Sunday, December 11, 2016

December 9 & 10, 2016 - Setting Foot on Mayotte Island

As I young child our mother told us about "our island" north and east of Madagascar.  We looked at it on the world atlas and over the years I have looked for an opportunity to visit.  That opportunity came along on this trip to Tanzania.  I flew over to Mayotte Island from Nairobi, Kenya for two days before heading back home.  The Island is a French Department; therefore, the language is French and the currency is the Euro.  Islam is the predominant religion here and the call to prayer loud speakers seem to be just outside my hotel window.  For the most part most of the residents are very poor.  The primary economy is tourism; however, the infrastructure is lacking as I could not find a restaurant open on Saturday evening.

On Sunday I took a water safari with Blue Water Safari where I snorkeled several reefs, lunched in a cove and saw dolphins spinning out of the water.  The water is the purest green/blue that I have ever seen.The following are the videos and pictures of the area.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

December 8, 2016 Ending the Assignment at Kilacha Production and Training Center

Today is my last at Kilacha Production and Training Center.  Over the past three weeks we have worked hard to train the accounting staff and implement QuickBooks Enterprise Edition as their accounting books and records.  Looking back I am more than surprised at the amount of work that was accomplished in such a short time.  My thanks go out to Troy from DC who started this project a year ago and the accommodating staff at Kilacha for their willingness to adapt to change.

Today being Thursday is also hatch and ship day for the chicks.  I donned protective gear and took a tour of the hatchery this morning.  Kilacha runs a laying house where eggs are collected daily; sorted and those fitting the requirements are taken to the hatchery where they are put into cold storage until placed into the first stage of the hatchery.  In the first stage the eggs are trayed in a plastic rack and put into a large incubator that turns the eggs half way over every 40 minutes or so to replicate the movement they get in a nest.

At the end of the first stage the eggs are candled to determine if the fertile ones.  The fertile eggs are transferred to the hatchers where they remain for another 18 days.  The chicks start hatching within 4 day window ending with a batch of new chick every Thursday.  The chicks are counted out and boxed a hundred each and then shipped off to be raised.  The sorting and counting of chicks is a very dirty and dusty job that begins at 4 am and continues until the last of about 24,000 chicks have been boxed.

In the morning I will start my journey back home by way of the Uhuru Lutheran Hotel and a flight to Mayotte Island for days of rest and relaxation, then the journey to home.

December 5, 2016 Invaded By Monkey's

Out of nowhere a group of Vervet (black faced) monkeys descended upon the courtyard of the office space.  They were full of mischief and quite wary of everyone.  They have hung around for a couple of days sneaking through the windows to steal eggs and just as quickly have left.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Shy Mountain Finally Shows Itself

Kilimanjaro is often called "shy" as it is shrouded in clouds most days.  The best times to see its peaks are early morning and late evening.  The mountain has been hidden from view most of my time here; but today it did show itself for a while.

Local Village Life Near Moshi

Fr. Landilini took me along to visit a friend he had grown up with that recently celebrated their 25th year as a religious sister.  His friend was staying at her mothers place near a small village at the base of Kilimanjaro.  The back story is the religious sister was the eldest born to a women who had been betrothed on the promise of marriage.  After the fifth child the father left the area for Dar Es Salem to find work with the promise to bring his family along when he found work and a place to live.  The father found more than work in Dar Es Salem, he also found a different wife.  Over the years his betrothed raised their children in Mosi as she was able.  With her children gown and on their own the women returned to her village, purchased a bit of land, built a small hut and planted a few crops to live on.  We met in her mud hut, shared a locally made "wine" and was given the opportunity to take her picture.

The daughter who celebrated her 25th year as a religious sister had received some monetary gifts which she used to pay for the foundation of a block house on the lot.  The following picture is of Fr. Fr. Landilini, the religious sister, her mother, a sister and some of the women's grandchildren.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Mass and Lake Chala

The Kilachi Training Center is an operation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Moshi.  I have come to learn the Diocese is one of the largest employers and centers of economic development.  In addition to running the Production and Training Center they also own and operate a international bank and are building an office complex.  On Sunday I started the day with Mass at the Center then was taken on safari to Lake Chala.

Mass here is not your typical US Sunday gathering; rather it is always a colorful affair with amazing singing.

After Mass my hosts took me on safari to Lake Chala.  The lake was not too long ago a volcanic mountain that became a water fill crater after an earth quake much the same as Lake Heben in Montana.  The lake offered some spectacular views toward Kenya.  On the way out Mt. Kilimanjaro was just starting to show itself.

November 25 2016 - Lunch at the Juice Bar - Buying Eggs

Misimbi took me into Moshi town today to pick up some supplies; bug spray and a fan were on the top of my list.  While there I also purchased some Kilimanjaro coffee and a kettle to heat the water. 

We stopped at a little restaurant that served juice from their Juice Bar and I had my first ever carrot juice.  Thankfully the carrot was mixed with fruits or I am not sure I could of handled it.

Upon arriving back at the Kilachi Training Center I caught the following picture of a young mother buying eggs for resale.

