Most crazy and unbelievable night ever!!!!

Hejsan alla!

Så här kommer ett litet avstickande inlägg men jag känner att jag bara måste dela med mig av vad som hände ikväll. Så jag och några bekanta var ute och hade en farväl middag  på en restuarang bara några gator bort från där jag bor (ca 6 gator). När vi skulle hem bestämde sig mitt sällskap att vi skulle promenera för att det var så nära (även fast jag visste sedan tidigare att det finns en hög risk för rån på gatorna) och vad tror ni händer!!? Jo tro faan att vi blev rånade, eller snarare sagt, JAG blev rånad! Dem ryckte väskan från mina axlar och sprang iväg med den. Jag hade inte mycket pengar i väskan men min smartphone låg också där i samt mina nycklar. Jag var helt förstörd och försökte lista ut hur jag skulle kunna få tag på en annan mobil i det här landet (det var genom mobilen som jag hade tillgång till internet nämligen), men lo and behold, när vi börjar närma oss vårt compound så kommer det upp en shared taxi med typ 5 män. De hoppar ut och börjar prata med oss (eller försöker i alla fall) och berättade att de såg vad som hände och hade jagat ner våra tjuvar, varav en av dem satt i bilen. Jag, som har skit svårt att förstå vad de säger, tror att dem hade fått tillbaka min väska och därmed börjar jag (av lycka) krama personen dem pekar på. Visar sig att han var tydligen en av tjuvarna så lite awkward blev det >.<  Medan vi står där och jag försöker lista ut vad som händer så kommer det en kille med nån typ av skjutvapen, (stor var den men kan inte säga vilken typ). Visar sig att polisen har ett kontor precis mitt emot oss, tur va!? Fast hoppet var väl inte så stort hos mig att vi skulle kunna få tillbaka mina saker för jag vet hur dåliga polisstyrkan är här i att utreda brott men dem lovade att ringa mig när dem vet mer. Medan jag står där och pratar med polisen så kommer en man upp med min väska!! Se där du. Dock fanns bara nycklarna kvar i den men det var ändå något.  Anyway, jag gav upp för natten och gick hem men så messar min kompis Lovisa till mina rumskamrater, som var med mig, och säger att min telefon finns på att hämta på Royal hotell (där vi hade middag). Vi (jag och mina rumskamrater) försökte ringa upp henne igen men hon svarade inte så vi bestämde oss för att dra tillbaka till hotellet för att se ifall den var där, FYI det var den inte. Men när vi kom hem så bestämde vi oss för att ringa telefonen själva. Visar sig att någon snubbe hade tagit tillbaka den från tjuvarna och var villig att komma till compoundet för att lämna tillbaka den till mig vilket han gjorde!!! SÅ trots att jag blev bestulen på pengar, nycklar och telefon så, i slutet av natten så var det bara dem 20 dollarna jag förlorade!! Sånt jäkla lyckligt slut på denna eländiga berättelse! Måste verkligen tacka mina rummies som hjälpte mig jättemycket ikväll och våran vakt som lovat att följa med mig till polisstationen imorgon för att signa ett statement.

Nu ska jag försöka få lite sömn innan jag drar till stationen imorgon.

Week.2 @the Barbroschool

Alrighty, Let’s see how this goes :p Hi everyone! I’m really sleepy right now so I hope I don’t forget to mention all of the cool things I’ve done this week hehe.

As I mentioned in the last post, this week was all about being at the boarding school; observing, interviewing and conducting a focus group session. My stay there was beyond lovely. First of all, just scroll down to my previous post, I took a few pictures of the school and its environment. It’s so beautiful! The trees are green and the flowers all very pinkish. I loved it. There were monkeys on campus. LIVE MONKEYS. Kind of freaked me out a little especially during the night hours when I could hear them outside my window. I think that’s the only issue I had, otherwise I can’t complain. I got my own room in a certain part of the school and there was also a space for drinking tea outside of the room and a table where I could sit and study so I was very comfortable. Generally, the students, teachers and other staff at the school were all sooo warm and welcoming. I felt like I came to a place I’ve always known. It was kind of sad leaving the place after almost an entire week 🙁

Unfortunately I don’t have any pics of the students, and that’s cus I want to avoid issues with parents and such. A cool thing though, I’m attending the form 6 graduation 25th of March, and parents will be there. So, if I’m allowed I’ll take some pics of the students if I find them because I’ve been told the place will be packed! Which is wow. Cus’ the school area if im not wrong is 50 acres, which is a loot of land! :O

I’ll share more detailed about the interviews, observation and focus group session tomorrow, I have some interesting thoughts that were shared with me; and disussions I would like to share here 🙂 .

