Mambo?

We have now finished two out of eight weeks in Tanzania, and we are now having a functional living, more or less. We have, among other things found our self a Bajaj driver, as we now are regulars with. We also bought a washtub and some detergent, so we can now wash our clothes. Monday to Friday we are putting all our effort into our study, and we found a perfect place to do this, which has very nice food and a good garden to sit in, Maembe. Saturday and Sunday we spent on our newfound relaxing place. Honey Badger, which is a hotel with at a pool, which we can use for a fee.


Bajaj Driver, Patrick! 


Cleaning our clothes!


Maembe!


Honey Badger!


In our new everyday life we also found a new favourite perfume, which is the only perfume we use here. It is called “Mygga”, and we use it like we are teenage girls who just came over a bottle of “Date” perfume. It is especially good when you just shaved your legs, it does not burn… not at all, promise 🙂


Msiriwa Secondary School.

Our second week has just now passed, and we primarily focused on our research. Last monday we did our first visit at the school were we supposed to do our interviews at. We got to see Mama Mary, who is the headmaster at Msiriwa Secondary School. Last friday we did our two interviews with four female students. It went over our expectations even if we had to improvise a place were we could complete our last interview. The reason for this was lack of space and classrooms. Instead we had to sit in the garden on the grass, with at burning hot sun and 35 degrees. Overall it all went very well, but we were extremely tired  afterwards. Despite this, we spent the afternoon and evening transcribing our interviews. Above all, it was interesting to hear what the female students had to say about Sexual and reproductive health and rights in school. Many wise words, but also some things that we difficult to understand through a swedish context.

Karibu tena, welcome back!

Stolen phone, injured elbow and applying for research permit

I’ve been in Zanzibar now for 4 weeks and to summarize, it’s been both the best and the worst 4 weeks I’ve had in many years. For starters, my iphone got stolen about two weeks ago while being out with some friends in Stone Town. And when I was trying to reclaim it, I fell and injured my elbow. So for the past weeks my days have consisted of going back and forth to the doctor and to the police station to get updates and hear about the proceedings of finding my phone. I also discovered early on that I need a research permit here in order to interview people in Zanzibar. Which has led me to also spend a lot of time going to different ministries, institutions and banks to fill out papers. Although it’s been stressful having to spend my time going to various places, having contact with the authorities here has given me an insight on how the bureaucracy works in another country. An experience I think I wouldn’t of had if I was “sliding on a räkmacka”.  

On more positive notes, I’ve finally gotten my research permit (yay!), met so many amazing people and have been surrounded by the most stunning environment and scenery. Being the language enthusiast that I am, I also started a 20-hour kiswahili class at the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA). I’ve come to love the language and its’ logical grammar structure and from my experience, Kiswahili is a really easy language to learn. In the following weeks I hope to learn even more swahili and maybe even continue with self-studies when I’m back home in Sweden.

Being injured and living on a paradise island doesn’t give you the best motivation to study but luckily now that I’ve gotten my research permit and my elbow has healed, I can focus all on my studies and also proceed with doing interviews in the coming weeks.

Badaaye (see you)

Freddie Mercury’s house

Typical doors in Zanzibar
My usual dinner at the Forodhani market

Jambo!

Our first week in Moshi, Tanzania, has been amazing and very busy. On the second day we went on a Safari in the nationalpark Tarangire and Ngorongoro. We had two amazing days were we got to see The big five and many more animals such as Zebras, baboons, hyena and so on.



This first week we also went to the Hot springs, wich is a place to swim and relax in the middle of the savanna. It was a long and bumpy ride because it is dry season. But when we came to the Hot springs it was all emerald green. It was really nice to get out from the hot heat in the town of Moshi to cool down and get some fresh air.



When this posts is published we just came back from a coffee tour outside of Moshi. We got to make our own coffee and it was really tasty, much better and very different than the coffee we drink in Sweden. It was also interesting to learn about the process of making coffee and to learn more about the local people and their culture. After this tour we feel like we appreciate the art of making coffee a lot more.

