February 3, 2011

Gender Studies in Tanzania

Wednesday the group came to our house again for unit house.  Each week we ask what the students would like on the menu. We consistently get the same answer – fresh fruit! The pineapple, mango, passion fruit, and bananas are tamu sana! (Very sweet).  We indulged in a vigorous debate about whether indigenous communities are naturally conservation-minded, discussed our views and perceptions regarding the previous day’s visit to WAMATA, and shared the developing ideas we each have for our individual final projects.

Today after Swahili we were treated to a presentation by Pendo Omary, a host-sister to Lydia Yoder.  Pendo is a 21-year-old member of the church who volunteers her time to write for two local papers regarding gender issues and womens’ rights.  She works in partnership with TGNP (Tanzania Gender Networking Program) and visits villages and womens’ groups to help educate communities about the importance of empowering women to have more prominent roles in business, family, and political spheres.  It was a rich, personal dialogue.

Each of us is amazed that our remaining time in Dar is just 2 1/2 weeks; we’ve completed half the study term!  We continue to be amazed at all there is to see, learn, taste, and experience.

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