Monday, June 11, 2012

Embassy & TAWLA

Today, we traveled to the U.S. embassy in Dar.  It is a huge compound.  They rebuilt and spent $100 million on the facility after the 1998 attacks.  Very interesting presentations from two Foreign Service officers.

When we left the embassy compound, we went to the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA) to talk about the work we will begin next week.  There are going to be a number of challenges associated with drafting wills for the people here.  Some we had anticipated, some we had not (we were told that during their last will writing campaign, they met some opposition because people felt that by drafting their will, they were calling upon death.  We were also told that some women were frightened that family members would kill them if they had a will)  The women we met there were very bright and I look forward to working with them.

Today was one of their walk-in days at the clinic offices so there were a number of local women gathered outside and some inside waiting to meet with the advocates who work there.  They receive help on a variety of matters from probate and inheritance to family law issues.  The office was in a residential neighborhood.  There were chickens running around in the yard of the "house" next door.  The potholes in the street were huge.  There is traffic everywhere and no traffic signals.  The streets are filled with vendors, motorcycles, city buses, men pulling trailers filled with everything from bottled water, to clothing, to mattresses, by hand.  Everyone just seems to go, but I will say, unlike at home, I haven't seen an accident yet.

After we got back to our hotel, we walked down the street into a local market area.  We found a restaurant literally behind a building where we had drinks and some of the braver members of our group ate some type of meat (I had a "coke light" = diet coke here and opted for a protein bar when I got back to the hotel.)  I am getting more comfortable with the food, but I am not ready for meat on a stick from a restaurant in an alley.


  1. Hi Chip!

    Those of us back home are living vicariously through your adventures in Africa. We are very excited to see, through your experience, what life is like on another continent. The challenges you face with helping these women draft their will certainly sounds daunting but in the end is a necessity. You are a very good man to provide your service and very brave man to do it in a foreign land.

    Meat of an unknown origin in a back alley sounds scary. I don't blame you for sitting this one out!

    Looking forward to reading more. Love you bunches!

    xoxo -- Meg

    (Kathleen and Lois too!)

  2. Hey Meg! So glad you are reading. It is truly an adventure here. Good to know I'm not just talking to myself (although I do enjoy that from time to time ...shhh don't tell) I hope you are having a great day and I will look forward to hearing from you girls soon!