Published: July 13th 2012July 13th 2012
Sorry, for the bad title of this blog entry. It was too easy. Not clever, but easy! I wanted to use it on my co-workers, but they wouldn't get it. It would be lost in translation.
For our first trip out to find potential contestants, we headed east for 50km on some of the rockiest, dustiest, dirtiest roads we could find. It took about 90 minutes to travel these roads, but the trip was pretty spectacular as far as scenery was concerned. We ended up in a community near Lake Eyasi, I don't know the name of the village (no sign), but talk about remote. No electricity at all in the village. There is no real guesthouse or hotel to stay at and the people continued to stare at me.
We visited two young men who are farming. The first grows onions and maize. His onions were about to be harvested, so it gave me a chance to get some decent pictures and video. Having never been on an onion farm before, I found it to be quite interesting.There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the planting… no neat little rows of onions.
The second guy we visited grows onions, maize, and a bit or rice since he is near a water source for good irrigation. His crops were just planted so it wasn’t as visual, but still quite interesting to see the various stages of farming here. You cannot find a better posting than the one I have, I am sure. It is pretty nice to be out in the open air all day shooting video and taking pictures. I am virtually no help to them when it comes to interviewing people in Swahili so I wander aimlessly and take pictures.
On the second day of scouting we headed in another direction, up into the mountains where the roads were still awful, but the landscape was much greener.
Our third candidate was a young girl who left high school after Form Four (grade 10 to North Americans). She grows bananas and wheat. After meeting her, we spoke with another young lady (about the same age and situation) who grows beans. She also does contract farming of flowers. She grows flowers for some company who gathers the seeds and sells them around the world. Apparently, Tanzanian farmers supply a
lot of seeds to European countries.
The day was a long one... we met six farmers, interviewed them all, shot at their farms, and had them talk to the video camera in Swaihili. This was like an audition piece. By doing this, we can get a sense of their personalities when we return to Dar to select of six contestants.
For the most part, all were quite relaxed in front of the camera and chatted quite well. They don't seem to be self-conscious here... There isn't the criticism for one another that we have at home… everyone is rooting for the next guy and they are so supportive of one another. That sense of competition is not present here.
At one guy’s farm, I got a lesson in natural medicine. I saw small melon-like things growing on a plant and asked what they were. No one could remember the name of the plant, but I was told they are are used as a natural remedy for a tooth ache... But only for Tanzanians!
As it was explained to me, you cut these little things open, squeeze out the juice of the fruit onto
a cloth. That “juice” is kerosene. You take the kerosene-soaked cloth and light it on fire. Once it is lit you inhale, the fumes of the kerosene through the mouth. Once that it done, the tooth ache apparently disappears.... No need to worry about me trying this at home.
I think that is what they told me… their English wasn’t good and my Swahili doesn’t appear to be getting any better.
It was a long hot day in the sun. Thank goodness for the SPF60.
The local kids and I continued to get along famously. I took tons of pictures of them but will be saving those for a future blog.
There are more photos below