Prosperous Tanzania

I am bout 9 km from the Kenyan and about 15 km outside of Moshi town.  One of the biggest differences I see between here and the other areas of Eastern Africa I have been to is the amount of wealth that is here.  The following house is just a example that I did not see in Uganda or Liberia.

November 22, 2016 - Lizzards

I again find myself trying to catch up on my posting during this trip.  We have been working some very long hours trying to launch QuickBooks as of the first of December; so needless to say I am bushed at the end of the day and do not feel much like writing.

In Africa, like anywhere one travels away from home, you come across strange and different foods, saying, language and animals; or in this case a reptile.  I saw the following guy on the wall on my way to lunch; his red head is what caught my attention.

Red headed lizard

Saturday, November 26, 2016

November 21, 2016 Kilacha Agriculture and Training Institute (KALTI)

Today is actually Saturday the 26th and I am now playing catch up on my posts.  Google Blogger has been giving me headaches as when I load it from Tanzania it changes the language to Swahili and no matter the approach I took with it I could not change the language to English.  Today I got smart and logged into my home router via a VPN and now Blogger thinks I am sitting in Billings.

I traveled by car on Monday to the KALTI which is only about 40 km from the hotel I was at; however, that turns into an 1 1/2 hour drive through Moshi Town and across the country side to the training site.  Upon my arrival I was immediately fed and continue to be fed four times a day ;).
 After lunch Melkiades Msimbe (referred to as Msimbe (ph: mis sim be), the Operations Manager, took me on a tour of the facility.

(Msimbe on the left)

The center, owned and operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Moshi, is composed of two strategic entities, the Production Center and the Training Center and are conveniently separated by the highway.  The Production Center has several profit centers, Laying Hens, Pork, Diary, Fish (Talipia), Apiary, Grains (Maize and Sunflower).

The Poultry production is the main source of income for the institute with approximately 35,000 laying hens.  The laying hens produce approximately the same number of eggs each laying cycle (a bit over a day) for the productive life (60 weeks).  The institute buys the laying hens from Europe, mainly the Netherlands, as chicks and fly them here.  The chicks are raised in a light controlled environment to bring them into production as rapidly as possible.

Workers gather the laid eggs daily and inspect them.  Fertile eggs go to the hatchery they are incubated until hatched.  A hatch occurs every Thursday, so currently there are 35,000 laying hens hatched a week that have to be sold.  Customers come from all over Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya to purchase the chicks weekly.

The laying, incubating and rearing houses are strictly controlled to prevent the spread of disease.  To aid in that effort there is a concrete area dug out of the drive way that is flooded with bleach and water as a bio-wash to ensure no bugs are carried into or out of the production area.  Additionally, workers must wear protective coveralls and rubber boots; therefore, I have no pictures to share at this time.

The institute is located at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro which is the home to a rain forest; yet, the plain where the institute is at is arid which leaves the traveled areas of the ground looking like red dust.

(Maize stalks stored for diary feed)                            (Diary barn)

The institute runs about 40 head of diary with about 15 cows in daily milk production.  Milking is done by hand here by laborers who earn about a dollar a day.  They are raising about 25 pigs presently and building up their numbers to around 50 producing sows.  The weaned pigs are sold as the primary product with culled sows and bores for meat production.  The fishery was recently put into production as a test with its stock being consumed by the institute.  Plans are afoot to ramp up production as a profit center.

The institute is composed of several hundred acres of irrigated crop land, half of which they have in production for Maize and Sunflower and the other half is rented out to farmers.  The Maize and Sunflower are milled on site to create feed for the livestock and poultry operations.  The institute has recently received a new grain processing machine from Germany that will be assembled in the coming weeks.  The institute plans on ramping up it operations to produce grain feeds as a profit center.

On the north side of the road is the training institute housing approximately 200 women and 200 men from the ages of 18 - 23 studying agriculture production, hotel management, food preparation, tour and tour guiding.  The programs are two years in length on a two semester per year cycle.
to attend the institute a prospective student applies through the central government; if they meet the minimal government standards the institute is notified of the arriving student.The cost per semester is approximately 1,000,000 Tanzanian shillings ($454 US).  For that amount students are housed, fed, receive medical care and an education.

One of the projects being run at the training institute is a bio-gas capture program.  Manure from the livestock classes is deposited into septic tank like repositories, doused with some water and gas is piped off to the kitchen for cooking.  (Being on the equator there is no heat in any of the buildings here.  Folks are amazed that my home has a heating system in it)

(bio-gas field)

The training institute is used as a testing ground for production testing and presently the students are raising rabbits as a cash crop.  Everything raised by the students during their course work is sold and the profits used to keep the cost of their education down.

Unlike its neighbor, Uganda, Tanzania has a vast supply of cement; therefore, most of the buildings are constructed of cement block.  The institute runs it own rock crusher and brick making plants primarily for its own needs; however, excess aggregate and blocks are sold on the local economy.

Rock is purchased locally and fed through a crusher producing 3/4", 1/2", 1/4" aggregate and dust.  All of the work except for the crushing machine is done by day laborers for about a dollar a day.

Running the crusher

Separating the aggregate

Stockpiling the aggregate.

The institute runs a Social Center that serves food and drink in a nice garden setting; a perfect place to relax at the end of a long day with a Kilimanjaro beer with new friends.