After this first week we have learned that everything in Africa takes a long time, there’s absolutely no stress. For example, you have to wait about twenty minutes to flush the toilet, nobody arrives on time and the dinner takes a long time to prepare. To summarize this week: Hakuna Matata!!  

Boda bodas, education and slow internet

So, the second week in Kampala. Time sure is subjective, and while it has only been 10 days I feel right at home by now.

I have been very lucky to meet people with similar interests and purpose here in Kampala. I spend my days studying with Sara, a student in global development from Stockholm University, and Dory, a child psychologist from Holland. Having people around you that are motivated and focused on their work is both inspiring and supportive. We spend our days at cafés writing and reading up on our respective field, sharing ideas and thoughts. In the evening we meet up with other students, both from Kampala and abroad, NGO´s workers, expats and travelers for drinks and share stories.

I have met with my person of contact, Dr. Peter Ssenkusu from The School of Education at Makerere University.  We had a meeting on my porch the other day, and talked about how I should proceed with my field study. Peter also gave me a tour of the Makerere University´s campus and the office of lecturers of the education department. The campus  houses thousands of students and is located on top of one of Kampalas hills. The students live in various setting depending on economic background, ranging from modern apartment buildings to small huts. Some of the staff, such as maintenance, shop owners and teachers, live in the outskirts of campus as well.

The main building of Makerere University, where the dean and other officials has got their offices.

The entrance to The School of Education, located on Makerere campus.

I love the sign of the department of Science and Biology. Imagine training mushrooms!

I have also “grabbed the bull by its horns” and started getting around on the boda bodas. The name of the motorcycle taxis originated from the border between Uganda and Rwanda, where the drivers would yell out “border-to-border” for customers looking to cross over. The boda bodas are everywhere around Kampala, hanging out in the shadows of trees in intersections, waiting around for potential costumers. Even though I have been on plenty motorcycles in South East Asia, I have been reluctant to get on the back of one here. The traffic is like nothing I have experienced, and seeing drivers criss-cross their way through thousands of trucks and cars is nerve wrecking. However, there is an alternative to getting a near-death experience every time you leave home! A fairly new company called Safe boda offers rides at a fixed price (nice to not have to bargain every single time you go somewhere), and as the name implies, they are safer than your regular driver. All the drivers are trained in CPR, you get a helmet (with a very cute hairnet to protect you from lice) and they do actually stop at the red light. Plus, you can rate your driver through an app.

 

“If you can reach your back with your hand, you are old enough for school”

This quote is from Isaac, one of the Kampala born guests I met at a bonfire a couple nights ago. We had a long talk about how education is constructed and developed in Uganda, as well as how a former student perceive it, in hindsight. According to Isaac, there is no specific age where you start school, but it is rather a measure of your body. This goes for your bus fare as well. Physical punishment is still a common occurrence – Isaac gave a bitter recap of his experiences in the classroom. If he were to talk out loud, whisper with his friends, or even give the wrong answer, he would get slapped across his cheeks or in the back of his head. Tales of abuse is common, with other Ugandans nodding in recognition of his stories. Further, the topic of corruption within education was discussed. Western countries are eager to give scholarships to developing countries, however, there is seldom any check up of how the receiving country distribute said scholarships. This has, according to Isaac, resulted in government officials selling scholarships to the highest bidder, or neighbouring countries. Thus, the knowledge gained in studies is rarely of benefit to the country it was intended for.

On a brighter note, this weekend I have been invited to a big birthday party. Ugandans are big on partying – on my block, which is considered a fairly quiet area, there are parties until 4 am several nights a week – so I am really looking forward to Friday night. There is a saying that in Kampala the weekend stretches from Thursday until Monday, but I am certain it  includes Tuesday and Wednesday as well. Saturday will be spent studying most likely, but I might go downtown to check out the second hand shops. There are several outlets that import luxury brands from Western countries and sell them by the kilo. Sunday will be spent with Sara and Dory by the pool at the Sheraton, reading up on Ugandan history and working on my tan. For those interested in movie trivia, the Sheraton pool area is seen in the movie Last king of Scotland. The pool area is one of the places where Idi Amin used to host extravagant parties, excluded from the terror ravaging the country.

