First Korogwe Meeting

written 9/20

We have just spent our first weekend in Korogwe for a PC meeting. We left Tabora about nine in the morning after meeting our pikipiki drivers. A pikipiki is a motorcycle owned by the driver and used for transport. We spent quite a while waiting for both our drivers to be at our house at the same time with helmets for each of us. We each sat on the back of the motorcycle (all pikipikis come with plenty of room for passengers- we have seen them with three extra people smashed in a line on the small seat) with our stuff strapped on behind us. It’s a really great ride, and coming in to Korogwe was only the second motorcycle ride I’ve ever been on.

Once we arrived, all the PCs spent the first day catching up with each other and hearing about all the other villages. It was a bit funny as we all had so much to share that everyone wanted to talk and no one wanted to listen to each other at the beginning. I really enjoyed getting to see everyone again and our conversations really reinforced the idea that my experience is very specific to Tabora. The other villages have very different layouts and conditions that contribute to their poverty. We compared everything from the types of houses, numbers of dukas and mgahawas, to what people eat, to what other languages are spoken, electricity and cell service availability, and how easy it is to meet villagers. The differences are striking despite our proximity. To this end, I highly encourage you to check out some of the other blogs (which are all linked in a menu on the top right corner) and see what other people’s experiences are. Also, let this be a reminder that the things I see may not apply broadly to Tanzanian life or culture, so extrapolating from this experience may not hold any accuracy.

We had trainings, went shopping, ate out, and most gloriously, used the internet. Most of the PCs, like me and Ashley, have no access to the internet in our villages, so whenever the house’s faulty internet turned on, the group became silent as we worked on our computers and communicated with those at home. Ashley and I then returned home a day late with not everything done, not everyone emailed, and not everything bought that we had wanted to get. However, it was time to return home and continue work on our project.

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