Habari za kazi?
How is the Work?
"What a minute…!" you may be saying, "What's that about working? Wasn’t this supposed to be a year-off? ”
Well, yes, sort of. Trish is indeed taking a self-funded leave or sabbatical year from her work at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and I’m also taking a break from my various (but not sundry) activities as a freelance facilitator and trainer.
But as recovering Calvinists, we realized that a taking a full year off work might just kill us. So before we left, we contacted our former employer in Tanzania, World Renew, and asked them what they might do if two volunteers showed up in Dar es Salaam.....
Quite a bit, as it turned out.
Now, Trish and I are not exactly what you call handy in a conventional sense. We don’t know much about agriculture, micro-finance or community health issues; but we do know a thing or two about program planning and evaluation -- which isn't nearly as exciting as it sounds.... but actually is very useful when you're working in places like Tanzania where community organizations and NGOs really want to make sure that they are making a difference.
So in the end,, World Renew staff here asked us to work with four partners in Dar es Salaam and in the Mwanza area near Lake Victoria to design and facilitate four workshops on planning, and proposal writing. I also facilitated 2.5 days of strategic planning with World Renew Tanzania's team. In total, we put in something like 20 person days of work.
Of course, since we’re in Tanzania, we did our best to facilitate a lot of the workshops in Swahili, a language that we have only spoken sporadically since we left Tanzania in 2002. Most of this vocabulary came back quite quickly; the rest was patiently corrected by our Tanzanian colleagues who were pleased that we had remembered so much after so many years away.
For us, this was a great chance to dip our toes back into development work, to engage with Tanzanians at a deeper level again, and to meet some dynamic staff who are doing some really important work. It was also interesting to visit Mwanza, Geita, Sengerema and Musoma again to see what had (and what hadn't) changed.
Tricia and I would just like to thank the World Renew Tanzania team: Jim, Chris, Zakayo, Liberator, Grace, Rashidi, Philip and Jeannetta, and to all the partner staff at ACHAMA, AICT Geita, AICT MUD and SISA. And also a shout out to the Ruffians, Zoe and Isaac, for entertaining (and educating) themselves while we worked. Cheers, dh
Badaa ya Kazi / After Work
We realized that the shock to our system of working again could only be counter-acted by a does of intensive zoological therapy. As well, the kids had been really great about hanging out and reading while we were taking turns working, so we decided to splurge on a 3-day safari in the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area. These are two of the premier places to see animals in Eastern Africa, and the kids were keen to spot and identify different animals, including (drum roll, please) 62 lions and 5 rhinos.
Below are some of the pictures that we took: