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Vandaag precies over twee weken vertrekt ons vliegtuig naar Ghana voor vijf weken vrijwilligerswerk in een weeshuis. Super spannend en eng maar tegelijkertijd ook super leuk!! Noor en ik hebben er iniedergeval erg veel zin in.
Ik maak nu een eerste blogje om even te kijken hoe alles werkt en hoe ik jullie allemaal mijn blog kan laten lezen, zodat ik dit niet in Ghana nog hoef uit te zoeken.
De voorbereidingen zijn in volle gang. Zo hebben Noor en ik vorige week een training gevolgd bij Stichting Muses. Dit is een stichting die vrijwilligers zo goed mogelijk voor vertrek voorbereid op het werk in een ontwikkelingsland. Deze training wordt aangeraden door Projects Abroad, de organisatie die ons begeleidt tijdens de reis en ook ik zou het nu zeker aanraden voor mensen die vrijwilligers werk gaan doen. Verder is de Ghanese ambassade als het goed is nu druk (op een Ghanees relaxt tempotje) bezig met het verwerken van onze Visum aanvraag. Het aanvragen van het visum was al een hele belevenis. Wij dachten ‘nou dat doen we wel even, dat is drie tellen werk…’, maar dat viel even tegen. Ik had een gemeentehuis achtig gebouw verwacht maar de ambassade zat in een gewoon nogal rommelig huis. Bij binnenkomst kregen wij van een nogal strenge chagrijnige man een kaartje met nummer 545 en het verzoek maar ‘even’ in de kamer daarnaast te wachten. Beetje jammer dat nu pas nummer 528 op het bordje stond en na een kwartier de volgende nog steeds niet aan de beurt was. Hier waren we totaal niet op voorbereid dus zonder eten (rond lunchtijd) en zonder iets te lezen zaten we daar (alle elektronica moest uitgeschakeld zijn). Gelukkig zaten er nog vele andere mensen zodat we ons niet al te erg hoefden te vervelen. Ik was nog even bang dat ik mijn werk om zes uur ...
Unasemaje Kiswahili? Do you speak Kiswahili?
Probably not, but the good thing is that Projects Abroad Tanzania offers language immersion courses in Kiswahili. When you sign up for Care, Medical, Teaching or any one of our placements you also have the option of taking 14 to 60 hours of language lessons in either our Dar Es Salaam or Arusha offices depending on the length of your stay.
Kiswahili is the official language of Tanzania so a large percentage of people do not speak English as a second langauge so taking a language option is a good way to immerse yourself in the local culture as well as interact with the children and adults at your placement.
Volunteers in the Human Rights, Microfinance, and Care and Sports placements will find the language course especially helpful as many children do not begin learning English until secondary school. Many adults have not had the opportunity to attend secondary school due to a lack of financial resources but they usually have some basic knowlege.
We also offer a Swahili language workshop in both destinations so be sure to attend. During the workshop you will learn the importance of basic greetings between children and elders, how to use the local currency and find transportation using the dala dala (local bus) and the taxi or bijajis.
A little Swahili goes a long way on your placement and during your stay in Tanzania. And the best part is that you can practice at home with your host family!
Danish Health & Nutrition student Elisabeth Nielsen (25) decided to spend her two-month internship at the Projects Abroad journalism project in Cape Town, South Africa.
Elisabeth’s decision was motivated by her interest in the wide variety of food cultures found in the country. “There is such a mixture of cultures in South Africa,” she enthused. “If I wanted to study just one particular type of food culture I’d go to the States, or to India,” she shared. “The mixed population of South Africa lends itself to a variety of fascinating food choices and habits,” she explained.
Elisabeth’s aim was to write an informative piece that could be freely accessed (in the journalism project’s Cape Chameleon magazine) and that could assist in educating communities about the effects of their nutritional choices. “I was particularly interested in the reasons for what I perceive to be the high levels of obesity in the country,” she shared, adding that she had expected the widespread poverty of the country to manifest in malnutrition detectable in a population of underweight individuals. “It was enlightening for me to see that the most widespread issue in South Africa seemed to be that of incorrect food choices rather than a general scarcity of any food,” she observed. “I also didn’t expect to encounter so many individuals with heart problems, many of which relate directly to their diets,” she added.
The article was Elisabeth’s first formal published piece, and she shared that she had learnt a lot about interviewing and that her English had improved tenfold. “Learning a new language and a new culture at once was at once ...
When you come to Tanzania expect to have a good time at the social events that we organize for volunteers. Both offices in Dar Es Salaam and Arusha host a variety of activities that give volunteers the chance to get to know one another.
Dinners, Volleyball, Culture Workshops and Dancing are all some of the top rated activities that you'll engage in. The longer you stay in Tanzania the more fun you will have.
The Dar Es Salaam volunteers recently had the opportunity to parcipate in live drumming and dancing right inside the local office.
By Maxime Westbrook from UK.
The recently opened weapons exhibition at the Muzeul National de Istorie a Moldovei brings light not only to the history of conflict in the country but also to the history of culture told through the objects on display.
The exhibit took two months to create with renowned specialist Valeriu Babluici. The artefacts have been gathered from multiple sources outside of the museum as well as inside. There were also issues with the restoration of pieces and if they had the quality to be on display. They were put in the Muzeul National de Istorie a Moldovei because the place was primarily focused on victory. It took people from all the different departments and 30 people to put together this remarkable piece of local history and culture.
This is not the first time the museum has tried to put together an exhibition like this. There were previous attempts in both 2003 and 2009 although they did not have enough items to fully complete it. This show gives an insight into the development of humanity through weapons and the military as it became better formed, instead of just being a history of battles and wars. The changes over time give a view of the development of the local culture starting with the earliest pieces from fifty to thirty thousand years before Christ. The axes that were made originally had a purpose as crafting tools for the people to help them survive. They were not used as weapons of warfare until the later conflicts would force the need for them to use the axes to defend them. The items from the neo-lithic epoch also represent a cultural side to the primitive man when they were making jewellery from the same metal which they had melted for weapons. These examples of the past allow us to understand the ...