1. Double however long Google maps says it will take. That’s if nothing goes wrong. 2. Read the road, not the signs. If there is a sign for the (massive!) speed bumps, it may appear only a metre before the speed bump. 3. Forget everything I said about a 4WD […]
“You can’t use compost on such small trees,” our gardener said. “It’s too strong for anything but the bananas.” “Nonsense,” we thought, “you can use compost on anything!” This little interaction is laden with cultural baggage.
In June Arthur and I are taking our first trip further afield since we arrived in Dodoma. We are off to Songea for the baptism of our friend John’s little girl. Both Arthur and I have been invited to speak. Arthur will preach at the Sunday service and I will […]
There are still a number of things that remain a mystery to me about Tanzanian parenting. For example, I see students on their way to class with a child on their back – what on earth do they do with the baby/toddler during lectures? During our intercultural training, we were […]
Instead of learning about babies in Tanzania at the baby clinics yesterday, I learnt a lot about Tanzanian culture and myself. For a start, I learnt the difference between wazungu treatment and wageni treatment. The first is for white people and it’s about making Tanzania look good to westerners; the […]
Banks in Tanzania feel familiar. They’re clean, sterile and quiet. The lady behind the counter wears a blue blouse. She types numbers into a keyboard. There are posters about customer service on the walls. They have that counter with all the different forms that you fill out before you see […]
Tolerate ambiguity. Reserve judgement. It’s not wrong, it’s just different. These are the phrases we repeat over and over to ourselves as we navigate culture adjustment. We’re working hard to ask questions rather than pronounce on things. Our default is to assume that things aren’t the way they seem to […]