The typical day of a YCI volunteer in Morogoro starts around 6 or 7AM when the roosters rise and shine. Breakfast is served shortly after, and it’s not uncommon to eat at different times since everyone in the house usually has something different planned for the day.
After breakfast, if we have a meeting planned, we take the daladala (bus) to town or meet our program manager at the office on the way. The daladala is quite a funny experience, almost like sardines packed into a can. Everyone really gets to know each other, and you can feel the sense of community when someone is basically sitting on your lap. The meetings are not usually very long, and don’t ever really start on time. It’s not uncommon for scheduled meetings to change at the last-minute, as the culture here is very easy-going. The meetings consist of a lot of introductions and translation from Swahili to English and vice versa, but it’s interesting to try to guess what everyone is saying, and it’s all a part of the learning experience.
Depending on when the meetings end, we usually grab lunch in town or at home. Today we went to Ricky’s Café in town near the Faraja head office. They serve Western food like burgers and pizza, and have some other tasty options as well. If we go home for lunch, it’s usually served around 12:30-1:00PM and is very delicious Tanzanian food like ugali or pilau, with a side of fresh fruit. When we have the time to go home for lunch, we try to as much as possible.
After lunch we make our way back to the office either by foot or on the daladala, and start planning our upcoming workshops and training sessions. Today we worked on getting tests and activities ready for our session with the Girls Club in Chamwino tomorrow. It’s nice to have our own space to work that’s quiet, with an accessible printer and some fans!
We usually walk home from the office after work, and sometimes do some quick shopping for fruits and veggies along the way. Having a few hours before dinner to relax and hang out with our host family is a great way to get to know each other. Dinner is served around 7:00PM, and is followed by either a quiet evening watching the Tanzanian news or playing cards. Since you tend to wake up pretty early, it’s pretty common to want to go to bed around 9:00PM, which still gives you plenty of time to spend with your host family or your fellow volunteers after dinner.
-Andrea Nicholls, Youth Ambassador, Tanzania 2012
Andrea is currently on project in Morogoro, Tanzania. The team arrived in Tanzania in mid-January and will be on project until mid-March. For more information on what the Tanzania teams have been up to, please check out the Tanzania category for more posts.