Tanzania Diaries: 6

02 March 2018

This morning we had bread rolls and bananas for breakfast. Afterwards we left the compound and walked to an all-boys Catholic school to meet with the principal and teachers, to ask permission for our research. One of the teachers was very concerned with the simple questions I was asking, thinking that we might write a negative paper if I get “bad” answers. I tried explaining to him that there is no bad answers. He was worried about how their school looks because they don’t have internet access or tablets. Broke my heart that he would think that we would ever do anything to make these schools look bad. We’re hear to learn and see the amazing progress that these schools have to offer.

After meeting the teachers at the boys school, we headed over to VETA to conducted more focus groups and research for HDIF. I was given the females teachers for my focus group. Three of them showed up, so I just assumed that the rest of the women were busy teaching in class. I quickly found out that at this ENTIRE College, there is only four female teachers.

I asked them questions regarding gender issues in their place of work and what their biggest challenges were as teachers. Some of them felt like the male teachers treated them as equals, but one still feels very patronized by the male teachers. I asked why there was no more female teachers, they said it’s because it’s only been recently socially acceptable for women to work, and especially females working along side males.
These four women are strong role models for their students and community. Their job has given them business skills, technology skills, education skills, and a salary to take home to their families. Hopefully more female students will be inspired to become teachers.

I then interview the male intern (graduate) at the school, and asked him how working at this school has changed his life. And his answer I wish I had recorded, because it was so beautiful that stopped writing notes just to be awe of it. He talked about how his job has added purpose and value in his life,now that he knows he can help women become equals. Before he was a student himself at VETA, he never knew how much society NEEDS women and now it’s his passion to encourage more women to get an education. He hopes more females apply to be teachers, and even asked ME for advice on where to find them. I told him that their female teachers and students are the trailblazers and to fight for feminism every day.

He told me that some women are still at risk for going to school and teaching, especially VETA because it is co-ed school and encourages the females and males to work together. It’s only been very recent that women are able to speak to men other than their families and husbands.

Tanzania is growing towards more equal gender rights and it’s so amazing to see the men fighting for women’s rights.

After we left VETA, our taxi driver was taking us back to the compound, when all of the sudden a police women stopped us from getting on the highway. We waited for 20 minutes having no idea what was going on because we can’t speak Swahili. Eventually a row of police cars leading the several Range Rovers with Tanzanian flags on each car. I’m pretty sure that was the President of Tanzania. I wanted to take a picture, but the last time we took a pic around an officer, they made us delete it off our a phones.

When we finally got home to our compound, I took a three hour nap in the school and woke up dehydrated with a migraine lol. I was able to have chicken instead of just beans and rice tonight. What a luxury. The Nuns can really only afford rice, beans, and canned veggies. If you want to donate to these amazing Sisters who not only run a community center, but also a school and orphanage, let me know and I’ll find out how you can donate. A dollar goes A LONG way here.

We finished our night with our cold Safari beers and continued to bond all night. I think beers with the girls at night are my favorite part of the day. Runi calls us the Fantastic Four(Oscar is the fourth. Soon we’ll be the Fantastic Five with Mahjoobah).

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