Wednesday, July 4, 2012

07/04 - Happy 4th of July

We started off the day today back at one of the local area women's centers.  Again, the concept of African time is still difficult to wrap my head around although I am getting less bothered by it.  We left the hotel a little before 9 to walk to the offices of our local attorneys.  Our appointment at the center was at 9:30 to deliver our presentation.  We got to their office and then waited.  The attorney finally arrived around 9:45 of so and we headed out.  We arrived at the center sometime between 10 and 10:30 but even then, the women were not ready for us anyway.  We waited until a bit after 11 to start the presentation because they kept telling us a couple of the ladies were running late.  We still started without them and they joined later.  The presentation was a success and we ended up drafting more wills today.  Most of the women who attended the meeting ended up drafting wills although we heard a lot of the same concerns we have heard in the other meetings.  "My husband controls everything"  "His name is on the title for the land" etc.
The ladies at our morning presentation

Gretchen with the baby she wanted to steal

After we finished there, we came back to the hotel briefly because our meeting with the East African Court was cancelled so we were able to relax for a few before our later meeting with another group at 5.  This group was an assortment of professional women.  One of the interesting things to me about the project has been that the ignorance of their rights and the law is not confined to any socioeconomic group here.  We have dealt with poor women, uneducated women, professional women, and wealthier women and regardless, the information is almost always new to them.  Our meeting in the evening with the professional women was conducted in the gardens behind the natural history museum in Arusha.  It was beautiful, but we went longer than expected and so we were quite literally drafting wills by the light of the computer screens in the end.  This trip has definitely made me more flexible as far as working conditions go.  We have drafted wills in yards, gardens, clinics, community centers, hotels, and today on a tarp outside a woman's house.  Regardless, I am proud to say that counting the wills we drafted today, we have now done 70 wills so far.  The Tanzania Women Lawyers Association had a will drafting campaign for more than 8 months and drafted 50 total across the country.

Someone snuck a picture of me again working on a will

Random gigantic bird outside the museum

We ended the 4th of July by meeting up with a group of American students in their house at the University here.  We met them by chance when we were at the African Court of Human and Peoples Rights last week.  They invited us over for dinner tonight for the 4th and it was actually really nice to be with other Americans for the holiday.  They were very hospitable and they even cooked hot dogs to go with the usual variety of African foods.  All in all, it was a very nice holiday.

Today, I missed America a little more than usual, but I am looking forward to coming back in a couple of weeks and I know the things that I have experienced here have had an impact that will stay with me for a long time.

1 comment:

  1. Bought sparklers & roman candles to have for your next homecoming. We missed you enough that no fireworks occurred. Happy 4th!! Appears that it is not complete without your Yankee Doodle person.