The last few days have been, I think, if anything more of a whirlwind than my first week. I've been here 14 days now and have covered hundreds of kilometres and talked to dozens of people in three districts. I have spent at least three hours in the car all but two days, and on some days up to six or seven hours, just to get to the remote areas where you'll find Canadian-funded international development work. By the end of this trip I'll have seen projects in five districts.
That above graf is all to explain why my blogposts are still few and far between - I intended to blog a lot more but simply haven't had either the time or the internet connection at night to do so. For the last few days, however, I should have solid internet access and with any luck a bit of a slower pace as I start to wrap up my time in this country.
I've picked up a bit of Swahili along the way, although I'm far from conversant. I think enough to show merchants that I'm trying, although they're all very keen to help me learn more. My friends and family won't be surprised to hear that one of the first phrases I taught myself (from the guide book) was "chakula ketamu sana" - "That was delicious!" (I really love to eat). I had a translator on the last leg of my trip who helped me learn my numbers so I can buy things more easily. A side benefit was that I could recognize flight numbers at the airport the other day as I headed into the second-last leg of my trip.
On one of my first days, one of the local NGO communications people asked me if I needed additional subjects from a community group. I paused and she said "This is your chance." I'm grateful she said that on my first day because it's been my mantra for the trip.
There are a few stories emerging clearly from my time so far, and I'm taking a few days to finish transcribing what I've gathered so far (UGH I AM ONLY HALF-DONE THAT), and go over my notes. It's hard to believe I have a whole other country to visit to round out the story.
Stats so far:
- Hours spent travelling to Tanzania: 24
- Hours travelled by car and plane to get around Tanzania: 39
- Kilometres travelled to get here: 12,022
- Interviews: 26
- People spoken to at roundtables: 28