It has now been about one month since I arrived here in Mwanza, time sure does fly! I feel like we have all settled into a routine here, working on our projects as well as spending time with family and friends, finding our way around on the Dala Dala and practicing our Swahili as much as we can. After Bob and Jessica left Mwanza last week, we have been working on implementing some more ideas for the progression of our projects. Part of this has been to work with the Tukuamwane kitchen to make a pineapple flavoured yogurt as well as to work on raising more awareness to the benefits of probiotic yogurt to the general public. This past week the Mikono Yetu Interns (Kathy, Megha and myself) met with Celestina (from Mikono Yetu) to visit Tukuamwane and talk with the Mamas there about what we could do to reach these goals. We also worked on creating a few samples of pineapple flavoured yogurt in different flavour ratios to taste test with the Mamas to see what they thought would be a successful product and even worked on making it together! It was a great experience to work hands on with the Mamas and they were so eager to work with us and learn how we made the flavoured yogurt using natural fruit flavouring. We were also able to learn a lot from them and their experience in making yogurt over the years alongside running a successful business. The Mamas knew what challenges they were facing and shared some great ideas about how to overcome them together with our asistance.
The pineapples here are so sweet (unlike back home where they are more acidic) and also relatively inexpensive so I have been eating one almost everyday! I was also able to visit the local fruit market last weekend and see all the vendors selling their fresh fruits! Last weeks haul included pineapple (of course) as well as mango, avocado, limes and oranges!
We will be going back to Tukuamwane this week to give out free samples of the yogurt and advertise the benefits of probiotics to everyone in the area. Tukuamwane is one of the largest and most successful probiotic yogurt kitchens here in Mwanza so we are hoping to learn some successful strategies to implement in other kitchens. We usually travel with at least one person from Mikono Yetu who is able to help us navigate the area and assist in translating from Swahili to English but this week the Mamas told us to try coming on our own and have a chance to practice our Swahili and their English skills. It should be a fun experience! (Wish us luck!) Hopefully I’ll have more updates (and pictures) next week!
Until next time,