Toilet Tour Round Two

While there has been 38 toilets installed, it’s important to keep in mind that this is such a small fraction in comparison to the amount of toilets that the slums lack. On Thursday we got our second toilet tour in Keko Machungwa again looking at pour flush, eco-san, and latrine style toilets. Seeing the contrast between unimproved verses improved toilets gives me more motivation to push through the UN Global Sustainable Goal number 6. This is a fight for a basic need, and one I am proud to be a part of. While it was sad to see misuse in even the improved toilets, it just gives me more encouragement to push that much harder. We can and will make a difference! I would like to take this time to say that we wouldn’t be able to without the love and support from our sponsors, Aalto, family, and friends. Thanks and stay toned for the progress of our impact!

On the second official workday of our site visit, our team woke up at 6 o clock in the morning to eat breakfast at Farida, the mother of one of the key members of PHAST Ujenzi, who lives only 10 minutes away from our camp at Mikadi Beach and has invited us for breakfast for the rest of the week. She lives in a, what I would say, relatively better of house with chickens in the courtyard, a proper living room, kitchen and several other rooms. For breakfast she made us, Pajazi (?): Tanzanian pancakes, polenta like balls of corn dough completed by Africaffee instant coffee that was solved in ginger (!) infused water and a delicious smoothie made from passion fruits, mango’s and avocados. Besides providing us with this breakfast, this experience allows us to get a better glimpse of what life in a Tanzanian household looks like.

After being well fed, we were ready for our first official stop of the day at the Finnish Embassy where we were invited by a common friend of Venla who has been working in  Tanzania for little over a month. We were able to hear about development work from an international government point of view. This was especially insightful if the project is to move forward with embassy partnerships.

After a wild drive in a hot and humid mini van driven by Mr Issa: Tanzania’s biggest fan of Celine Dion, we were dropped off at the Center of Community Initiatives (CCI), where we met with Tim  who told us more about the work and challenges he has been going through ever since founding this NGO in 2004. In my opinion, one of the most interesting things he spoke about was how their NGO is using knowledge and methods that were developed in countries, such as India and the Philippines facing similar challenges to Tanzania, in stead of looking too much towards the West. During our meeting with Tim Ndezi, he spoke of the cultural problems with selling urine as fertilizer and that there needs to be a change of perception, further education and marketing in order to make it work as a product. It was interesting to hear his passion and motivation for like-minded projects.

We completed our day by going to the Village Museum, an open air museum in the middle of the city where several indigenous dwellings can be visited and where a group of dancers gives exhibitions of what we only could interpreted as a traditional Tanzanian ‘twerking session’. (something Erik and I found out the hard way…)

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