As some of your already may know, I’m going to Tanzania for six months starting in March this year. In the city Moshi I’ll work as a volunteer computer teacher in a local institute for computer education.
In the upcoming weeks and months you can hopefully see some updates and pictures on this blog. Until then I’d like to answer some frequently asked questions:
Where the heck is Tanzania or Moshi?
Tanzania is on Africa’s east coast, Kenya on its north coast border, Mozambique on its south. Some important localities in Tanzania are Lake Victoria, the Kilimanjaro or Zanzibar island.
The capital is Dodoma, whereas the largest and most important city is Dar es Salaam. Moshi, where I will reside, is one of the largest cities with around 140.000 inhabitants. It’s right beneath the Kilimanjaro.
What exactly are you doing there?
I’ll work as a computer and english teacher in Moshi Institute for Technology (MIT). They offer various courses for children and adults to spread IT knowledge in the urban and rural area around the city. I’m quite free to choose which courses I offer, for example I planned computer maintenance, website creation, office software or general usage of operating systems.
Since I endorse Free Software, I’d like to use it as much as possible. Reusing old hardware and working in a quite poor environment makes Free Software the only reasonable choice.
Do they even have technology there?
Yes, they have. Mobile phones are quite widespread and the institute I work at has broadband internet connections. Okay, they have really old donated machines based on Pentium I up to Pentium III processors and I doubt that I can work with beamers.
Aside from the lack of modern IT stuff it’s also hard to find modern cars or household equipment. Most of the houses even don’t have a unique post address or landline connection. Electricity is far away from being stable and let alone health care or hygiene.
Why are you doing this?
There are many reasons but the most important one is to experience something really new. Call it break-out, call it adventure, I’m really keen on learning from a for me still unknown culture.
Another reason is to exchange knowledge and know-how. In our western culture we can have everything we need. In Tanzania that’s not the case so I would have to improvise a lot for my teaching. The other way round I hopefully have enough IT know-how to teach something useful to the courses‘ attendants.
Aren’t you afraid of Ebola?
Yes, I’m afraid that even more people will die from this disease. But to be clear: The Ebola affected region is as ar away from Tanzania as southern Europe. Many inner-African airline routes have been cancelled to avoid Ebola’s spread inside Africa. It’s up to you to judge this policy of isolation but right now it’s quite safe in Tanzania.
Any further questions? Do not hesitate to ask me!
Tanzania Map by TUBS (CC BY-SA 3.0 License)