20 things I love about you

Today we went to another village to start our second week of clinic. It was basically the same thing we have been doing and we helped a lot of people. So instead of talking about the clinic I’m going to give you some fun facts about Tanzania that I’ve learned in my time here.
1. When you shake hands with someone they will hold your hand until you finish talking
2. The police stand on the side of the road and if they put their hand up you have to pull off the road. (I wonder how that would work in America if the police didn’t have cars)
3. No one here has guns. There is rarely any suicides, murders or homicides.
4. Justin Beiber is VERY well known here. Along with Nicki Minaj and Jordan Sparks.
5. Most people only own motorcycles or take buses around. The buses are usually packed with people hanging out the windows. They also don’t always stop and people just jump in and out while they are moving.
6. Every store sign is made by Coke. Coke is literally everywhere and Toyota.
7. TFT is real here. (TFT= Tanzania flexible time)
8. A prisoner can pay about $100 to get out of jail
9. Everyone digs for gold at all times and it’s completely socially acceptable
10. No matter how hot it is everyone wears sweaters. (No joke I saw someone in snow pants)
11. Kids just wonder around wherever they want
12. There are no trash cans here and everyone just burns their garbage
13. Everyone loves Obama.
14. Here are some bar names: plan b bar, ant virus bar,
15. It’s forecasted to rain everyday but hasn’t rained the entire time we have been here.
16. They think everyone that is white is here to hike the mountain, which is true.
17. When cars flick their lights to each other it means “hi” not “turn off your high beams asshole”
18. Fruits are just hangin around everywhere
19. Who owns all the chickens?
20. Tanzanians are the happiest people I know

-Anna

January 26, 2016

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Maasai Village

Yesterday we spent a night with the Maasai people. If you can’t remember who the Maasai are from African Asian studies in 9th grade with Mr. Lingle- they are the people who drink blood straight from a cows vein. I came to a conclusion that the Maasai people are actually pretty cool. I ended up getting to chat with “Edward”, a Maasai man, who took me into a corn field and told me all about his life. It definitely was not a usual coffee date but starving cows and corn stalks provide a better ambiance then you would think. He explained that women are not treated equally to men in Maasai and in other cultures. They are a very polygamous culture with a lot of rules that restrict women’s freedoms.

But Edward wanted and needed to change that. Edward explained that he wanted to go to Kenya, only about 10 miles north of his village to attend school to become a lawyer. He knew this would be a way to fight for women’s rights and help his country.

I take advantage everyday how much freedom I have as a woman in the United States. This was just a small example of how women around the world are constantly demoralized and taken advantage of. As sad as this was, I thought it was really cool how even in such a remote village Edward still understands that inequality is not ok for any human.  I hope Edward can achieve his dream, defeat injustice and create equality for everyone in Tanzania.

-Anna

January 23, 2016

Tanzania

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Deo

Today we went to visit a village we had been to before to educate a few families on the new water filters they will be receiving. One of the Medlife inters, April, has been working on this project and raising money for the filters for a while now. One donation was from her old elementary school. One of the students brought in his birthday money and explained to his teacher that these people needed clean water more than he needed legos. *sobbing* It’s so important that children in America recognize at a young age that there are people in this world that don’t live like us and hopefully they will continue to live selflessly throughout their life.

The volunteers sat with the families and did simple activities to explain general hygiene and how the filters work. It was very humbling to explain to someone ‘don’t shit where you eat’… Literally. We all take for granted information that we just grew up knowing that kept us healthy. I ended up sitting with a man named Deo. He barely spoke any English but loved to smile. We spent the afternoon drawing pictures of different things and explaining them in our own languages. The language barrier can be really difficult especially when you are dealing with Swahili but Deo was engaged and ready to learn. He filled my heart with so much joy, I didn’t want to leave. I feel so blessed to continually meet so many wonderful people from Tanzania.

-Anna

January 21, 2016

Tanzania, Africa

 

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