Around Dar, again: 24 Aug 2006

24 08 2006

Today, Andy and went to Kariakoo market: VERY busy, congested, crazy market. Tomorrow, we head to Mbeya.  I’m much more comfortable in the city, but ready to see more of Tanzania.

OK, out of internet time. 

TGNP: 23 Aug 2006

24 08 2006

Kagubu and his friend the driver, Haidi, took Andy and I to a market in Dar to buy Kangas from some women on the street.  Kangas are the beautiful wrap skirts that women wear here in Tanzania (and maybe East Africa?).  They are very beautiful with bright colors that have sayings in Swahili on them.  Here is a pic from the internet:


(I haven’t had time to download my pics yet, but will when able.)

As I was buying kangas, the women kept pulling out more and more and more:  about 10 women were shoving kangas in my face.  I kept saying “hapana, hapana” (no, no).  Finally I chose a couple and we left.

EVERYTHING is bought on the street…it’s truely amazing: underwear, food, housewares, beds.

From there we headed to Tanzania Gender Networking Project.  This is an organization that Marjorie, Anina’s mama, is active in (and one of hte co-founders).  The organization is somewhat of a umbrella and covers issues such as access to water, women’s rights, health care and AIDS education.  We attended a seminar there about the allocation of money to AIDS in the Tanzanian government budget.  The 2006/7 budget has more actual $$ going to AIDS, but a smaller percentage of the budget, so the question proposed was:  How much of a priority is AIDS for the Tanzanian government?

The following are some issues that came up from the whole group during the seminar:

1) Local level engagement

2)The amount of the budget that reaches the local level is inadequate

3) allocation of funds for nutrition

4) Government should be transparent on sources of money and allocation

5)Accurate data is needed at all levels

6) Tanzania needs to look to other countries (Kenya/Uganda) to get ideas of what to do, what works, what doesn’t

7) Activists need to spread the word to all organizations on how to read the gov’t budget

8) AIDS issue needs to be raised more in media

9 ) Accurate info still needs to get out to people and end the myths.

After the seminar, we went to Marjorie’s house for a delicious dinner.  We met her husband and Kagubu’s mama.  The conversation was as good as the food.  They are both very involved in Dar and it was interesting to get their perspective.  After dinner, Haidi drove Andy and I back to Luther House.

Marjorie gave me some books to read about women’s rights in Tanzania and about TGNP.  I’ll try to write about them when I finish reading.  I asked her if she ever felt overwhelmed because there are so many issues.  She said sometimes, but that things get better and worse.  When Nyrere was president, things were looking up, but now there seems to be a decline in Tanzanian society again due to globalization and “neo-liberalism” (she gave me a book about that, also).