Friday, 21 July 2023

Kwaheri, Marafiki!


Summer has come to pass, the internship can never last…

After two and a half months of in-country work, the time has come for our internship to meet its bittersweet end. 

Although our time in Tanzania has come to a close, we are thrilled to say that our on-going projects will continue to thrive year-round in our absence, especially as the 2023 International Travel Team begins their transition to new executive roles!

In order to say goodbye, both to our personal portfolios, and to Tanzania, the 2023 ITT has created a fun list of places to visit, and things to see for next year's intern team! Although each internship is unique, and each group always finds a way to make Tanzania their own, below you will find the little things that made our experience special. Stated in no particular order, the things on this list are little gems scattered throughout Morogoro that we hope the 2024 ITT will enjoy as much as we did. 

To all future interns, we hope you enjoy this list! 


Truly an intern favourite this year, we became very acquainted with our favourite shawarma stand. A nice quick snack while shopping or a cheap meal substitute, this stand never let us down, and for that reason, it is on our list.

Red Chili's

Our days off in Morogoro usually ended with a trip to local Red Chili's. Sunday dinners were almost always our reserved night for restaurant dining, and Red Chili's became our group's #1 spot. After deviating from it for a single night, we vowed to always return. From the staff, to the large menu and local prices, this place fed us some of our best meals in Morogoro!

Dutch Blitz Nights

Although what goes on during downtime is each intern's personal prerogative, our team would suggest to never overlook the potential for game nights! Especially if one intern brings Dutch Blitz! Great bonding can be had over multiple rounds of this fast-paced game, we highly recommend!

Fresh Orange Juice

Situated right in front of our favourite shawarma stand, you can find a cart of freshly squeezed orange juice! This is a must-have on those +30 degree days- a great place to stop while exploring town! If you're lucky, they might be selling jackfruit as well!

Mpulila Supermarket

Finding the perfect grocery store became a week-long endeavor for our team as we carefully expanded our map, and ventured further into town. Our exploration eventually paid off as we came across this supermarket. This grocery store is large, loaded with snacks, toiletries, condiments- and everything can be paid for with debit card if needed! You may even find some familiar snacks from back home.

Madizini Sokoni

This local market close to home is often the best place to grab produce! The walk to town is beautiful, but on those extra-lazy days, a quick trip to the market is a great alternative to buy all your veggies (much cheaper too!)

Hikes: Choma & Morning Site & other uphill adventures

 Due to the advantage of being at the base of the Uluguru Mountains, interns would take the time every couple weeks to do local hikes! Some guided and some not, these hikes are always a great way to get out and enjoy the scenery.

This is kwaheri for now, but not forever! Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for ITT 2024!

Tuesday, 4 July 2023

Zanzibar Adventure!

(Pictured Above: left to right: Samar, Aisha, Ella, Teodora, Clara, Dorothea, Raquel Mark)

    As the midway point of the internship quickly approached, interns followed in the footsteps of Travel Teams past and headed straight to Zanzibar to enjoy some relaxing time away from the office. In order to begin the journey to paradise, our team had to once again endure the grueling 6-hour bus ride to Dar es Salaam, before taking the ferry to Zanzibar City (Stone Town). After surviving some slight sea sickness, we successfully landed on the island and made our way towards our accommodations. After a month spent at the base of the Uluguru Mountains of Morogoro, the breeze of the ocean and the sight of sandy beaches was an exciting change of scenery. The spectrum of topography in Tanzania is incredibly beautiful, and Zanzibar was no exception. 

In order to make the most out of our vacation, the team quickly began planning excursions and day-trips to some of the city's most popular attractions. 

A walk through Stone Town's famous spice market served to overwork our noses with the scent of thousands of herbs wafting around us. Additionally, our group decided to visit the Old Slave Market to gain a better understanding of the history of Stone Town. In the evening, we attended the local night market for a variety of fruit juices, seafood, shawarmas and mishkaki (skewers). The following day, the team headed out to sea for a tour of Prison Island, where we saw the ruins of Zanzibar's colonial prison and (more importantly), the island's giant tortoise sanctuary! Here, we were able to walk, sit, massage, and feed giant tortoises to our heart's content. Home to the second oldest tortoise in the world, Prison Island's sanctuary is a must-see excursion, and our team left the island incredibly satisfied with our tortoise time. 

