Mambo! (That means “hello” in Swahili)

Only one week left before the field trip in Dar es Salaam starts! This week has been quite intensive with the project planning as well as travel preparations. I have taken my last typhoid vaccines and also did some shopping for the trip. It was a bit funny to go to supermarket in February to ask for suncream and mosquito spray.

On Monday we met again Emma Nkonoki, a member of the board of Finland – Tanzania association (Suomi-Tansania Seura) and also a project specialist in Aalto University. Emma gave us a very useful presentation about Tanzania. We got an introduction to Tanzanian culture, heard about typical food and clothing and even learned a couple of useful phrases in Swahili! I did not now that “Hakuna matata” really is Swahili and means “No problem”.

Some Swahili vocabulary

At the next meeting with our Tanzanitation team we moved from travel practicalities to hard brainstorming. We had a workshop with post-it notes, where the aim was to clarify the objectives of the project and how to achieve them. The workshop was really intensive but also productive. In the end I had much cleared view of our goals and activities what we are actually going to do in Dar es Salaam.

Post-it brainstorming

After a bit chaotic finalizing of the project document, we had the second expert interview of the week on Thursday, when we met Tatu Lyytinen for the second time.  Tatu has expertice in sustainable business models, so he told us more about what kind of options we could have to make our system economically sustainable. The meeting was really refreshing and made us think about our project from a bit different kind of perspective than where we have been stuck the previous weeks.

The last weekend before the trip is starting! While packing summer clothes I’m planning to also enjoy the beautiful winter weather here in Helsinki. I guess that when we come back from Africa in late March there will be no snow anymore, so better to enjoy it now.


and the rest of the #tanzanitationsquad



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