Sunday, June 17, 2012

06/17 - Interesting Sunday

All the travel yesterday was truly exhausting.  I fell asleep last night in my room working on research for my project.  It was also the first night I've spent sleeping under mosquito netting.  The mosquitos in Mwanza are a little out of control.  We are all on malaria medicine and coating ourselves with bug spray so hopefully that will help.  The views are beautiful here.  
Outside the restaurant

Lake view from one of the rooms
Near the city center

 We were actually planning on a low key Sunday, but instead we got a call from the supervising attorney for our work here in Mwanza (or so we thought).  We took taxis from the hotel to a building in the center of town.  I still have trouble getting over the attorney offices here.

We have met with some quite prominent attorneys and their offices are always in small buildings or nondescript suites above other places.  We walked up stairs to the fourth floor to meet with Gaspar today because there were official looking signs taped across the elevator door written in Swahili indicating it was out of service (or condemned or whatever they do with scary elevators).  After waiting almost two hours, we were invited into his office.  

We met with him for some time discussing both our project here in Mwanza drafting wills and our independent projects.  He shared with us his feeling that African's are still hesitant to draft wills as a group for a multitude of reasons.  He kept repeating "So if I understand my tasks for you..." and then telling us what he understood he had to do to help.  When we left his office, we were all feeling a little disconnected as he really did not seem terribly prepared for our arrival.  

After arriving back at the hotel, we got a phone call from one of the attorneys in Dar.  She said the attorney that was to help us was very excited and had everything arranged.  All of the sudden, we realized why Gaspar had seemed so clueless about our arrival and visit.  He was not our contact here.  There had been a miscommunication between the local attorneys and they sent us to the wrong guy.  So basically, a guy who had no idea who we were and why we were here sat and listened to us for an hour and then tried to figure out "his task."  LOL  Still, he was an interesting man.  During our meeting, he talked to us some about the mining industry here and how it is effecting the locals.  He also managed to work in a Shakespeare quote, and ask a couple of questions about attitudes toward lawyers in the States. 

It is evening here, and we are getting ready to meet with our actual contact here.  He is coming out to the hotel to talk to us.  It should be a good night.  Tomorrow we meet with the Dean of the law school here, and if all goes well, we will be drafting wills on Tuesday!   Below are the pictures from Gaspar's office.  

The group going into Gaspar's office building
In the hall outside waiting
Waiting a long time to meet Gaspar

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