Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dreams in Dar

I have officially been in Tanzania for just over one month now and We are well into the new year. The year reported to be of drastic changes to all of us, a shift in everything we know. Well I can certainly say it has been much like that for me so far. The plans that I came here with are still strong and yet they have changed significantly as well. The power path forecast for January is all about destabilization where we will all experience being thrown off balance like we were experiencing an earthquake and that we must use this energy to create something new instead of holding on to the old. I highly recommend you read it http://www.thepowerpath.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=401:january-forecast-2012&catid=17:monthly-forecasts&Itemid=65

Well I have been trying to use this feeling of destabilization to create and under the beautiful full moon high in the African sky I sat down and wrote out all that I wished to manifest. A beautiful home in a peaceful area near the ocean that is salama kabisa (completely safe and peaceful) with Mazingira Mazuri (beautiful surroundings) where I can grow a garden and rest at ease after my many interactions of the day. I also have dreamed of creating a centre here that will be a place to gather, learn, share and heal ourselves and the environment using sustainable building techniques, organic farming and plant medicines. While I was in Europe with Ashley one of the amazing couchsurfers who took us in showed us the Garbage Warrior which I had heard much about but had not seen yet. After watching this film and reading about the work the earthship team has been doing in Haiti, Sierra Leone, Guatemala, etc I felt inspired especially when you see the amount of rubbish that is all over the streets here, The plastic bottles that are burned releasing deadly toxins into the air and the poor living conditions here (over 80% of people in Dar live in what would be classified as slums). So I wrote them an email about my vision and I just heard back from them. They said they would be very interested in the project and gave me a run down on costs and materials needed. Now to look for land and write some grant proposals and do lots of fundraising. If you haven’t heard of earthships before check ‘em out, they are super cool http://earthship.com/ So I have gone from wanting to wwoof on a site like this to wanting to build one.

Slum-like living and burning garbage are definitely not the only problems people have here. After chatting with some young women who live at the Jeshi over the past few weeks I finally got there story from the chief social worker here. These girls aged 13-18 come from all parts of Tanzania and through the death of a family member or extreme poverty in their region they were brought to Dar, either by an aunt or cousin or by a seemingly good woman who appeared in the village right around the time of a funeral. These women bring the girls to Dar with promises of educating them or giving them a good job in their shop, house, etc but in reality they bring these girls to Dar dress them up in tiny tight clothes and give them to men for 3 or 5 or 10 dollars to as they please. The girls can do nothing and are scared and if they manage to run away they usually end up at the ferry terminal or train station living on the streets and selling themselves to men for food. This is where the folks from the Jeshi find them and bring them here to be trained in a trade or return to school for 6 months while they receive counselling and then they return to their families. I was totally flabbergasted to here this about these girls at first as they all seem like just any other girl, friendly and happy with dreams to be teachers or sewers, business women and mothers. The Jeshi also has another centre for younger girls who have been brought to Dar to beg while their owners sit behind the scenes and seeing every shilling they receive so the child gets none of it. They have a program in the villages teaching people about what is going on and how to stop this trade in humans as well. It is no wonder everyone you talk to declares Maisha Migumu (life is hard)

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