the days to my departure, there a few things I will be focusing on:
- Gathering the necessary supplies to bring with - things that can’t be purchased in Tanzania or already play an important role in my regular management of the organization or the school.
- Creating action plans for each day I am working in the school, including lists of items to purchase for organizational purposes. In addition, I will be in contact with Grace to get input on what she believes are the most important projects for my visit.
- Reviewing Swahili phrases and important vocabulary - the students at Saving Grace have a limited English vocabulary, so it will be necessary to converse with them in Kiswahili much of the time.
- Preparing the BTF staff for my absence. Unfortunately, I will have limited internet access during my stay, and cannot be in touch with US-based staff as often as I normally would.
This trip should result in a lot of changes for the better, and help us take the next step forward in our development plan. Hopefully, more trips like this can be planned for the future to better integrate the management of the organization with the daily realities of the school.