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How much should I bring? 


The U.N. suggests that every foreign visitor have at least $500 in cash on him/her in case of an emergency when traveling. 


If not purchased in advance, you will need to have one $100 bill to pay Immigration for the VISA to enter the country.


Bring U.S. dollars in higher denominations as they get the best exchange rate. 

They must be new bills, the $100 bills must have the blue stripe on them. 

$50 bills must be newer than 2006. 

$20 bills or less get a very poor exchange rate. 


We will assist you with either going to a bank with you or by having the cash on hand to do your exchange for you at the best rate into Tanzania shillings.


Do not bring lots of $1.00 bills for tips.  That doesn’t work.  You’ll just end up taking them back home with you.  Coins from your home country will be of NO value in Tanzania as they cannot be exchanged.


Do not bring Traveler's checks.  There is NO PLACE in Tanzania to cash them.


Bring your ATM or Credit Card that can be used in an ATM but make sure you know in advance what your charges are going to be for a foreign transaction.  And, BE SURE to let your bank know you’ll be traveling to Africa or they may block your card. The ATM receipt will show your totals in Tanzania Shillings but only your bank statement will describe additional bank/ATM charges.





Shoulders and knees are considered sexy, both for men and women and are not to be exposed.  So, please honor Tanzanian culture and keep them covered. 


Men do not wear shorts except when playing sports unless they are shorts that come down to the knee or below. 


Women can wear long loose pants and shirts or T-shirts.  It’s good to have at least one skirt or dress that falls well below the knee for going to church or out into the community.  Tight clothing is inappropriate.


Slacks that are cut off below the knee are fine but we do have grass fleas and that gives them that much more skin to suck on. 


Going on safari is a different story, you can wear whatever is comfortable for you.  By the way, climbing in and out of safari vehicles calls for some strength and dexterity and clothing that is loose and flexible. 


The dress code in the city of Dar es Salaam and Dodoma is much more relaxed.  They are cosmopolitan cities and they’re used to seeing foreigners.  But up in Chihoni Village, respecting cultural norms for modesty is honored. 


We will have a pool, so please bring a modest swimsuit and cover-up.  The pool is in the guest area of the compound and private from the village.  However, our workers are present everywhere. 


Leaving clothing behind is also fine.  We give first choice to our workers and then everything else goes to the clinic staff and then to the village chairman to distribute in the village. 





Tennis shoes or trainers are fine.  Work shoes are fine, as are boots.  Sandals are fine for wear but not practical for the work site. 





Daytime temperatures rarely go above 68-84 F.  but it is not usually humid.  Because of this, mornings can feel chilly below 70 F. (21 C.)







Breakfast is always with Paula on the porch of the house.  Think American cooking most of the time, eggs, pancakes, toast, French toast, oatmeal, etc. 


Lunch and dinner are fixed by our wonderful cook Lucy and her helpers.  That consists of vegetables and fruits that are available, fish, chicken, and occasionally beef. 


We are very careful about food handling and want you to be, too.  Typhoid is endemic in the water. All fruits and vegetables are soaked for 20 minutes in a weak bleach solution.  All the dishes, flatware, pots and pans, etc. are washed and rinsed in a bleach solution.  We ask that before you touch anything on the table that you either dip your hands in the bleach solution provided or use hand sanitizer. 


If you want certain specific snack foods, then please bring them yourself. 


Bottled water will be provided.


Breakfast is served at about 8:00 A.M.

Lunch is around 1:30 to 2:00 P.M.

Dinner is around 7:00 to 7:30 P.M. 


The coffee/tea table is always open/ready for you to serve yourself.  Sodas are provided at $1.00 each other than one served free at mealtime. 





At Chihoni you will stay in the house with the Lofstroms.  You will be in a bed that has a mosquito net on it.  There are bunk beds and small full-size beds.  In each of the guest rooms at the Lofstrom house/hostel there is a double bed and either two singles or a bunk bed.


The round-houses have a bedroom and a modern bathroom, shower, sink, and toilet.  There is hot water for showers. 


Beds have sheets, a quilt, and a pillow on them as well as mosquito netting.  Towels and washcloths are provided. 


The cost is $40 a day full room & board. 




Beginning in 2025





If you are medical:

The clinic opens at 8:00 am. You will be supervised by Dr. Bon, or by our head nurse, Miriam. 


Students are expected to be at the clinic whenever patients are there. 


You can bring your own scrubs.  We especially like “Happy/Pediatric” scrubs. 


Visiting doctors will spend a few days with one of our clinicians until they are comfortable with what they may be seeing, i.e. malaria, typhoid, and other common infectious and tropical diseases with which they may not be familiar. 


