Archive for Mara Johnson-Groh

Tea Time!

Tea.  Or chai. Tanzanians love their tea time.  Everyday in the late morning a special time is reserved for tea break.  When tea time comes everyone stops what they are doing and faithfully observes the break.  The tea is always the same but very good.  The black tea is served with milk and so incredibly […]

Livestock on Parade

Today we start with the Mundane Yet Remarkable Thing number one.  This happens to be livestock.  A very mundanely remarkable thing.  What is so remarkable about livestock, you ask?  Well, first think about livestock in America.  What is most likely to come to mind is the classic black-and-white Bessy placidly chewing cud in a serene […]

Things I Have Learned

My year in Tanzania has taught me many things. Here is a list of some of those things. How to barter in the market The basics of Swahili How to teach How to shower in water just above absolute zero The rules of tennis To cook local fare To tolerate internet that moves slower than […]

Bartering 101

In American culture the word shopping conjures up images of gossiping teenage girls clutching designer purses, and soccer moms pushing overflowing grocery carts through the isles of Cub-Foods with Junior sitting up front, screaming for a box of Coco-Puffs. In Tanzania, shopping is done a little differently. Sure, girls here, as all over the world, […]

Yes, Teacher

Now that you know a little more about schooling in Tanzania, I can tell you more about my adventures as a teacher.  This year, before arriving in Tanzania, I thought perhaps I could volunteer at a school and help tutor or do other things.  What I never expected was that  I would become a teacher.  […]

PT in TZ

Public transportation is very different here in Tanzania compared to the United States.  In my rural mid-west hometown, we only have two forms of public transportation.   We have a transit bus system which only works in-town and very few people use it.  And we have school buses which are used exclusively by, you guessed it, […]

2 + 2 = 4

This year I have been teaching in a Tanzanian school.  It has been interesting to see how things differ between schooling here and in the States.  Here is a look at some of the things I’ve noticed.  In Tanzania school years are arranged a bit differently.  You start out at age seven with primary schooling […]

Fact Check That (Part 2 of 2)

Welcome back to part two of Getting to Know Tanzania Through Facts and Figures. This week we continue with facts and figures about the economy of Tanzania. Despite it’s natural beauty, Tanzania is in the bottom 10% of the world’s economies. Tanzania’s GDP, in terms of purchasing power (what goods in Tanzania would cost in […]

Fact Check This (Part 1 of 2)

Recently, I realized that though I have given much commentary on Tanzania’s culture and landscape, I have supplied very few real facts.  This series will come in two parts, the first concerning social facts and the second, economics.  So here is a little commentary, and a lot of facts. On the 9th of December, 1961, […]

Tanzania Wears Prada

Brand names.  Americans love them. Abercrombie and Fitch, Banana Republic, Columbia, GAP, Nike, Talbot, Birkenstock. Fashion is important in America, especially to younger people.  Social status is defined by the names on the tags of your clothing.  Consumers faithfully return to their favorite stores, spending a fortune on a pair of blue jeans.  Many even […]