JBFC Campus Director in Training: Papa’s

December 15, 2014 2:00 pm Published by

Editor’s Note: Travis Purser is chronicling his training to become JBFC’s next campus director. Read how Travis went from volunteer to full-time employee, by clicking here.

About four months ago I was promoted from Volunteer Coordinator to Campus Director in Training. I will take over as Campus Director here in Kitongo, once our current Campus Director, Seth Diemond, moves to JBFC’s second campus.

To say the least I was (and still am) extremely excited and honored to be given such a unique and amazing opportunity.

Seth will leave behind some pretty large shoes to fill, so I’ve embarked on a training mission to learn as much as I can about JBFC’s many programs. At it’s core the campus director’s job sounds simple — manage the day to day operations of this 70-acre campus. But with more than 70 employees, as many acres, and dozens of programs happening at once — this can be a big job requiring a lot of juggling.

The first step in my training process was managing JBFC’s restaurant and hotel, Papa’s.

This task gives me the chance to supervise and work with an all-Tanzanian staff, help overlook and improve the restaurant inventory, and help create, stock, advertise and execute Papa’s ever changing menu.

At times there have been minor issues, usually involving communication. For instance, when I asked a server recently, “to please put out butter and jelly with a brunch item.” The server quickly left for the kitchen and promptly returned with a lovely plate of butter and chili sauce. I realized very quickly that “jelly” and “chili” can sound the same to a non-native English speaker. “Butter and jam” is probably the better choice of words for next time.

The Papa’s shopping requires me to go into the city of Mwanza, talk with venders and shop for whatever items is needed that week. This has helped me improve in lots of things, from my Swahili to learning how much a crate of soda costs and how to get a pail of ripe tomatoes. I now know how to navigate around Mwanza to all sorts of different stores and shops and estimate the amount of food needed to get us through the week without over-purchasing.

Another cool job I get to do is help create the weekly menu. Papa’s is the only farm-to-table restaurant in the Mwanza area (which is very cool and unique) and every week we take produce from our farm and turn it into our menu! So every week I talk to our agriculture manager, find out the produce available then meet with our chef to create the menu.

I can’t wait to start doing more and more things around campus as my training continues, but I cant reiterate enough what this first step is teaching me.

To all the Mwanza people reading this, come on out and visit us soon!

Check out the food, the lakeside view, and more on Papa’s Facebook page.

Blogger Travis Purser is a native Tulsan. He’s lived at JBFC in Tanzania for a year.

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This post was written by Mainsprings