Let me update y’all a liittle bit more about the rest of the week. So I spent 5 days at the school. Everyday was really good. The students were very interested in my project. One evening a young girl (the classes I didn’t go to) grabbed me and asked ” I don’t get it. So you don’t want to ask us about gender issues????!” my response “of course I do. It’s just that I chose to go to certain classes because you are way to many students in this school”. The girl “hmmm… OK, this is what we’ll do. After 1 hour, we willl be done studying can you then come to that classrom *POINTS* and ask my classmates and I about what we think of gender inequality in Tanzania”. Obviously I couldn’t say no. After one hour, as promised, I went to their classroom and had an unplanned focus session sort of with a bunch of younger students. We spoke of inequalities in Tanzania, in Africa, what it means and what it doesn’t mean. And how they’ve experienced it in their own lives. After a while more students came and soon I was surrounded by almost 30 students and I shared with them my thoughts on different issues and they told me their opinions. As I said, I’ll share some of those thoughts tomorrow more detailed…

The last day at the school ended with having some BBQ pork and fried bananas (local dish) with some of the teachers from the school. There discussions of my paper continued. Many, particularly the ones I never got a chance to speak to during the week had a bunch questions and the good thing is.. due to *TADAAAM* Dar es salaam traffic, we had a lot of time to discuss all those topics. The place we were eating at wasn’t so far from the road and we could see the traffic jam from where we were sitting.

Wow. This is getting veeery long. But, I hope you get a sense of how my days are here, or have been. One last thing. This weekend I did something ‘fun’ as I said I would. I went to visit some relatives and ate reaally nice mangos (sidenote haha). Then a friend and I went on an unplanned visit to another city (not so far from Dar) and spent all afternoon there. We walked around, discovering the place, a total of almost 2 miles. Not so sure how I feel about that. Jokes. It was a nice loooong never ending walk in the heat haha.

That’s my week basically, leave a comment if you’ve been here Nella N Roza 😉 this post’s for u haha (my sisters)

Update & Pics’

I promised pictures and here are a few. One day it was 35 C and I honestly don’t know how I made it through that day. It was a little too warm and of course, I decided to go for a long walk just that day haha only to realise “yeaaaah maybe NOT the best decision”. But let me not complain, it is actually really nice to not be freezing all day all night :p.

Tomorrow I’ve been here for a week already which is kind of fast and still slow. Everything goes much slower here in Tanzania compared to Sweden. It can be both a good and bad thing. For example, on Thursday I spent all day trying to reach one of the organisations that I am supposed to interview and they never answered. Not only that I actually wasn’t able to reach them from Sweden either. But worry not. I have good news. A lady that works there answered my call on Friday and I should be able to go see them in 2 weeks. Somehow, it is also nice that people take things lightly here. It feels like people are not so stressed about life here as in Sweden….

Just today I was chatting with a guy about certain things that can make life stressful, and he told me “yeah you see life can be quite difficult sometimes but there isn’t much one can do about it. If you sit around and wait for something to change in order for you to start living, it’ll never happen. You might as well just enjoy life and take things as they come”. I couldn’t have said it better. I have already met people here quite randomly and had intresting discussions about all sorts of topics.

That is one thing I love about Tanzania. People are very open and nice here. These few days while I have been doing a loot of reading and getting a deeper knowledge about my thesis topic, I have realised how much it helps that I actually do speak swahili and am familiar with the cultural context of this city. It is easy to get around and I do not have troubles finding my way, more or less. This city is way too big for me to know it properly inside out. It is kind of funny how at least on the outside I look just like everyone else and can go pretty much unnoticed on the streets. One person even asked me “are you sure you aren’t from here? You look and speak like us!?” But once we get into deeper discussions it is very obvious that I have a different mindset than some of the people I have met.

