Krismasi njema! (Merry chirstmas!)

I started to write this text while sitting on the most delayed bus ride any of us has had.. But when I was finished and ready to post, the website refused to work. Since then I have been busy celebrating Christmas on safari!!! But more of that next time 😉 And here is the updated version of the text:

So I will start with the bus ride between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro: We went to the bus station at 10 on sunday morning, and there we found out that there was no tickets left until 2 pm. So then we just had to wait. After a while we got to know that there had been an accident, and all busses where delayed. So, instead we left Dar around 4:30 pm, but that was not the end of it. There was so much traffic jam that we only drove a few kilometers the first hours. The journey was supposed to take around 4 hours, instead it took about 6 hours.. And then there was maybe one and a half hour drive to get from Morogoro to Mikumi.. So we went to bed around half past 2, that was ours “uppesittarkväll”! Haha 🙂

We arrived in Dar es Salaam on thursday after a week in Tanga. We really loved Tanga, it is such a nice city, with such nice, friendly people! We have been shopping at the local market, hanging with our new friends, visited the beach, gotten ourselves a haircut, eating local food – our favourite is Maharagwe (Beans) and the fantastic chapati 🙂 It’s been so good to just stroll the streets, or take a ride on a Boda-boda (motorbike), greeting everyone with the little Swahili we know and finally just live and explore Tanzania <3

And also: The last day in Tanga we finished our essay! It feels so fantastic 🙂 Hongera! (Congratulations!) to us!! 😀 It is really cool to look back at the work we done, all the way from emailing the whole world in search for a contact person and at last finding TICC! To starting to plan the essay and do the application to SIDA – and getting it! Then, to actually arrive in Tanzania, starting the interviews, gathering the data and until now, when all the data has been analysed and actually has something interesting to say! Wow 🙂

 

     

Hongera to our finished essay!

We then went to Dar es Salaam for two days. Compared to Tanga this is just such a crazy, chaotic city! Wow! We went to the market here, and it was such a chaotic and still awesome experience. There are shops, and then there are stalls outside on the streets, and then there are people walking around selling stuff, and then there is motorbikes, cars, tuk-tuks and then there is also all the people there shopping! You can barely move around, so it’s not that easy to do any shopping.. but it was really fun to go there! We also welcomed Oskar (Nike’s boyfriend) to Tanzania! He will travel with us for two weeks 🙂

Visiting the local fishmarket with Brighton 🙂

 

A beach outside Dar

 

“Krismasi njema!” (Merry Christmas!)

 

 

Another week in the jungle!

What a couple of days it has been!

We’ve been to Ubud and experienced some Indonesian culture. We have visited waterfalls, rice terraces, the Holy Spring Temple and undergone a sacred cleansing ritual and visited the Monkey Forest! The Monkey Forest was full of (mostly) friendly and curious monkeys, we both enjoyed it very much, less so when a monkey decided to jump up on my shoulder and urinate…

All fun and games until…

Water ritual!

Rice terraces

But in spite of the unfortunate pee incident, the Monkey Forest was very nice! After a few days in Ubud we decided to move yet again! This time to Canggu which is near Sanur where we intend to spend Christmas! In Sanur we have made reservations at Café Smörgås who are going to serve a traditional Swedish Christmas table, something we both are looking forward to! As for our studies, we have begun to examine our gathered data and gotten some very exciting insights! The program Nvivo 12 has been particularly helpful in this process. We can’t wait until we’re finished with our Empirical Findings chapter, so we can begin to analyze the material.

Greetings from Indonesia, Aron and Emma

The inevitable….

So it finally happened.. in the middle of trying to analyze my material and finally getting somewhere… I got a cold making my brain work the slowest possible. Then, as a trip to India is not ever complete without it, a wonderful case of stomach problems hit me. As if a normal stresstummy is not enough. This left me weak for several days and I am still not feeling 100%. It was after all doomed to happened so I soldier on!!

Therefore I dont have any pictures from this week but I share the results of my saffronbun making mentioned in my last post

In a way I am almost glad I am not home in Sweden to celebrate christmas. Now I can just lock myself in my room and study not having to stress about meeting family and friends while doing so.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Take care!

Focus Group Interviews

My week in Lokichar was highly eventful and went a lot better and much quicker than I thought. I was introduced to my contact person there through Friends of Lake Turkana who came to see me as I arrived to plan our week and the interviews.

The plan was to interview 3 local tribes affected in different ways of the extractives, as well as other key people and one of the managers of the oil company operation in the area. We managed to hold focus group discussions/interviews with the tribes and the information collected has created a good foundation for my work. We also visited a couple of sites holding hazardous waste and collected information regarding the impact of this on the environment and living standards of the nearby tribes.

I was invited to and participated in an information meeting for CSO’s by the oil company, however the interview I was going to have with one of the managers kept getting cancelled and postponed and it later came to my knowledge that the person in question had deliberately been avoiding me. Through some further contacts made during my stay in Lokichar this was later resolved after I had left and the person in question have now confirmed with me that he will agree to having a meeting which will take place after the new year.