Students may have the opportunity to observe at one or two other facilities depending on what can be arranged when you’re there. 


If you are construction:

We eat breakfast about 8:00. Probably the night before your team will have decided on what the plans/goals are for the day and the work will be laid out.  Our head of construction operations, Sele, will be available to assist with tools, logistics, and planning for each day. You’ll probably work from about 9:00 A.M. until perhaps 12:30 or 1:00 pm.  Not unusual to take a swim then before lunch if you’d like. 


Return to work after lunch until about 5:00 PM and then perhaps back into the pool. 



At 6:00 PM we gather on the porch to watch the sunset and grade it from 0 to 10.  (So much better than television!) Reaching a consensus can sometimes take a lot of discussions.  Sometimes a mild libation taken during adjudication may influence the process.  It’s a good time to share what happened during the day. 


Dinner at about 7:00 PM.  After dinner is a good time for devotionals and planning for the next day. 





Yes, but it is limited and not free.  Our modem can support 5 units, but we ask $1.00 an hour to help defray the costs.  And please no downloading or net surfing as we’re charged by the time as well as the MB.  It adds up quickly.  Keep in mind the network services will only be consistent in their inconsistency.





The electricity is 220-240/ and cycles at 50 Hz/second.  We have universal ADAPTORS in all the plugs, but NOT CONVERTER/TRANSFORMERS.  A converter brought from the U.S. will change the 220 to 110, but it does not change the 50 Hz. to 60 Hz., so things can easily overheat and burn out depending on its power draw.


Many devices will switch automatically to the network voltage and they’ll work just fine (mobile phone chargers are typically mulit-voltage) but please do check your own before bringing.  


Don’t plug in anything here unless it is in a surge protector! Those are provided in each of the bedrooms or houses.


The electricity from the grid is not constant as it is in the US, so it has peaks and waves of power that can burn out an electrical appliance, computer or anything electronic in a second.  Do Not Take Chances by plugging into a wall outlet without a surge protector on it. 


Electricity can go off at any time and be off for ten minutes or four days.  Bring a flashlight.  We do have solar on many of the rooftops but it is not very strong. 


If you have a small solar charger for your electronics you would like to bring, it will be of great use to you.




We supply toilet paper similar in quality to what you buy in the U.S. and use western toilets in the houses.





Souvenir shopping can be done in Paula's Store, or they may be shopping trips planned for Dodoma.   





Swahili is spoken by the indigenous people of Tanzania, as well as their native tribal languages.  English is the second language of the country.  All of our medical staff speak very good English and the rest of the staff speak a little (or at least understand) English. 





Some women have used them without their burning out.  But it is taking a chance.  Chihoni is not a place where one worries much about “dolling up.”  Best advice is to not carry the extra weight.





Down in Dodoma there are stores where they sell sanitary napkins.  But it’s best to bring your own supplies. 



PHYSICAL ADDRESS FOR Chihoni Medical Ceenter


There isn’t an exact address like in western countries.  The land is about 20 Kilometers west of Dodoma You can go to Google Maps and put in Chihoni Village, Tanzania.


Chihoni Village, Chihoni Street, Nala Ward, Dodoma Town District, Dodoma Region, Tanzania, East Africa.


OR: PO Box 1021 Dodoma, Tanzania, East Africa. 





We will meet you and pick you up at the local airport in Dodoma. When you land at Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport in the south of Dar es Salaam, there is a local flight to Dodoma where we'll meet you, and see that you get back to it as well, when the time comes. Or if you land at KIA at Mt. Kilimanjaro, there are flights to Dodoma from there as well.  





People ask what we use and I say, “whatever the guests leave behind.”  Deet is fine.  There are other products and that work fine, too.  The mosquitos that carry malaria (only certain species of mosquitoes of the Anopheles genus—and only females of those species—can transmit malaria) come out when the sun goes down, so that’s when to spray with whatever you choose.  The mosquitos are teeny tiny fast little things.  You really can hardly see them they’re so small and there aren’t “swarms” of them, but they’re there.  We do have screens on the windows and porches, but a few still manage to sneak in. 





It is not part of the culture here as it is in the US, but at the Chihoni Medical Center, tipping is totally optional for the services provided to the guests.  Some groups give each construction worker or Lucy and her helpers some money.  That needs to be a group decision.  The gift of 25,000 to 50,000 Tanzania Shillings is a real bonus to a person there.  That’s $12.00 to $25.00 USD.  Smaller amounts are also fine.  You’ll be working with the people and see for yourselves. 


Tipping on safari – take suggestions for that from Vesna. 





If someone needs to get hold of you, please give them my phone number.  Dialed from the U.S.:


011 255 767 141 777 


email is

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