Lastly, before our time in Stone Town came to a close, the team decided to haggle our way into a day-trip with Zanzibar's famous Safari Blue tour. This 6-hour tour encompassed a full day on the water, with snorkeling and a fresh seafood lunch- another must-see attraction for anyone staying in Zanzibar! 

After this jam-packed day, the team said ciao to Stone Town, and headed to our next destination- Paje Beach!

A notorious favorite among intern teams, Paje Beach is a 20km stretch of pure white sand along a low and high tide of clear turquoise water. The common vibe of Paje is more laid back and windy than the island's other tourist towns, which makes it an ideal location for wind sports and general relaxation. The beach's quiet atmosphere makes it a great place for socializing, with a series of hostels and resorts found right on the beach front. All in all, our team loved Paje. From long walks on the beach, swimming in the ocean, and great people from all over the world, our experience in Paje will not be forgotten any time soon. 

Following a memorable couple of days in Paje, the team once again said goodbye and headed for the north of the island to Nungwi Beach! 

Back into the more familiar atmosphere of busy tourist streets, Nungwi provided a good contrasts to the relaxing beaches of Paje. With days filled with more shopping and exploring than anything else, Nungwi was packed with vacationing families and party-goers. We began our time in Nungwi with a trip to Mnemba Island (or as close as we could get), again paired with snorkeling and lunch. Following this excursion, a couple members of the team decided to try their hand at scuba diving! 

In the end, our adventure in Zanzibar had to come to a close. In the blink of an eye (after a 1 hour ferry, and 6 hour bus), the team was back in Morogoro- fully refreshed and ready to work until the end of the internship!

More updates from the International Travel Team coming soon!

Ciao :)
- Raquel 


Thursday, 8 June 2023

The Long Road to Ruaha...

    As more and more days pass by, interns have continued to fully submerge themselves in all Tanzania has to offer! As is to be expected in the first couple weeks of being in a new country, the last couple of days have been filled with both incredible highs, and some truly crushing lows. Regardless, I think it is safe to say that all of us have thus far walked away with some positive lifelong memories (in addition to a newfound proneness to car sickness..)

This past weekend, interns decided to take the (excruciatingly) long journey to Ruaha National Park for an overnight safari adventure! What we initially understood to be a 6 hour drive to one of Tanzania's most beautiful tourist destinations, turned into a 12 hour-long endeavor as a result of a couple of mechanical issues with our transport van. 

The loss of one of our beloved tires started the day off with a 3 and a half hour delay before our initial departure towards the city of Iringa- the closest stop before hitting the boundaries of Ruaha. No worries though! This delay allowed interns to catch up on some much needed rest, and try out some innovative van-sleeping positions. Despite arriving at the park later than expected, our enthusiasm never wavered, and we were happy to be met with stylish bandas to spend the remainder of our night in, located in the center of the park itself. 

Pictured above: (left to right: Dorothea, Clara)

After a very comfortable night spent listening to the sounds of wadding hippos, interns made sure to wake up early in order to catch one very memorable sunrise... Almost straight out of a movie, no photo truly does it justice.

Following a brief early morning drive through the park, interns indulged in a hearty breakfast before heading out for a full day of safari animal watching. As Ruaha National Park holds the highest concentration of elephants in Tanzania, as well at 10% of the world's lion population, we undoubtedly found ourselves face to face with many some of the planet's most impressive creatures. From giraffes to zebras, and from lions to hippos, there was truly something to see for everyone. A full day later, interns returned to Iringa for one more night, before enduring the long journey back to Morogoro. 

With three weeks down, and seven more to go, more adventures are sure to follow our team as we embark on another journey to Zanzibar in the coming weeks! Stay tuned for more updates from the international team :)

- Raquel

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

2023 Interns have Arrived!

Pictured above (left to right): Dorothea, Raquel, Clara, Mark, Ahmed (Project Manager), Ella, Aisha, Teodora

    With seven interns arrived and one on their way, the 2023 International Travel Team Internship has officially begun! After a grueling two-day travel itinerary, interns arrived in Dar es Salaam for brief overnight stay, before departing on a 5-hour (air-conditioned) bus ride to Morogoro. Since arriving at the house, we have been slowly adjusting to all the unique elements Morogoro has to offer. From the heat to the food, our team has been enthusiastic about taking advantage of all our surroundings. 

During our first Sunday, the team took an introductory hike up to Choma Falls! This 3-5 hour hike served to test all of our stamina, and it is safe to say we have all been successfully humbled. 