I have had to reschedule a lot and re-plan my visit due to Christmas Holidays. After the 12th of December (Jamhuri Day, the day Kenya celebrate becoming a republic) most people go on leave return after the new year. However, before this I had to go down to Nairobi to extend my visa and fly back up to attend a 2 day conference which I will write about in my nest post.

 

 

Karibu Massaj-village na Lushoto na Tanga!

This week has gone by so fast! Actually every week does, but we still need to say it to make you realise how fast it goes!

The week started with us leaving for a three hours car ride to get to a Massaj-village. We had a private driver who was the best! He drove us at a rode…we wouldn’t say it was a rode, rather a path…but he took us 🙂 Several times we thought it wouldn’t work, but he just kept on going! So we arrived at the massaj-village and we slept there and cooked some food there. We also to a walk around the village and got to meet the leader of the village. He served us half a litre of hot milk – Jesus! That was good but we were so full after drinking it.

The massaj-kids were playing soccer 🙂

Goats in the massaj-!

After visiting the massaj-village we traveled to a town called Lushoto. There we got the best guide who we travelled with for two days. Wow wow wow! Lushoto was so nice! We went up in Usambara mountains and that was the most amazing thing we’ve seen and done so far in Tanzania. It was so green, and beautiful, and cool, and something that you never could stop getting amazed of. We can just say WOW.

Some ladies were making potteries 🙂

Hiking with Brighton!

View in Usambara <3

With sore legs and a smile on our face we went back to Tanga to stay for a week and continued to write our essay. The essay goes very good and our teacher is helping us out with all the details 🙂

Dinner upon arrival in Tanga!

During Sunday we went to Amboni caves here in Tanga and it was a really cool experience! When in Tanga visit the caves if you have time 🙂

Amboni Caves!

Usiku mwema! Good night! Now we will go to sleep!

Lucia and finished interviews

Lucia!

So I have finally completed all my interviews. I had aimed for 10 but with some difficulties of getting students to agree for interviews I ended up with 8. I am starting to stress a little about finishing it all in time and working hard analysing my material and writing. (So hard I forget to do my updates here haha).

 

Me, my translator Priya and two of the students from MAVA

 

Today is Lucia and I’mm both struck with a cold, making my brain work all slow, and homesickness. Since I have been away from home over Christmas a few times before I came prepared. Other times I have been able to go to IKEA for my homesickness treatment, but India only have one store in the country hahah.  So, this time, to save some time trying to search for ingredients I brought dry yeast and “pärlsocker”. I am planning to do some cinnamonbuns and saffronbuns (lussebullar). Hopefully it turns out okey. The house where I stay doesn’t have a proper oven though. Which is not a common thing to have in India. They usually make do with just a gas stove.  Wish me luck!

One great thing (among many) about doing my thesis here in India is the marvelous option of ordering food through an app. It is cheap and I can pretty much chose from whatever restaurang in the area. This saves me great time. Like instead of cocking I can 100% focus on writing…. or watch youtube videos…. or sit for 40 mins deciding what I want to order and then wait another 40 mins for delivery… you all know how it goes. And did I mention dessert.

Anyways! It is for sure time to pick up some speed to finish this in time.
Christmas is around the corner and so is deadline!!

Progress

Hi again!

Time flies and it’s really hard to realize when it’s time for blogging!

Last time we wrote, we had just planned our first interviews, well now we’ve done them all! Our first interviews were last Tuesday, and we interviewed two gay men who both gave really interesting stories about their life! Our next two interviews were scheduled on Thursday, but in the middle of it all Emma got really sick, so we only got one interview that day.

Yesterday, Monday, we had our final two interviews and we’re happy to say that we have gotten some variation in our interviews, regarding informants. From the beginning we knew that it was hard to find different people of the LGBT-spectra, especially women, but yesterday we met a trans woman who could give us an insight into that life, which was very eye-opening.  From these meetings with these amazing people we have really come to understand the difference in LGBTQ- rights and the issues that LGBTQ- people face here compared to back home.

Besides that, on Friday we are planning to move (AGAIN)! We realized that since we’re done with the interviews and don’t really need to be close to Gaya Dewata anymore, we could travel around Bali while writing! So that’s what we’re going to do! Firstly, we’re going to Ubud, and we hope to get a lot of nice pictures there to share with you all! As for now, you’ll have to manage without since we haven’t been taking any (good) pictures lately!

See ya!

Aron & Emma

One more week has passed

And a week goes so fast in Kampala, especially if you are sick, as I (Wictoria) have been. Now we are done with almost half of the interviews. Our plan is to do the rest of the interviews next week, but we dont know if this is possible yet. It’s not always so easy to find nurses to interview at the hospital because they have a lot to do. But the interviews are very interesting so all the struggle is worth it.