I will finish this post with one last picture – showing the impact slow internet and an over-heated laptop has got on a Swede used to fiber and air con.

First week in Kampala

I thought I would dedicate this first post of mine to share my first impressions of the city and what I have been experiencing so far!

My first week in Kampala have been dedicated to getting to know the city, but more than anything I’ve been resting. I’ve been experiencing a lot of side-effects from all different vaccines I’ve taken, fatigue, fever, chills, an upset stomach – you name it, I’ve had it. However, I am slowly getting better, the weather really does wonders for a tired body.

 

I am staying in a very lively part of the city, next to the newly built Acacia mall. The traffic is absolutely crazy, boda bodas (motorcycle taxis), bicycles, street vendors, buses and cars are all constricted to streets built for a population a tenth of the current number.

From what I have seen so far Kampala is a very clean city, there is very little trash on the side of road, and on every corner there is someone tidying up, picking trash. Another thing that stands out from places I have visited in the past is the high level of security. Armed security is on every corner, and metal detectors welcome you in to shops and restaurants. However, the semi-automatic guns are in stark contrast with the warm greetings you get from the guards. Most of them welcome you with a warm smile and are quick to small talk while they search your bag.

View from on top of Acacia mall. Thunder and rain  minutes away.

The cottage I am staying in is a simple place, with a lush garden surrounding it. There is no hot water, air conditioning or fans, but I absolutely love it. Plus, skipping the air con might get me used to the humid climate faster! Cause wow, it is a humid place. My neighbour, an Ugandan woman with a 10-months old, Swedish (!) born girl, have told me about how the weather in Uganda has been changing since she was younger. Climate change have shifted the seasons, and what used to be the dry season is now humid months, with rain falling every other day.

The view from Pearl of Africa, an over-the-top hotel, with marble floor and golden chairs. Perfect spot for watching the sunset and see how the rich and famous are spending their vacation in Kampala.

Lastly, I have yet to meet with my person of contact due to illness and change of plans for both of us. Hopefully we will be able to meet up this weekend to discuss the field study. I have also  been invited for dinner with my hosts, Sandra and Andrew. They own several airbnbs in Kampala, and hosts dinners for guests on their rooftop every Sunday.

 

Karibu Zanzibar!

After the Safari we headed straight to Zanzibar to have some sun, salty winds and some relax before going back to Sweden and the winter… We started out in the main city – Stone Town. It is such a nice little town just by the sea! A labyrinth of small streets between high buildings with the most beautiful doors! We celebrated the new year in Stone Town and then headed to the beaches on the east side – Paje and Jambiani 🙂 Beautiful! Oskar spent his last days with us before heading back to Sweden.

After some last editing we have now sent the essay in! 

Chakula nzuri sana at Forodhani foodmarket in Stone Town
Spice tour!
Muscot
Lipstick fruit
Happy new year!
Sandbank outside Stone Town
We joined a local fisherman for a sailtrip!

Safari nzuri sana!

Hi everyone! Sorry for the late update AGAIN…we are not good at doing this blog-thing cause there is happening things all the time here in Tanzania, and you get pretty frustrated with the internet from time to time…

Anyway! We’ve been at a Safari in Mikumi. It was wonderful! Two whole days with driving around in the national park with lions, zebras, hippos, elephants and so on and so on <3 We’ve been enjoying ourselves like crazy!

The four of us had a good Christmas and an awesome safari!

We have sent our essay to some friends that will read it and tell us what more we can do so we can feel that we did our very best before handing it in 🙂 Wish us good luck!

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

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!