News from the Stairwell

The weblog of The Stairwell Sisters – All-Gal Old-Time String Band

Stephanie goes to Tanzania!

Besides playing fiddle and singing with my Sisters, I am committed to protecting and preserving health and environment. After two and a half years of unemployment/underemployment and some soul-searching, I decided to look forward to traveling to a foreign (poor) country and contributing what I can towards health and environment, rather than to dread another bout of job-hunting after my bio-tech position ends in November, 2005.

I found an opportunity to go to a small village near Arusha, Tanzania for three months with the non-profit volunteer organization Cross Cultural Solutions. I’ll go in January, and return (via Zanzibar) in April. Arusha is home of the Rwanada Genocide Tribunal and the base of many safari companies, so there should be some quite interesting foreigners around. Still, it’s appreciating the local people and the native culture that really excites me. I’m studying Swahili. And, I’ll bring my fiddle, so I can communicate with people independent of spoken language. I bet I will get into some pretty amazing music sessions. Maybe I will find my Tanzanian Sisters and Misters!

I’m reading about all the public health, environmental protection, and community empowerment projects in Tanzania I can find. I don’t know exactly what I will be doing once I’m there, and even if I thought I did, I know it will be something quite different once I get there anyway. I’m going with a flexible attitude and a commitment to contribution. I’ll miss you all and look forward to sharing my adventures with you once I’m back. Meanwhile, big thanks to my Sisters, friends, fans, and especially fiddle angel Elise Engelberg for carrying on while I’m gone.

Love, Stephanie

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