Tanzania Diaries: 11

07 March 2018

This morning we had Tanzanian donuts for breakfast. They we’re so delicious but we were only allowed to have one each. Everything here is make fresh from scratch so they were some heavenly donuts.

Mahjooba, Runi, and Fran went back to the all-boys school today to collect research. I took the day off because so far I have way too many male participants and I need more female students to even out my data. So tomorrow I will return to the co-ed school and ask to research an all-girls classroom.

When the girls came back to the center, Mahjooba and I called a taxi to go into town to get money from the ATM. We decided to walk around town and shop in the markets. We looked everywhere for a grocery store, but every single grocery store that once existed is closed. We were hoping to stock up on snacks, but it seems like we need to stick to buying fresh fruit every day from people on the sides of the road.

We found a Mosque and wanted to see the inside, but then men stopped us at the door and told us to go to the women’s entrance. We apologized and walked to the side of the building to another entranced and got stopped by a second man. We eventually found the women’s door in the back of the building by the trash. The women were scared that we were trying to research them, and we quickly said we just wanted to see the Mosque. They warmly invited us inside to sit with them on the carpet. The rest of the Mosque–for the men– had fans and air conditioning, while the women had one rug in the back of the building in a hot room. They asked why our heads were not covered and we explained that in our countries we are not required to wear a headscarf. They asked if I was a Christian and I responded yes, but I saw their eyes flash open like I was missionary in their sacred place, and I quickly told them that I grew up in both a church and a Mosque, and that Mahjooba was a Muslim. She shot me a look of death because: 1) she’s no longer practicing Islam, and 2) she got called out for not wearing a scarf. I’m the worst hahahahaha. They scolded both of us for not covering our heads and we explained the cultural difference. One women told that as a Christian, I should also covering my head. They were very forgiving and told us that normally we would not have been allowed inside without head scarfs, but we are welcome to come again in proper wear.

After we left the Mosque, we walked around more markets and looked at which stolen shoes and sunglasses we wanted. We wondered if we would be able to find the person who stole Runi’s phone and buy it back from the market lol. We ended up not buying anything and found a taxi back to the center.

We had a delicious dinner of POTATOES, rice and beans tonight. It’s always exciting to add something to our usual diet.

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