Stories tagged with Tanzania

Sep 9, 2008 TZ Tanzania

Dala-dalas are Dar es Salaam’s form of public transportation. They are buses that run all over the city, charging about $0.30 per ride. There is no set schedule, and they typically only leave once they are full.

Although several Tanzanians warned me about taking dala-dalas during rush hour, I figured it was no big deal. So I would be squished and sweaty, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. I took one from work to the city center and I even got a seat! At that point I was thinking, “Why did everyone make such a big deal? This is totally fine...

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Sep 9, 2008 TZ Tanzania

(To see what happened during the first 11 days, see Part 1)

Day 12 (Warning: slightly disgusting content. Do not attempt to read while eating):
I just finished rubbing my heels with sandpaper for the last hour. It’s a long story how I got to this point, but it involves exclusively flip-flops/sandals and very dirty/dusty/sandy roads for 6 weeks. Basically, I gave up trying to wash or in any way care for my feet a few weeks ago. They were just always dirty. Even when I get home there’s just dirt everywhere so I gave up on my feet. The plan worked out fine until yesterday...

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Sep 9, 2008 TZ Tanzania

On August 24th I left Dar es Salaam for a 3-week trip to central Tanzania to train BRAC branches on Kiva in three other regions. Here’s a glimpse into the first 11 days of my 21 days on the road:

Day 1:

Seven hours on the bus from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma has kicked off with a traveling saleswoman making her pitch for soaps, toothpastes, and aloe vera at full volume to the entire bus for at least 30 minutes. Perhaps I would mind her hard-sell less if I were able to understand more than 1 out of every 12 words (I do learn,...

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Sep 9, 2008 TZ Tanzania

Fresh off the plane, I arrived in Dar es Salaam eager to begin work with Tujijenge Tanzania as a Kiva Fellow. First task: find accommodation for the year. Without Craigslist Tanzania, the whole process promised to be daunting.

It was. Here are some of the reasons:

Go to a real estate agent, he charges you $20 for a tour of available properties. But after showing you a gaggle of multiple bedroom apartments after you ask for a single room you get the sense he’s just showing you anything and everything to get his...

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Aug 8, 2008 TZ Tanzania

Dar es Salaam. The city is an assault on the senses. Flying into Nyerere International airport, my first glimpse of Tanzania, and indeed of Africa, is incredibly beautiful – mile upon mile of azure ocean clings alluringly to a sandy coastline, clusters of coconut trees spring up from between houses with maroon and blue roofs, and an incredible profusion of blood red hibiscus infuse the entire landscape with color and vibrancy. Quite simply, it is breathtaking. Little wonder then that the city’s name translates into ‘abode of peace’ in Arabic, named so by Arab...

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Aug 8, 2008 TZ Tanzania

When I first began working in Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill, my initial impression was horror that the country was being run by a bunch of 20-somethings.  At 23, I was solidly within the median age range and even felt old when I saw peers walking around with short skirts, finding myself thinking “how inappropriate!”  It didn’t take me long to become accustomed to the age range of Hill staffers and soon it even made sense to me that they’d all be so young.  The hours were grueling, the work was exhausting, and without energy, enthusiasm, and a youth-like belief in...

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Aug 8, 2008 TZ Tanzania

I never thought I would move to Tanzania to learn about Bengali culture, but then again I never thought I’d eat octopus for dinner so sometimes one must adjust expectations.  How have I happened to find myself sitting in an office shared by one Bengali woman, one Tanzanian woman, and me?  Such is life at BRAC Tanzania’s country office. 

BRAC Tanzania is one of the international legs of the Bengali NGO BRAC (formerly Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee).  Started in 1972, BRAC has grown...

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Jun 6, 2008 TZ Tanzania
By kafui
TIA

TIA

A Tanzanian friend, who stays at the same guest house as me, came up with an expression that can be used to make any frustrating, confusing, or illogical moment in Africa, funny. TIA (this is Africa!). I can’t even remember the origin of this phrase (bad referencing...

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May 5, 2008 TZ Tanzania

I have been in Dar es Salaam working with SELFINA for almost 6 months now, and my experience has been somewhat different to that of most other fellows. Unlike most fellows, I have not been going out into the field to visit clients. I have been based in SELFINA’s head office working on integrating kiva’s requirements into SELFINA’s existing processing, e.g. adding kiva-specific surveys to the loan applications. My goal has been to develop an efficient system for posting, journaling, data collection and filing (e.g. Ben Elberger, Dana Lunberry, and the excel master...

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Apr 4, 2008 TZ Tanzania

 

 

Days go by and I often forget how life in Africa can be so different than life in the States. Events from this past weekend remind me that I am going to really miss Tanzania when I leave in June.

 

On Saturday, I was driving to a friend’s house when I was stopped by a policeman who flagged me down from the side of the road. In Swahili, he asked for my license and then asked for me to...

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