“What a wonderful surprise it was to learn that we have an observatory in Arusha–near Arusha National Park–that has the largest telescope in East Africa! It’s a small but well-equipped and well-maintained facility directed by the charming Mr. Elineema Nasarri, a gifted, enthusiastic, and very knowledgeable teacher.
The goal of the Mount Meru Astronomical Observatory is to provide science education to students and others. Elineema hosted our small group–my husband and myself and our four local “sons” from the nearby village where we live. Soon he had everyone asking questions and laughing and in awe of the grandeur of the planets, stars and galaxies.
We look forward to visiting again and working with them to share the marvels of the Universe with our local villagers. We are feeling very grateful to Telescopes to Tanzania who built the facility, and to the Organization for Science, Education and Observatory which operates it, for bestowing this gift on Arusha.” —Nanette
On December 23, 2023 Kai, Elineema, and Mponda simultaneously received an email from the contact form on this website. It was from David Tan, an engineer who owns and operates a cafe in Dar es Salaam. He asked for a visit to the MMAO observatory. Given the close proximity to Christmas, Kai attempted to relieve Elineema from the transit to and from MMAO with a polite dismissal, but David was persistent and Elineema was excited to observe too! Perhaps they’d catch Santa’s sleigh in the telescope or another Christmas supernova. Nonetheless, they came together for a very special observing session, as David describes.
David writes, “It’s not at all often I come up to Arusha, so when it came to me that I had once read about an observatory at Mt. Meru, I felt strongly that I had to visit – lest it take a few more years before a next first visit and connection with the observatory.
The night we spent at the observatory was full of magic. There was a full moon rising exactly above Mt Kilimanjaro. We were all spellbound. I’m extremely impressed with all the work that’s been put into the observatory and the team who brought us to the observatory that night. Thank you!
Today MMAO was honored to receive teachers from Inspiring Teachers, an innovative nonprofit helping teachers fulfill the promise of education. Inspiring Teachers designs programs for rollout across systems. Their programs equip school and system leaders with tools that enable them to systematically support teachers so they can make greater impact in their classrooms.
Inspiring Teachers in the photo (top, left to right): MMAO Ambassador Pandaeli, Coretta, Kelsey, Katya, Reggie, and Mary; then Lauren, Jamie, Cassie, and Rachel. MMAO Elineema Nassari is on the far right. Catherin is taking the photo.