After being blessed with a cooling rainfall on the trail, we were finally ready to finish our trek up to the falls, and the view we were met with made it all worth the effort.

The coming weeks are sure to be filled with more adventures like this. As we begin more substantial work in the office, be sure to come back to the blog for more updates!


- Raquel

Friday, 15 July 2022

Last Update from here in Morogoro!

We have reached the final day of work for this year's internship, and while we are sad to be going soon, we are proud of what we have achieved with the menstrual hygiene project and WASH. Over the last week we have had our last meetings of the internship. We had a meeting with the Tungi Primary School administration to finalize our expected timelines and to say goodbye. We also had some interns travel to the Tanga region to meet with an organization named Community Volunteer Services (CVS). The introductory meeting was quite beneficial as CVS is currently operating a very similar menstrual health project to SIHA's. We are pleased to have learned much from them and hope that future interns can benefit from them as well.

Above we have SIHA interns Akanksha, Anastasia and Ellen in a meeting with ICR Charles and the CVS founder, Simon Mashauri.

We have also been working on preparing for next year's internship: we've transitioned
to new exec roles and are now working on recruitment plans for the next year's team.
We've also completed our final report outlining all that we have done and learnt this summer. 

Though work at the office may be done this year, We still have a week here in
Tanzania. Stay tuned to see what fun activities the interns manage to pack in before
we head out, and to find out more about next year's internship!


Monday, 4 July 2022

2 Weeks After Our Vacation!

 The interns returned from their mid-internship break 2 whole weeks ago! While the SIHA interns were away, URDI was invited to attend the African Child Day conference of Morogoro. This event was hosted by the Regional Officer for the NGOs of the Morogoro Region. It was a great opportunity for URDI to expand their network and form collaborations with other local NGOs.

As for the interns, work came in full speed ahead as soon as they got back. The week of their return, they attended meetings with the Dar es Salaam and Edmonton based Rotaries, aiming to form partnerships and build our capacity to carry out our local projects.

URDI and SIHA also hosted a SWASH day at Tungi Primary School, which was a half day event of games and sports open to the entire community. The objective was to increase awareness on the WASH and menstrual hygiene projects, as well as get a chance to engage with the community. The interns took this opportunity to run an interview station to gain more insight from the community on their awareness of menstrual health and hygiene.

Above is a photo of our intern Akanksha conducting interviews on SWASH day.

As for last week, we are happy to say that URDI began teaching the WASH curriculum at Tungi Primary School. This was an important goal we are glad to have achieved, we are also continuing to work on expanding to other schools. 

Here we have a photo of Pastone, one of our ICVs, delivering instruction to the SWASH club.

Despite being near the end of the internship, the interns have not lost their thirst for adventures. First they took a tour of Mzumbe University as part of their cultural exchange sessions. Next, they completed an 8 hour hike to Bondwa peak, which is the third highest mountain in Morogoro.


On the left is a view from bondwa mountain looking down on Morogoro region. On the right we have one of Mzumbe’s many courtyards where students can study or relax with friends.


Monday, 6 June 2022

Almost Halfway Done!

We are now nearly halfway through the internship and time seems to be flying by! The interns have adapted well and have settled into a comfortable routine; on weekdays they start the day with a breakfast of Chapati and egg, then head off to the office to start work at around 8:30. The interns break for lunch at around 12:30. For lunch they often pick up a variety of fresh fruits from the  Madizini market-which is only a few minutes walk away.  Work at the office is usually wrapped up at 3:30. 

The team spends the remainder of the day going on walks and hikes to explore Morogoro, head to the local gym for exercise, and almost everyone spends some of their leisure time reading before dinner. After dinner, the interns use the time before bed to wind down by journaling, watching a movie, or playing card games (Dutch blitz is all the rage!). 

Saturdays are very similar to the weekdays except that it's a half day, interns will usually use the extra time to head to town to get the necessities of the week. Sundays, however, are often packed full of adventure as interns often take that day to try something new. Last week, the interns held a cultural exchange meeting with students from Mzumbe University.  It was extremely enjoyable to see their perspectives and to see the similarities and differences in our daily lives!

Furthermore, the interns have finally completed the project proposals for our WASH expansion project and the accompanying menstrual hygiene curriculum project. The internship has been progressing at a good pace and the interns are happy with what they have accomplished so far. Now they are looking forward to a well earned week off!

Pictured above are the students of Mzumbe university, SIHA and URDI together after our cultural exchange dinner.