JBFC on the Road: West Coast, Pt 1 (San Francisco)

April 16, 2014 3:58 pm Published by

Editor’s Note: JBFC is back on the road. The next few blogs will be dedicated to chronicling JBFC’s whirlwind trip around the U.S.

Founder & Executive Director Chris Gates returns to the US two times a year to help raise money and awareness about our mission in Tanzania. In the Spring, we have been fortunate enough to bring several students from Tanzania. This year, Chris brought 18-year-old Elizabeth and 10-year-old Zai with him.

Elizabeth, one of JBFC’s oldest girls, is a veteran traveler. This is her third trip to America. She told Chris, “I want to learn how to find my way around airports. Because I want to study abroad. And if I study abroad, I need to know how to travel.” So this intrepid 18-year-old was put in charge of airport navigation.

Zai is the youngest girl Chris has ever brought on an international trip. “I chose her despite her age, because Zai has an incredible English skills, she’s at the top of her class, and she’s got great behavior.” Zai is also a favorite among guests to JBFC because of her outgoing personality and winning smile.

This is Zai’s first trip to America and her first ride on an airplane. Once they reached cruising altitude, Zai looked at Chris and said, “flying is pretty normal.” It was on her first descent from the clouds, when the plane was preparing to land, that the 10-year-old grabbed Chris’ hand and said, “Ok, this is a little bit scary.” Once on the ground she flashed the smile that lights up her face, signaling she was fine and ready to try again.

It took the crew 41-hours and four different planes to reach U.S. soil from Tanzania.

Their first stop: San Francisco, CA.

 JBFC would like to thank our gracious San Francisco hosts the Enthoven family, in particular Martha Enthoven Stid, who served as our main hostess, guide, and new best friend.

The JBFC crew kicked off the journey at beautiful Stanford University, where the girls learned how to scooter with Martha’s daughter Isabelle and Elizabeth got the chance to quiz someone on the American higher education system.

San Francisco was filled with lots of adventures from gliding across a college campus to hiking through the California redwoods in a nature preserve to visiting the San Francisco Zoo.

The girls were joined by some more new friends and also got a chance to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge as the fog was rolling into the bay.

The Enthoven family was kind enough to host a reception for JBFC to introduce them to some of their friends from the San Francisco community. Founder Chris Gates spoke to roughly 30 people about JBFC and our work in Tanzania. And it was immediately apparent, we were on the doorstep of Silicon Valley, from all of the technology questions we received.

JBFC met a lot of new friends in San Francisco and even got to catch up with an old one at the California Academy of Sciences. Sonaz Safari, who visited JBFC in August of 2013 stopped by to see the girls and get an update on JBFC’s work in Tanzania.

But Eliza & Zai’s American Adventure had only just begun. Next stop: San Diego.

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This post was written by Mainsprings