[Lana del Ray – Off to the races]

So much energy. Today I had so much energy. I guess I know who to thank for that. But it is an exception. Between working on an excel program that automatically designs solar systems based on the users electrical loads, horseback riding among zebras and occasional meeting interesting people my mind and body shuts down. Left alone I wouldn’t do much. My dreams are troubled, occupied with shootings, fighting people and dalladalla[1] rides into nowhere. The experiences and stories of corruption, despotism, poverty, learning curve frustration, positive rascism seem to manifest themselves there and reduce the regenerative effect of a good nights rest.

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Sitting in a daladala crammed between two bongos. My mind goes a drift again. Recently I have had so much discussions over the work ethics here. As an ex-student of an educational form this is interesting to me in therms of how people learn and what they do with their knowledge. This in turn is important as it might give you an idea of their values and culture which is interesting to the engineer as it teaches you about why or why not the implementation of technolgical solutions is successful. Tanzania is difficult. Fundis might use a [wasserwage] to hammer in a nail even if the propper hammer is lying right next to them.¬†Noone seems to have real ambition yet asked they all want to have their own company in a couple of years. Everyone seems to have at least 3 different jobs/businesses besides the one that involves you. And getting something extra out of it in form of stealing and selling equipment or making something on the side seems to be hardwired into the culture. Even the dentist manages to scam me for 20,000 THS extra. Something I, at first, don’t realize. Medical personal still stands as extremly thrustworthy in my book. Et tu dentist.

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It is so easy to be judgemental. Driving your 4 wheel drive through, what for the lack of a better word, still has to be referred to as traffic, it is easy to curse the dalladalla drivers for their reckless driving and the lack of working indicators and lamps. They stop in the middle of the road while the bus stop bay is right next to them, senseless overtaking and the to-bright or non-existing visibilty of theirs at night make it all to easy to come up with new ways of applying otherwise innocent words. But sitting in one is different. Off course there are always bad ones. But so far no dalladalla driver has screwed me on the busfare. Every time I sit in one they drive acceptable and I only see people who try to make ends meet transporting people who try to make ends meet from A to B. Still makes you wonder why they seemingly have no money for new closes when many dalladalla’s chassis is lowered, have sport tires and a kick ass soundsystem.

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It is easy to be judgemental – but hard to keep it up. When I started this journey I saw myself as a hard working, involved person that deserved all the riches and priviliges and possibilties that I had. Try explaining that to someone who never had the possibility to go to school, has no social secrurity net and whos livelyhood can be taken away at any moment without any warning, any reason, any justice or means to defend it. Tanzania reminds me of the movie “Gangs of New York”, where elections are violent and frauded and only in the interest of a select group of people, live a pure fight for existence, justice absend, and the police just another gang. In Zanzibar I recognized their necessity of making something on the side. Here in Arusha the fat, lazy, self-absorbed, arrogant white walkers are a menace to the people. They are the daily embodyment of the despotism, corruption and insecrurity that can be found in this country. In many ways Tanzania reminds me in that way of Europe in the middle ages or the US in the early industrialization. It makes me wonder how did we ever transcent that status? Did we transcent that status? And how much imperial europe has contributed to that situation during colonization and neo-colonialsm? In Tanzania often the 20 years backwardness – compared for example with Kenya – is blamed on 20 years of socialsm. Could it be that easy? Not everything done in that time was bad.

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The dalladalla stops in the bus stop bay. The tout jumps out, trying to find as many passengers as possible before continuing the ride. The street has changed dramatically over the past 2 weeks. Elections are near. After years of doing nothing the government party now wants to demonstrate initiative preparing to expand the street. Cutting down trees, houses, shops and livelihoods out of nowhere. Along the cleared out space long lines of people registering for elections. One can only guess which way the voters will swing due to this sudden “initiative”. It also might provide one possible answer to why people have at least 3 different jobs. You never know if and when one might be taken away by an “initiative”. Or forbidden by some elite outlawing competition. Especially now before elections as the sitting elites are cashing in. Every 15 seconds now an elehant is killed in Tanzania. A month ago one was pouched just 100 meters away from the anti-pouching office in Ruaha national park. Nothing happened. The son of the president is known to be a major ivory trader himself and was even arested in China and then bailed out by daddy personally. In Tanzania the main fuel used for cooking, charcoal, is officially forbidden for obvious reasons[2]. Again some high ranking elites still earn truckloads of money of it. The people making it just trying to make ends meet.

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Greenlink wants to train solar fundis in work ethics. Yet the implementation is pending. I am trying to imagine how such a program could look like. The obstacles seem unsurmountable. But I do believe that is partly because coming from a situation where so many secrurities and rights are taken for granted the aggressive symptoms of the fight for existence are frustrating, alienating, foreign and the only solutions seems to be to adapt “our way”. I have the feeling that adapting techniques from problem solving theater[3] and problem based learning[4] could lead to some interesting results. Not sure though. Because while I do think I get glimpse of insight every once in a while I am nowhere near an actual understanding. The dalladalla stops and I wiggle my bag free from seats, legs and shoes. The traffic police is “checking” vehicles a little bit down the street. Some locals stand on each side of the road on a zebra path. Nobody dares to cross the street. To many speeding cars. For a moment I stop. I oversee the traffic situation then choose a suitable moment to cross the street. The locals apparently assume that makes it safe to cross now and make the cross running. I swing my back over my shoulder. There is still a long way to go.

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[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dala_dala
[2] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8272603.stm

[3] reference pending
[4] “Paedagogy of the Opressed” – Paulo Freire

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