Moshi, Kilimanjaro

I have decided to travel with World Unite! to Tanzania as a volunteer during my semester break. So I was staying in Moshi in a shared  flat with several other volunteers, working with Good Hope. Good Hope is a support group, founded by three women who have the aim to provide an education to children whose families cannot afford to pay the secondary school fees, and to provide a home-based care program for sick people. The women of Good Hope also produce bags and jewelry that they sell to fund their projects. I didn’t regret my decision to volunteer with this project for a single moment. I’m really impressed about the amount of dedication that these women have and how much it means to them to make their students be successful. It is a tremendous experience for me to volunteer with Good Hope and to be in the privileged position allowing me to have so many new experiences every day. Without volunteers, the project couldn’t exist, so the work I was doing here really makes sense. My time in Moshi was wonderful; it was an indescribably great experience for me that I will always remember.

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Moshi is a city in the North of Tanzania on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Here, you will be in the middle of Africa and you will have to deal with people such as the Chagga or the Massai. The city has around 150,000 inhabitants, however like many African cities it appears to be much smaller. One reason is that large parts of the city are spread over a big area outside the actual city centre. Another reason is that the majority of the population doesn’t have the financial means to buy lots of things, which has the result that there are much less shops in the city centre than for instance a Western city of comparable size would have.

The city is located at 813 m/2700 ft. above sea level. Throughout the year it has a climate which most Europeans and North Americans consider comfortable (compared to the humid heat you will find at the coastal area or on the islands). Moshi is starting point for almost all Kilimanjaro climbs, therefore there are many hotels, restaurants and small supermarkets targeted towards tourists. Moshi is also the starting point for many safaris to the Northern National Parks; Kilimanjaro International Airport is located some 40 km/25 miles south of Moshi.

HIV/AIDS is the biggest problem in the Moshi area. There are estimates that around 16% of the population are HIV positive. Problems related to this are the numerous orphans and street children that are due to the lack of money not looked after, as well as unattended people of old age. Further problems are related to poverty such as lacking access to education, health care and infrastructure.

Leisure activities

Moshi is conveniently located as a starting point for safaris to all northern Tanzanian National Parks. Some of them you can visit on a weekend (Tarangire, Arusha National Park, Lake Manyara) or on a tour of several days (incl. Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Area, Lake Eyasi, Lake Victoria, Lake Natron). Mount Kilimanjaro is raising high directly in front of your door – for a complete summit you need physical strength and 5-7 days of time.

Many day trips are possible from Moshi such as visiting the Marangu waterfalls and the village of Marangu with coffee plantations, swimming at hot volcanic springs, staying at a Maasai village or going hiking on the foothills of Kilimanjaro or on Shira Pleateau, the highland between the two peaks of Kilimanjaro, from where you can have fantastic views into the plains of the Great Rift Valley. In Moshi there are several cafés, restaurants, internet cafés, bars, a public swimming pool, discotheques and even an open air cinema with karaoke.(www.world-unite.de)

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