Before I get into all the money I spent on delicious food while I was in Dar (and why I was in Dar in the first place) let’s recap the week before first!
So we started our second GrassRoot club with the community. While there was not as big of a turn out as I would have liked the kids that have been coming are excited and very eager to learn. It’s so interesting to see the different interaction the kids on my community team have with each other and the interactions my school kids have with each other. Usually before and sometimes after lessons we play some sort of game whether it be actual soccer or handball or something like that. On my school team the boys and the girls don’t play together but when we start the lesson they are both answering and asking questions being very free. On the other hand my community team is very inclusive when we play games the girls and boys play together, they even let me join in sometimes, but when we start our lesson everyone is quiet no one answers questions no one asks questions I’m lucky if the kids will even look at us. I’m hoping as time goes on the differences in both of these teams will phase out and we will get to the point where everyone is interacting with everyone both in and out of the classroom.
So now onto the really exciting stuff (it’s all exciting it’s just REALLY when I get to travel). Recently I was selected to be a member of Health Committee for Peace Corps Tanzania. Last week we had one of our biannual meetings where we got the chance to travel to Dar es Salaam, meet with Peace Corps staff, and discuss various things related to the purpose of the committee. As this committee is fairly new due to a recent merge between HIV committee and Malaria committee we had many topics to cover, the most important being the structure and purpose of the committee moving forward. Having all new members on this committee we began by electing positions for both the internal structure of the committee as well as referential individuals for topic specific areas. I was selected to be Media Coordinator as well as a reference for all things concerning WASH & nutrition and a little bit of Malaria (each topic also includes one other member I will be able to work with). Being media coordinator I have the opportunity to manage both a Facebook page and a blog that I have created specific to the committee. Both will be updated frequently with focuses on things like what we’re doing as a committee, drawing attention to global health observance days, spotlighting volunteers and their health related projects, and many other health happenings here in Peace Corps Tanzania. So if following me and my personal life isn’t enough for you already click on those links above, give our Facebook page a like so you can receive updates for that, and then head over to our blog and give that a follow as well!
On a less business related note, my time outside of the office in Dar was spent at a beautiful Airb&b with members of the committee which were all from my class. We had an amazing balcony that faced the sunset and inconsistent power, which actually proved to be more comical then irritating. We ate delicious foods, some of which are stated in the title of this blog (sorry no pictures of the burger as I was very hungry that night and consumed by the urge to devour the food instead of take a picture, but I will tell you it was HUGE and topped with Mac& cheese, had a small side salad and hearty steak fries!). We toured shops where I spent more money then I care to admit and took way to many Uber’s that asked us for directions to our destination when we are nothing more then mere tourists.
I ended the week by hopping on a flight to Mwanza (cutting a 17 hour bus ride back to my village out of my life) where I attended a reporting conference and submitted my first reporting form. While I didn’t have a lot to report as I have just started my first project with GRS, filling out the form seemed so surreal, like I’m actually doing this and I’ve made it as far as to begin reporting this thing that I’m doing. I know it seems crazy to say but some mornings I still wake up and think wow I live in sub Saharan Africa attempting to community with people in a language I only began learning 7 months ago! Also wild to think that I am closer to being here for a year then I am to just arriving…who woulda thunk it.
In other news my neighbor left yesterday morning to go and visit some family in another region and tasked me with looking after his almost more then 40 chickens! There’s a reason I’m not an agriculture volunteer so we’ll see if any of us make it out alive….