A Travellerspoint blog

Another Day in Dar


I woke up this morning to a cacophany of (almost) familiar noises: the scream of the neighbor child, the rustling of our resident rabbits, the pompous crowing of several roosters, the pecking of the (highly irritating) scavenger birds and, ah yes, the keyboard tinkering of our guard. Little did I know that I'd have a musician living in our garage. I might add that his singing voice is abnormally high-pitched and a little hypnotic. I thought at first that I was hearing a duet: an electronic keyboard with the sharp voice of a young girl. But alas, I was wrong. Our garage-dwelling guard fearlessly protects the lives of four (fabulous) American women, while simultaneously exercising his appreciation of music...quite the multitasker, I'd say.

By the way, I calculated the distance from the house to work using one of those silly pedometers- (housemate Michelle #1 runs religiously...blek!)- and the verdict is, Ruth and I walk nearly four miles every single morning! (I just did a mental pat on the back). Although, if you add in all the time and effort it takes to skillfully navigate the mud puddles, well then- I'd tack on at least three extra miles :)

Luckily, in spite of the rain and mud- our laundry woman/maid (Martha) is insanely good at removing all stains. I know, I kind of giggled at the thought of domestic help- but it is really pretty cost efficient and there is no gift like employment to aid a suffering economy. Seriously, the woman works wonders. I brought a full-sized sheet for my queen-sized bed...and I'm not particular so I just left about two feet of the bed uncovered. I come home from work- and my sheet was covering the entire bed. Is that possible?! Martha = domestic magician.

Oh, and one thing to clear up (as I've gotten some questions)- I have been researching the national budget, not the HakiElimu budget. I'm currently researching the general trends of Tanzanian fiscal policy in regards to development (ie, educational) expenditure. Then I'm writing up an "information sheet for the common man" that basically answers questions like: "what is a budget?" "How does the budget affect me/my community" "what is budget transparency?" and so on and so on. The idea is that informed citizens will become actively engaged in debating relevant policy issues- (like increasing budget allocations for public education, for example). I'm also looking for any governmental failure to comply with rights obligations and previously made commitments, etc. etc. I'm sure you all are bored to tears.

I am so excited about this weekend- it will be my first chance to really experience and explore Dar/Zanzibar...yay! Anyway, I should get back to work. Goodbye for now...

Posted by MegMc2003 03:15 Archived in Tanzania

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