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Guest post: The most surprising things about my trip to MGRC

When I first came to Tanzania, Africa for my trip to MGRC, I was expecting most of it to be just like America.  After being here for a week, I learned it was nothing like being in America.

People in Africa have life so much harder than me or anyone I know. I expected to see normal houses with running water and electricity. Not here in Africa! They have to walk miles to get their water, and it’s not even clean or filtered. The water they drink is all muddy, and even that water is scarce and hard to get. And the ones without electricity only have the sunlight. They live in bomas that are built with sticks and mud, and they sleep on the hard floor. Then there’s a few of them who have normal houses with everything they need in it. Every time I see their bomas or someone carrying a bucket of water on their head, it makes me sad and I just want to help each and every one of them. When I was back in America I didn’t really understand what my grandpa was doing here. Now that I am here and seeing everything with my own eyes, I understand completely and would do anything to help each person I could too. I think more people need to see how much my grandfather is helping and show more people that they could help too.

The thing that was most impactful to me was visiting some of the bomas where the MGRC girls came from. It was hard to believe that anyone could live in those conditions. One place we visited, my grandfather asked if the very tiny house was for the dog or baby goats (see picture below). Momoi, one of the MGRC girls said no…that is where she slept when she was living with her grandmother. There is another girl sleeping in that shack now. No one I know would believe a person, let alone a small girl, could be made to live in those conditions.

While on my trip to MGRC, I have not had any hardship since I have been here because my grandfather rents a house with a hot shower and electricity. He even has a refrigerator. I went to Arusha, which is the closest city, and had pizza. It was good. I also ate chicken and french fries on another trip. My grandfather is a great cook so I will not starve, as my mother was worried about. 

My grandfather took me on a drive to see animals. I saw zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, and gazelles. We also saw a very young girl, I thought she was maybe 15, sitting with two children who were about 3 and 5 years old. We stopped and our interpreter asked if she was ok. She said she was running away from her husband and his family because they had no food for her and her children. We asked where she came from and it was a village very far away. We picked her up about 3 pm and she said she they had been walking since 6 am. We drove her to another village about 20 miles away to be with some relatives who she said would feed her. 

After seeing what some of these poor people go through, I am sure I will not whine again that my life is too difficult.


The hut Momoi used to sleep in. Another girl sleeps there now since Momoi left to join MGRC.


  1. REPLY
    Jeannie Love says

    Well written, Makayla! Your eyes have been opened. What an experience you are having. Jeannie Love, your grandpa’s former neighbor when we both lived in Mesa.

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