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2015 Tanzania Mission Trip Recap
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Tanzania Mission Trip Recap

 

After Successful 10-Day Trip, The Team Returns from Africa

A few highlights from the trip via Flipagram
On March 11, members of the HSICF mission trip team gathered at Los Angeles International Airport ready to embark on a long journey that would find them in the middle of Tanzania. While HSICF had fully prepared them for the physical aspects of the trip, very few expected the emotional and spiritual impact the trip would have. When the trip concluded ten days later, the group had built strong friendships, a greater appreciation for their own life's blessings and a lasting love for children they didn't even know just a few weeks earlier. 

The group hand-carried kid's clothing, water filters, sewing machines and laptops to distribute to the children and surrounding community of the Meserani Mission Center. After 20+ hours of travel, the team arrived at the Meserani Mission Center in Tanzania where they were greeted by David and Susan Moon, the founders of the center. Once settled, the Moons treated the team to a tour of the facility and its short history. During this time, they spoke of the impact of the HSICF food program noting that since the program's initiation, the children were attending school on a more regular basis and that the number of illnesses has decreased dramatically.

"It is always rewarding to hear the efforts of the HSICF are paying off in a meaningful way and positively impacting the children," said Zachary Lopez, Director of Operations. "It was one of those moments that validates all of our hard work and the generosity of our donors." 


The group then got the opportunity to serve the children of the community a special meal that is normally reserved for big celebrations, such as weddings. While the children were eating, familiar faces began to show up. They were the children who had already graduated from the Meserani Mission Center's preschool and with whom the 2013 Tanzania Mission Team had bonded with.

On Sunday, the group worshipped with the community who presented each member with a gift of traditional Tanzanian clothing. The following day the team took over teaching the two classes helping the children learn the alphabet, counting and conversational English. While the mornings were dedicated to hugs, playing and teaching, the afternoons were dedicated to helping complete the Han-Schneider Learning Center -- a vocational school that will help older children learn a valuable skill that can potentially turn into a career. Team member and artist, Alan Silva, equipped the Han-Schneider Learning Center with a beautiful and colorful mural that took the collaboration of all team members to complete over a span of several days. Also, during this time the group was able to distribute all the gently used clothing that was collected to nearly 200 children in the surrounding area.

The team also ventured off the Meserani Mission Center grounds to tour the surrounding Maasai villages or "bomas".  During these tours, the group handed out candy to the children, got to see the living conditions of most the children, and got a better understanding of the daily lives and difficulties faced by the Maasai community.

It was also during this time team member and co-founder of USC's Club H2O - a student service group founded to bring clean water to the developing world - Cyrus Maroofian, got to demonstrate how these water filters work and the impact it provides for a whole community. Cyrus reflected, "Building the Meserani Mission Center, playing with those kids, and distributing water filters has seriously been the perfect way to spend my spring break. A truly life changing experience."


What most members of the team took away from the trip was the love of the children. After the trip and having time to reflect, Tony La summed up his experience as, "Such a rewarding experience...[I] can't explain how it feels to make a small impact." 

The team knew going in that they were going to be teaching the kids, what they didn't expect was how much the kids would teach them in return. 
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