More on community and cultural learning

For one of the learning sessions we just sat around and talked about attire, greetings, traditions for ceremonies and really just anything that came up about cultural differences from each of our own countries. We had volunteers not just from the US but also Turkey, Argentina, the Philippines, Italy, France, and China.

In Tanzania the women wear kangas. They have sayings on them that mean different things and must be worn correctly although there are a variety of ways to wear them as depicted below.

Most of our at home activities took place in the common area where we also had breakfast lunch and dinner.

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There’s also a specific handshake to greet your peers and those older than you. When you say hello or hey to someone you say ‘Jambo’ short for Hujambo. When you greet an older person you say Shikamo Mama or Shikamo Baba for respect. Elders are treated in a high regard. You can even shikamo your older sister (dada) or brother (caca). Shikamo translates to ‘I hold your feet’. The response by an elder would be ‘Maharba’. Which means ‘I am delighted’.

There are other greetings as well like ‘habari’ which means how are you. The typical response when being asked questions like these is to say ‘Nzuri’ which could mean fine, or good, or okay.

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We weren’t allowed to have alcohol at the house but I had found out from a previous volunteer who left the day I arrived that there was a “bar” around the corner. It wasn’t so much a bar as it was someone’s house that partially served as a store. Enter Josephina’s. We would frequent this place a lot. Mama Josephina was great. We even met some of her kids.

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Every time we left the compound it was required we sign out.

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cheers

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Other times when we would go into town (every Tuesday & Thursday from 4-6) in which there were opportunities for cold beers then as well. The beer choices were aptly names Serengeti, Safari, Kilimanjaro and there was also a cider called Savannah dry that some of the girls loved. It was too sweet for me so I stuck with beer for the most part.

In town we would hit up the super market to get any essentials for showers and what not but also if we wanted to get supplies to bring to our placements. Every time we got to town we were bombarded by guys selling tchotchkes like bracelets, small paintings or jerseys.

Loading up the vans on our way to town.

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First time we exchanged currency. Felling like bajillionaires. Makin’ it rain all over Moshi. The conversion rate was about 2000 shillings to 1 US dollar.

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After each visit the view of the Supermarket and ATM became redundant and boring.

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As well as going to the Pristine office across the street from the ATM.

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All the beautiful beers we weren’t allowed to take back to homebase. What a shame indeed.

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A fun place to get amazing art made by local artists. I wanted to buy a painting but even after bargaining they would cost hundreds of dollars. Instead I opted to take pictures of the paintings. 😉

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With one of my 3 roommates, Kelsey

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Our awesome CCS drivers that were way more than drivers, Baba John & Joseph

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There were so many salons everywhere and they all had pictures of celebrities either hand drawn or on a banner like this in the front. Here we have Ludacris. I also saw Obama, Aaliyah, Kanye, Bob Marley etc

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Pretty little souvenirs

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Walking through town. Karibu means ‘you are welcome’. You can say it in the context of first arriving somewhere or even when responding to when someone says ‘asante’ (thank you).

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The beautiful Mosque in the center of town

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Down the road not too far away was a Hindu temple

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The bus station. We were advised not to take the dala dala buses as they are overcrowded and super unsafe.

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It seemed like Coca Cola sponsored all of Tanzania as there were signs everywhere. That and also signs of Vodacom. Ironic given I had just recently quit working for the global company Vodafone. hah!

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Enjoying beers as a restaurant in town. ‘Karibu tena’ means ‘you are welcome again’ like come again or welcome to come back.

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