Ok, last thing about my thesis stuff. My supervisor in Sweden has approved my research questions yeey, and I have sent in one exam yippi. Tomorrow I am meeting my contact person here in Tanzania. She is the headmistresss of the Barbro Johansson School. I’m going to conduct a small scale ethnograpic study at the school for one week and see how things work there. I will also have one focus group session with some girls at the school where we will discuss the topic ‘gender (in)equality’ and what experiences they have had of it, if any. And then I also plan to interview the headmisstress and her assistant. I hope one week is enough, because I understand that they have their own schedules at the school. Otherwise I will have to go again the following week. So, next week I will be in a different region 😀

I am really glad because it has only been a week but I have gotten so much done already. I’ve actually read most of the things that I had to read and been able to get hold of both my organisations, finally. The Barbro Johansson School is funded by JOHA Trust, which is one of the organisations I am interested of learning more of. And the headmistress, my contact person, sits on the JOHA Trust board, just to clarify why I’ll be going to that specific school.

One last note, besides from all the studies, don’t think that’s all I’m doing. Well, it kind of is. But I decided since I have a good flow for now, I’ll try to study Mon-Fri and on weekends meet up with friends and some distant relatives. I thought this is a good idea because I get to have study breaks. Change environment and do something fun. This weekend I visited a few friends and went to different parts of the city

My friend Vee & I on the metrobus going downtown


This is getting to long. Take care and see you next week!

The view
sharing the Swedish culture of ‘fika’ XD
THIS latte was soo good!
Studying at a café by the ocean
“moderate” weather… Only 35 C

Lizard & escaping the traffic jam

Hello everyone!

I finally arrived in Tanzania a few days ago. I know I’m quick in writing and it’s because I feel the internet I am using is quite unreliable. So I am trying to make the best of it.

As you may have noticed hehe, I will be writing the blog in English because a) I study in English & all thesis progress will be written in English. And b) all my family and friends can follow the updates, without being “left out”.

First of all, I want to start off by saying I AM ALIVE, this is more to my family that have been bombarding my phone asking “did u arrive?”. YES. I did. And it is suuuper hot!!! When I arrived, it only took 30mins to get through the immigration & passport control + collect my luggage, so a big round of applauds for the airport staff. Usually, it can take up to even 2 hours. So this was beyond awesome. So, what have I done these few days?

I have slept! I was so exhausted by the journey. And when I finally felt a little alive, I had a friend help me with getting a sim card, setting up internet etc etc. Oh and I found a lizard in my kitchen. I feel so welcomed 😀 On a more serious note, I have studied. I have been writing my literature review and some other ‘fun’ assignments that I have to send in to my supervisor (in Sweden) next week.

Also, I have managed to escape the hectic traffic of Dar es Salaam! Two days in row! Now, if anyone has ever been to Dar es Salaam you would know that the traffic jams here can get quite crazy and tiresome. So, me escaping it for 2 days is also beyond awesome. I hope I did not just jinx my own luck lol. Anyhow, I am supposed to start the ‘real’ thesis work next week, tomorrow I am dubblechecking with my supervisor if that is still possible and hopefully by the time I write next time, I have started the empirical thesis work. OOH and I am so bad with taking pictures… But, in the next blog I will post some pics.

I hope all of you are doing well in lovely Sweden. Did I mention it is 31 C here. And sunny 😀 hehe

See you in the next post 🙂

Iyi aksamlar :)

Not quite what I expected..
This is because I had to redo one part of my practical work for the master thesis. I had to retake the saliva tests, which is important for a program called Cariogram. Saliva measurement is one of the influencing factors for the incidence of caries.
I use the Cariogram program as visual feedback to show the mother-child pairs the caries risk and what is needed to be changed to reduce the caries risk in the future. This is a good and simple method to show which factors that affect the disease and at the same time giving mothers an education about the disease and oral hygiene. This has to be redone on 50 patients. While we took saliva samples and made measurement, we also applied fluoride varnish on the children and rewarded them with balloons and stickers to the children, and to give them good memories of their visit to us. Some of the children were difficult to handle because they were afraid and could not sit still. This became a challenge, but with the help of the mothers and knee to knee method, we implemented what we had wished for. It remained 20 patients because everybody couldn’t show up.
I also got the chance to visit another village near Kirikkale called for “Hasandede” together with two other dental students and two dentists. It was full of families who had moved from Mardin, Urfa and Syria as refugees. We investigated and fluoride varnished 30 children. We had so much fun laughing with the children and we played together. I really saw how happy they were because of our visit and how much they appreciated what we did. It felt incredibly good inside.
God kväll gott folk (Iyi aksamlar)