Tuesday, June 12, 2012

University of Dar es Salaam

Woke up early this morning.  We hung out last night on the hotel property having dinner and watching the giant bats swooping down from the trees eating bugs behind the hotel.

Today we spent the day at the University Law School.  I was amazed at the size of the campus.  The school is huge geographically speaking.  I do not know how many students attend.  I asked a couple of students and no one else seems to know either haha.  I also asked a little about tuition but that was another mysterious topic.  I did manage to learn it is a public university.  The law school there is one of three law schools in the country.

Driving here is a contact sport.  There almost no traffic signals and the traffic is quite heavy.  A combination of motorcycles, buses, cars, and some cart type cars (see the pictures below).  I will say despite the appearance of chaos on the streets, I have not seen a single accident on the road (a lot better than I could say about Miami)

I really enjoyed the ride to and from the University today.  We went through some new areas which we had not seen on our previous trips around Dar.  Our driver took a "shortcut" and explained we were in a "middle neighborhood"  - not rich, not poor.
Picture from the "middle neighborhood" we passed through today

Random person on a bus.  There are A LOT of city buses and they are widely used.

We spent the morning listening to a lecture on the history of Tanzania from Prof. Kabudi who is the former dean of the law school and currently serves on the committee that is redrafting the constitution of Tanzania.  He was a very intense lecturer, but the guy was brilliant.  
Gretchen, our trip director, with Prof. Kabudi
Tomorrow, we will have some additional instruction on will drafting here.  It is truly a "complex" system as the Professor said today.  Without getting too detailed, they use 4 different systems of law depending on the situation, region, religion, etc, any of which may result in very different results in the division of property.  It is fascinating and confusing that within a single country, the court may use local customary law, common law, Islamic law, or Hindu law.  

A couple of random pictures from our visit to the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association yesterday:
Women waiting outside the TAWLA offices for appointments

Our group outside the TAWLA offices with some of the women who helped make the project possible. 

1 comment:

  1. Here's a great movie quote for ya..."We can't stop here. This is bat country."

    Just how big are these bats, Chip? The only advice I can give is never duck when you see one swoop close by. They will fly right into you if you do.

    I did some snooping in Google and found the University Law School charges about $3500 USD for each year. The school is divided into three divisions and there is a small faculty of about a dozen professors running the show. Try this link: http://law.udsm.ac.tz/

    Have you ridden in a tuk-tuk yet? They look like fun! Maybe get a ride the night you decide to eat some mystery meat on a stick in a back alley restaurant. The adventure will catch you sooner or later!

    The middle neighborhood looks like Homestead after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. We live in such opulence in comparison. The people of Tanzania you have photographed so far appear healthy and strong. It is not at all what I expected to see. I guess my spoiled life expects lesser living conditions. In comparison, I see a culture that is obviously rich and diverse.

    Well, I am very much enjoying your ramblings even if you are muttering to yourself at times. There is nothing wrong with talking to yourself and sometimes you even get the answers you want from those personal conversations.

    Take care you!

    xoxo - Meg