Since arriving in Tanzania just over two weeks ago time has literally flown by. After spending 3 days in a very busy and humid Dar es Salaam with 2 fellow YCI-IYIP Tanzania interns (Lisa and Larissa) Lisa and I finally arrived on the sunny, beach lined shores of Zanzibar on Thursday, March 24th. This is not my first time to Tanzania, or to Zanzibar, so when I stepped off the ferry I instantly felt at home. That being said, Zanzibar is a very unique place and varies greatly from the rest of Tanzania so adjusting to life here will definitely take some getting used to.
My first week of work at UMATI (Family Planning Tanzania) has been slow (pole pole in Swahili), full of introductions and getting to know the organization, it’s goals, projects, and affiliations. UMATI is a national organization that provides sexual and reproductive health education, services and information for individuals in over 18 cities throughout Tanzania. During my internship I will be working as a Health Promotion Officer with UMATI in Zanzibar and will spend the majority of my time on sexual and reproductive health projects focused towards at risk youth populations including commercial sex workers (CSW), men who have sex with men (MSM), and intravenous drug users (IDU). Within each of these areas I will be assisting UMATI in developing new projects, researching and identifying project needs and gaps, proposal writing, and monitoring and evaluation of current projects and programs.
As a final note I thought I would share an interesting observation/experience – I have discovered in the past few weeks that my name, Sabrina, is actually a Muslim name. As you can imagine this has caused quite a lot of confusion and often lengthy conversations with my coworkers and people that I meet. Many people tell me that this must be my Zanzibar name and insist on knowing what I am called in Canada. It often takes some time to convince them that Sabrina is indeed my Canadian name as well!
Kwa heri kwa sasa (goodbye for now),
– Sabrina Mullan, IYIP Intern, Tanzania 2011
For more International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) blogs, check out our IYIP section.