Monday, June 25, 2012

06/25 - Maternity clinic and hotel shopping

This morning was a bit rough.  We had some communication difficulties with our lodge.  They were supposed to have arranged cars for us to get to our meetings this morning.  At 8:30 when we were supposed to have been leaving, there was still no car here.  After waiting a few more minutes, one small taxi showed up.  There are 7 of us.  At this point, we had to wait for a second car to arrive, and had to start all over negotiating price.  After all the chaos, one of our group members had gone to the bathroom and got left behind.  We each thought he was in the other car.

Outside the clinic where we were working today
The new lawyers we are working with are very nice.  We arrived at their office late, but they were very happy to see us.  After going through introductions (greetings in Africa are much more substantial than "hey how are you?") we left for the maternity clinic.  What a surprise! When we got there at around 11 (now an hour and a half late) there were more than 100 women (almost all were expectant mothers) waiting to listen to our presentation about wills.
The doctor at the clinic giving us the tour
Part of the crowd that gathered for our presentation

The presentation was well received although our translator had to use a megaphone there were so many people so that they could hear what was going on.  I have a feeling that we will be revisiting the clinic in the coming days to draft wills for some of them.  Last week in Mwanza, after we visited Kivulini and did our presentation, we got calls the next 3 days from the workers there saying they had ladies who wanted us to come help them with their wills.

Great lunch at Green Hut (which is an apt name)

After we left the maternity clinic, we headed to the headquarters of the Pan African Lawyers Union, where Kelsey will be working for a couple of weeks after the official program ends.  There we met with Don Deya, who is the CEO.  He was very friendly and I am looking forward to doing some work with him over the next couple of weeks.  PALU basically works with all the individual lawyer unions in all the countries in Africa.
Meeting with Don Deya at PALU

PALU office (beautiful house inside a gated compound)
Gates for the PALU office

We spent the remainder of the evening looking for new hotels.  In addition to the taxi debacle, the latest development in mine and Kelsey's room is that everything is damp (this is not a good thing anywhere but in Africa, its particularly bad from what I have been told as it can lead to all sorts of fun things in your clothes).  We were able to find a couple of suitable alternatives and hopefully, after we finish up the week we prepaid here at the lodge, we will be in a new place here in Arusha.

The city is beautiful.  We had our first clear view of Mt Meru today without clouds and it is truly stunning.  We also managed to find an amazing little cafe at a Masai Art Gallery which served pizza.  We all needed a little comfort food and it was the perfect end to a long day.  I am feeling much better today, and looking forward to the work ahead here.  Tomorrow, we will be participating in a historic day at the African Court of Human and Peoples Rights.  More on that tomorrow.

Mt Meru from Arusha

Mt Meru.  Pictures don't do it justice. 

No comments:

Post a Comment