In the Dar-es Salaam community, Tanzania
“We are Marie and Eugenie, two young French women, and we have been living in Dar es Salaam, in the MSOLA community, since the beginning of March.
Everything started in January, when we decided to take part in a volunteering mission in Tanzania. After completing our studies, with a specialization in social entrepreneurship, we wanted to help women who want to launch their own enterprise in order to have a positive impact on their communities in Africa. We turned to the French association “Follow ‘Her”, which offered us the opportunity to support four underprivileged women in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar to help them to ensure the sustainability of their projects. When we started to look for housing for four months, we found randomly on the internet the contact of Sister Cecylia, who lives in Dar es Salaam MSOLA community, who connected us to the leadership team of the East and Central African Entity. The ECA leadership connected us to MSOLA in Paris-France. The congregation generously accepted to welcome us in order to carry out our mission.
On the 6th of March, we were warmly welcomed at the airport of Dar es Salaam by Sister Cecylia! Since then, living with the Sisters enabled us to live great experiences that we would not have lived on our own. We remember especially the first visit of Dar es Salaam and the ice cream with Cecylia when we arrived. Among others:
- The Women’s Day organized by the Daughters of Mary Immaculate with Birgitta;
- The amazing day spent at Bagamoyo, where the first missionaries arrived in Tanzania a few centuries ago;
- The visits to the women in Uwanja wa Fisi; the discoveries in the Kindergarten and the Salome Learning Center; The encounter with Angela, who works with the Sisters, to ask her to sew dresses for us;
The day at the Sisters of Mother Theresa, the lunch shared with the postulants who came from Arusha for one month, the Easter vigil and lunch…
All these experiences helped us discover the everyday life of so many different people in Dar es Salaam. We would never have been able to do so many things on our own and we are deeply grateful to the MSOLA Sisters for having dedicated all this time for us.
Beyond these moments shared occasionally, we have been fully integrated in the daily life of the community, and Sisters Birgitta, Cecylia and Veronique have made us feel completely at home. Each evening, we shared supper all together. It was a nice way to talk about our respective days, and for us to ask questions about the activities of the Sisters. Furthermore, thanks to the cook of the community, Dativa, we always had delicious traditional meals! Cleaning the dishes together after supper was also a very friendly moment. Above all, we shared with them the daily time of prayer. It was amazing to see how people of different countries, different languages, different ages, and with different lives and backgrounds, can pray together in one same voice. The sharing about the gospel every Saturday has been a great occasion to discuss and learn from the others’ understanding and feelings. The different prayers about ecological conversion were also privileged moments to share what we know and feel on this theme, which is so important for us. In addition, we were always grateful when one sister or another started a song in French that reminded us of home!
It has been a great opportunity for us to live our volunteer-mission in the environment of the community: it would not have been the same experience at all without the MSOLA Sisters. We really felt at home.
We also appreciated having reliable friends, who knew the country, to ask for advice. It is difficult to gather in one article all the reasons why we enjoyed staying in the MSOLA community, but we are so grateful to sisters Veronique, Cecylia and Birgitta and to the whole MSOLA community for having welcomed us so generously and made this time a very special and enriching experience.
We will keep praying for the congregation and for its different missions in Africa that we admire so much.”
We – the Community of Dar es Salaam – have been very pleased with the visit of Eugenie and Marie. They entered into our community life easily and we enjoyed living together in a bigger community. One evening Marie and Eugenie prepared a meal for us, which was delicious and in French style.
The lemon pie – in combination with the ice-cream – was very tasty.
WELCOME AGAIN MARIE AND EUGENIE!