If it is at all possible you should try visiting some of the rural dispensaries or clinics close to Sengerema. Sengerema has a hospital, so most people go here if they live close by. But for the majority of Tanzanians, hospitals are not an option. In stead they have to go to witch doctors or rural clinics. I tell you it is a different world. Small buildings without electricity, running water, beds or propers instruments. Seeing these dispensaries will probably shock you, but you also gain a new-found respect for the people who have to live under these conditions.
While you're at it, you should also pay a visit to a secondary school to see how things work here. I suggest going to Sengerema Sekondari - a government school with both border and day student, boys and girls. The students love to talk to strangers, so be prepared to answer a lot of questions. Talk to the principal Mr. Mpemba or his wife Mama Mpemba and ask them for permission first. You might be able to teach a class in English, which can be a lot of fun.
Do yourself a favour and visit one of the primary schools in Sengerema. Here you get to see close hand the beauty and the ugliness of Tanzania. It's wonderful seeing all these happy faces of children but you can't help feeling sad when you experience the beatings and the poor level of education taking place in these schools. Go there. They will love it.
Try visiting either Sengerema Primary or Pambala, which are both givernment schools. They will give you an idea of what schooling is like. You can also go to Santa Caroli, but this is a private school for people with money and doesn't really represent the educational system as a whole in rural Tanzania.
If you stay in Sengerema for a longer period of time, do yourself a favour and contact Brother/Father D. - a Dutch priest who has lived in Sengerema for 30 years or more. He knows the place like his own pocket, and is therefore the perfect guide. He frequently arranges small walks in the local area where you really get to see different sides of Sengerema. Father D. lives in the hospital compound, so ask for him at the hospital.
It is truly an experience to go to Sengerema Hospital and watch the patients and doctors there. Sengerema Hospital is a well-functioning, clean hospital of quite some standard. Ask the matrone or Mr. Mihayo if they could give you a tour. It is definitely worth visiting here. You might even be able to watch a delivery take place first hand.
The sokoni looks like an explosion of colours with all of its vegetables and friuts. You can get most things here: potatoes, green bananas, cucumbers, cassava, rice, beans, onions, tomatoes, aubergines, lady's fingers, water melon, tangerine, mangoes and pineapples. You won't starve in Sengerema, but you do have to go to Mwanza once in awhile for some things and to supplement your Sengerema diet.
Try to get in contact with one of the traditional healers and ask to follow them around a bit. It is really interesting. If you don't feel like that, then go down to the market to one of the dukas where they sell traditional medicine. They have all sorts of weird stuff. Some of it is meant to cure cholera, others to prevent malaria and others again to provoke abortion. Be a bit cautious when you talk to the men in the duka and DON'T take a picture unless they explicitly tell you it is ok.
Go to the market as often as you can. It is always an experience. It's one of the things I miss the most when I think back, because going to the market always means meeting people, seeing vegetables you never knew, looking at beautiful kangas, having chicken run around your legs and not least a lot of laughter. There are 2 markets in Sengerema - a smalla one at the hospital where you can get the most essential things and the big one down town which is 'open' from early morning to late night.
The fish market is another part of the sokoni. Here you buy the wonderful Tilapia fresh from the lake or the Nile perch.