28 April 2014

traveling to the middle of nowhere.

Have you ever been to the middle of nowhere? What does that even mean? Where is nowhere?

I don't know, but I bet it looks and feels a lot like Magalata located in the Shinyanga region of Tanzania.

a 360 degree view from this point would reveal little more than this solitary outdoor toilet.

25 April 2014

reading rainbow - 25 april 2014.

I'm sorry. I must have missed a step. How is it already Friday?!?

We're officially settling into our new life in Mwanza and it is no simple transition. Bear with us. We're putting together some great posts on house hunting and our trip out to the the boondocks for Easter. In the meantime, why don't you check out these great articles, hand-picked just for you? Cheers!

24 April 2014

world malaria day - 2014.

Did you know that tomorrow is World Malaria Day? Well, it is. In fact, it is commemorated each year on 25 April.

Ashley and I live in a part of the world that is deeply effected by malaria, so in recognition of the day, I would like to help spread awareness about malaria: what it is, why it matters, and what you can do about it.

Photo Credit: UN

18 April 2014

reading rainbow - 18 april 2014.

Looking for some interesting weekend reads? Then check out our latest five articles below from this week's installment of Reading Rainbow. As always, feel free to leave your comments below!

17 April 2014

what to do in musoma.

Now that we've officially ended our time in Musoma, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to put together a little list of recommended spots for you Tanzanian travelers out there! (Check it, Lonely Planet.)

Musoma is a small town located in the northeastern corner of Tanzania, right on the shores of Lake Victoria. With a little over 120,000 residents, Musoma is the perfect window into local fishing life without the hustle and bustle you find in Mwanza or Dar es Salaam. While you can't locate Musoma on any "Top Ten Tanzanian Attractions" lists, finding yourself in this town is not necessarily a bad thing. There is definitely enough to keep you interested, at least for a long weekend. Read on for all of our recommended activities, tested and approved by us!

14 April 2014

five tips for adjusting to a new culture.

Have you ever had to adjust to a new culture? What was that like? Remember, you don't have to travel halfway around the world to encounter a culture different from your own. The earliest cross-cultural memory I have is listening to "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot...moving on.

Ashley and I have been living in Tanzania in East Africa for 14 weeks. We completed 12 weeks of Kiswahili language school in the town of Musoma. And now we are living in the much bigger city of Mwanza for at least the next three years and two months.

So what have we learned after 3+ months in a new culture?

Adjusting to a new culture is not easy, but if approached well, it can be completely awesome and even life-changing. Looking back over our first 14 weeks in Tanzania, I will offer up five tips for adjusting to a new culture.

11 April 2014

reading rainbow - 11 april 2014.

Eeeeeeeeee! We're home free people! By the time this post goes up on the inter-web, Michael and I will have made a mad dash off the small campus of our language school, shouting "UHURU!" (This means freedom in Kiswahili, just in case you didn't catch that.)

Thus, we start our journey to Mwanza, the place we will call home for at least the next three years. What better way to celebrate than with some awesomely curated articles for your reading pleasure? Enjoy, dear ones!

10 April 2014

female genital mutilation.

As a young woman of 14 or 15 years old, I had so many things to be excited about. I was in high school, preparing to apply to colleges and universities and figure out what my major would be. I was involved in clubs and activities at school, which kept me busy and occupied. I rarely had anything to seriously worry about, aside from the normal teenage drama.

In Tanzania, the concerns of a teenage girl are quite different and quite serious.

One of the main concerns, which has recently received loads of attention from international governments and nonprofit organizations, is female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision. Since we arrived in Tanzania, I've been shocked at the risks faced by FGM victims and the influence it has on much of the African continent. Read on for a brief outline of FGM's purpose, risks, effects on Tanzania, and what is being done to put an end to it.

Disclaimer: Let me underline just how brief this post will be. I am (happily) overwhelmed by the amount of research, statistics, and writing that exists out here on the world wide web about this issue. So, this post skims the surface of FGM on a very generic level. If you'd like to learn more, please put a question in the Comments Box below and I'd be happy to follow up.

Source: Emory University

07 April 2014

five ironic observations about life in the global south.

What is irony? 

How about Samsung and Blackberry paying Ellen Degeneres and Alicia Keys top dollar, respectively, to promote their phones in social media, yet the two celebrities both did so via their iPhone. Whoops.

Well that may be irony, but it's irony of the Global North. I am here to talk about irony of the Global South.

Wait a minute.

What's this Global North and South thing? Basically it is a socio-economic and political divide across our planet. Below are some fast facts to bring this concept to life.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

04 April 2014

reading rainbow - 4 april 2014.

Another week. Another list of five interesting articles to power you through your Friday and enjoy over the weekend. After reading, feel free to leave your comments below!

03 April 2014

home street home.

This coming 12 April, children all over the world will be celebrating a day that, frankly, should never have to be celebrated: the International Day for Street Children. As Michael mentioned in his post on what we do with our weekends, we regularly visit a temporary home for street children, known as Jipe Moyo (Take Heart), which is located not far from our language school in Musoma, Tanzania.

Source: Jipe Moyo