Wapenzi marafiki zangu,
I know I wasn’t able to post a blog post last week, but I have a valid reason this time I swear: Part of our internship requires that we do monthly reflection posts, so I was working on that among other work-related initiatives instead. However, I will upload my first reflection piece after this blog post so that technically this week will have a double post! This week, I also have been busy prepping for guest lectures that I will be doing next week at Saint-Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) so that students on campus can learn more about the Western Heads East program, become more aware of the health benefits of probiotics and also understand how the social enterprise business model of Yogurt Kitchens in the Mwanza area works. I have to admit that I am a little intimidated to speak to a classroom of over 500 students, but I know that the public speaking experience will be great. I will keep you updated on how that goes, next week.
The rest of this week was spent training Dada Tekla at SAUT on how to make Fiti uji and Fiti orange juice and training employees at Foundation Karibu Tanzania on how to make Fiti juice and also experimenting with a test run of watermelon juice. Since our time here, we have learnt that consumers of probiotics would really prefer fruit juices and smoothies that are more cost-friendly, available year-round, and found in abundance in the Mwanza region so that includes watermelons, a flower called rosella and also bananas. So, I have been busy trying to find ways to make that a reality by writing proposals and talking to my supervisors to find ways to get more laboratory testing back at home in Canada or here in Mwanza, to see if the probiotic bacterial strain in Fiti packets will also survive in these types of fruits.
Lastly, this week I planned a SAUT movie night to attract more customers to their kitchen and making more promotional materials for their kitchen including new posters and coupons. The Captain Marvel movie night was a success, and now that yogurt kitchen employees have a tracking system in place for their sales (which I set up a few weeks ago), they can see the impact that these types of events have on their sales. Hopefully next week, I will also try to make more progress on setting up a constitution so that the university can make more headway on allowing more students to become involved with the kitchen by volunteering their time. So, I will have to set up some meetings with Delphine (a faculty director at the university) and eventually the Vice-Chancellor of the University to see if it’s possible to speed things up in the student engagement department for the long-term benefit of the SAUT yogurt kitchen.
Thanks for tuning in again and see you next week! 😊
P.S. I can’t believe it’s already June 23rd… Technically we only have 7 more work weeks left in Mwanza and then we are off to Zanzibar! Where has the time gone??? This summer is honestly just flying by…