Carl

Besides, the interviews we also had the time to visit a handicraft market in Kampala. It was nice, but it’s the same things as everywhere else in East Africa. I love the crafts, but if you seen one shop – you’ve seen it all. We also had some fresh passion fruit juice at a café. That is to die for here. The best thing you can drink in Uganda!

I had to visit another hospital on Thursday, so now I been a patient as well. My stomach haven’t been so nice to me so I needed to visit a doctor. I got some antibiotics and worm medicine. The doctor said that here in Uganda everyone should take worm medication every 6 month because you get worms in the food you eat even though you are careful. So both me and Carl bought the medication and took like the cats we are. I feel a little bit better now when the antibiotics are over, but now entire fine. So, I have to evaluate tomorrow or Tuesday if I have to go back to the hospital if it’s not getting any better. Well, life outside of Sweden has it’s downsides aswell…

Wictoria

The plan for next week is just work and no fun. Maybe visit a tailor and make some new clothes, but our friend Halima is trying to find out if her friend can find time for us. This is the holiday season so eveyone makes new clothes so all the taylors are so busy!
Until next time!

Bye,

Wictoria and Carl

Mambo! (Hello!)

Mambo! (Hello!)

We have been busy righting our essay, so we felt that we did not have that much to wright about! We have finished our interviews and since then our life has been mainly about sleep, some training in the morning, food, writhing, food, sun, writing, food, sleep… repeat! But we are making very good progress! Actually, as I am now placed in my bed writing this post, Mirijam is finishing the last things on the essay! Tonight we will send in the first draft including all parts! Ofcourse, this is just the first draft, so we are sure there will be a lot more work to do.. But still! Hongera (Congratulation) to us!! 🙂

But actually we did something totally amazing today! We got the chance to visit a family living in a village just outside of Tanga City. It is a rather interesting family, as it consists of three wives and one husband. Together they have twelve kids!

It is allowed as part of the Islamic belief, that a man can have up to four wives. For us this is rather strange, even provoking, mainly since it is not allowed for a woman to do the same thing. Still, this is not Sweden, it is a totally different context, and thus, you can not judge the individuals in the same way as you might had in Sweden. It is not the person, it is the structures of the society. Rather it is important to be open and to discuss our thoughts and views.

As for this family it was the most amazing one! We met two of the wives, the husband, and almost all of the children. We spent the day playing with the kids and helping out with some cooking. We enjoyed a fantastic meal and took a walk though the village to visit the father of the husband. They were so friendly, honest and generous!  We wished we could have stayed longer! Also because this is to experience the real Tanzania! In TICC we have had a very good stay, and it has been perfect when writing our essay, still it is far from the real Tanzania.. 

We are really longing to get out there and experience the country more 🙂

And: That is soon! On Monday we will leave TICC and head of to new adventures.. More about that next time 🙂

 

Finally!

Halo!

What a great week and it’s only Monday!  We’ve been very stressed out lately since none of our contacts answered us for a while and we were certain we would have to start moving on, finding new organizations and informants for our study… And even though one of them finally started contacting us again we thought they wanted to either get out of this or limit their efforts to the bare minimum… Until today!

So last week we got in contact with Arya, our contact from Gaya Dewata, an LGBTQ- activist group based here in Bali.
(You can read about them at: https://www.gayadewata.com/ )

We decided that we were going to go to them next Monday (the day I’m posting this). We didn’t have much hope for our visit, but we were determined to at least get something out of it. So we went there! When our taxi driver let us off at the address we had given him, we were confused. It was a very small street and no signs of there being an organization there. Finally, we went up to the nearest house and knocked on the door, we had come to the right place! We got to quickly meet Arya before we were seated to wait, since he still had some work to do. Then we got to meet an Australian volunteer who gave us a lot of useful information! He told us about other communities and organizations where we could get help, but maybe the best advice we received was; E-mailing is useless in Indonesia! If you want to contact someone, find them on social media!!

That explained a lot…!

So, after talking to the Aussie for a while we got to finally actually sit down with Arya. Before when we had discussed with him via WhatsApp, he had told us about how they might not have much time for us and that it would be difficult to get us what we wanted, such as helping us to find an interpreter, so we were definitely not hoping for much. Then it all just turned around! Firstly, we knew it would be hard to find informants part of the LGBTQ- community that were not only gay men, since the other parts of the community isn’t as open here, but Arya told us he would try to find a wider range of people so we got the bigger picture! Secondly, he found someone who can interpret for us and thirdly, we’re starting with the interviews TOMORROW already! (Arya invited us to come by every day for new interviews!)

Us and Arya at Gaya Dewata!

It feels like we’ve gone from the bottom and right up to the top! Losing hope just to get all we could ever dream of!

Other than this, last week consisted of writing, writing, quite a lot of rain (and some sun too) and lastly more writing! Hopefully we’ll have more to tell you about when we get started with the interviews!

Bicara denganmu nanti!