Tony Dawson of Cawston has been participating in an agricultural program in Tanzania since the beginning of February. He has set up a blog to describe his experiences while assisting in the development of the country’s agriculture. In the coming weeks, the Review will publish excerpts of Dawson’s blog as he discovers the country for himself.
Upon arrival, Dawson spent a week in Dar es Salaam – he described the morning call to prayer as “haunting and musical against a backdrop of city noise.”
Dawson enjoyed the city. He liked the chewed up asphalt in the alley that took him to his not-so-four-star hotel. He liked the the open air cafes around the corner that offered up a variety of exotic fare prepared on open BBQs. He liked the fact that he could speak English and be understood. Dawson noticed that the streets were not cluttered with stray and abandoned dogs.
And he liked his continental breakfast of half a banana, a slice of watermelon, a cup of coffee and two slices of dry toast with margarine.
Most of all, Dawson found that he already has a kinship with the people he is volunteering with who hail from many places including Canada, Uganda and Kenya.
Dawson had spent the previous week in an orientation with the CUSO-VSO staff. He found that he continued to be impressed with the integrity of the organization.
Transportation in Dar es Salaam had been interesting – and possibly a little crowded.
Tony and his co-volunteers lined up to take the bus where they stood out like sore thumbs because they are mostly white. And then the transportation company needed to ensure its survival by having as many fare-paying patrons in the bus as possible- Tony was sure that eight more people could not fit in. You guessed it – wrong again!
And then of course the dallah dallah. You don’t know what the dallah dallah is? Well it is a small van that someone like Dawson crawls into with head skewed against the ceiling and knees in someone’s backside all because it only costs a dallah there and a dallah back.
He hasn’t been able to read any mail in either of his email accounts, but Dawson continues to persevere as he always does.