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...Continue Reading >>
Stories tagged with 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...Continue Reading >>
1. You are constantly told to eat more ugali so you won’t be so skinny.
2. Cell phone towers are more common than traffic lights.
3. You see signs like this:
3.5. And this:
4. The most common phrase you hear is “Hey mzungu! Taxi?”
(“mzungu” is Swahili for “white person”)
5. A short cab ride can cost up to 3,000 TZS, but no worries…...Continue Reading >>
Hopefully, this is just volume 1 of “You know you are in Tanzania when…” blogs. I am banking on contributions from Dana and Johannah, the other TZ fellows for the next volumes…
1. Coworkers frequently walk by and casually mention that they have malaria.
2. The most common question you are asked is: “Are you a Muslim or a Christian?”
3. Gospel music plays full volume during the...Continue Reading >>
Loan officers are an integral part of the microfinance process. Without the hard work of loan officers, reaching the poor with financial services would not be possible. However, loan officers typically do not get very much attention. With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting for you to meet a friend of mine at YOSEFO to help give you a better understanding of how loan officers fit into the microfinance process.
At YOSEFO, each loan officer is assigned a community center. There are 13 centers...Continue Reading >>
TANZANIA. Last week, I was given the opportunity to train BRAC Tanzania staff on Kiva in Kibiti, which is located about 150 km outside of Dar es Salaam. Riding from the noisy, congested (yet still completely lovable) city to the luscious green countryside brought refreshment to my senses.
... Continue Reading >>
This past weekend was very exciting for Tanzania. As a part of President Bush’s tour of Africa, he visited Dar es Salaam. It was the first visit by an American President, since Clinton’s visit in 1998.
With typical Tanzanian hospitality, Dar was ready for the occasion, and I couldn’t help smiling… Banners were strung up that featured the Stars and Stripes crossed with the Tanzanian flag, and welcomed “Your Excellency President Bush.” Billboards were scattered throughout the city featuring a panorama of Kilimanjaro, with an artist’s rendering...Continue Reading >>
Literally. Last Tuesday was the first day it rained since I have been in Dar. There was no warning drizzle or gradual acceleration. Rather, the sky opened with a clap of thunder, and rain came down that sounded more like gravel than water as it pounded the thin tin roof over my head.
The roof belonged to YOSEFO’s center in the Tandika community. I am told that Tandika is best referred to as an “unplanned urban settlement,” although the vernacular would suggest otherwise. Inside the center, client meeting were conducted...Continue Reading >>
Dr. Victoria Kisyombe pic
Mambo from Dar es Salaam! Mambo to the staff at Kiva, my fellow Fellows, our MFI partners, kiva lenders, and anyone else who wants to jump on the kiva rollercoaster. My apologies for failing to share my impressions of SELFINA, Dar es Salaam, and Tanzania for almost two months. The only excuse I can give is that kiva.org has been too generous with its posting limit, kiva lenders have been too generous and quick with their support,...Continue Reading >>
It is difficult to adequately describe the contrast between the frozen homogeneity of suburban Minneapolis which I left, and the noisy and chaotic vibrancy of Dar es Salaam. I traveled through five airports over the course of three days, and touched down in Dar es Salaam on Sunday in a jet-lag induced daze. Not quite knowing what to expect, I shouldered my touristy hiking backpack, and walked out of the international arrivals terminal – directly into the middle of a political demonstration
Thousands of Tanzanians were crowded around the doors of the...Continue Reading >>