Blogs from Africa


Africa » South Africa » KwaZulu-Natal » Shelly Beach February 1st 2016

Interesting to see that a few sharks, a little white ball and some amazing wine can change the destiny of a family!!! Do you blog from your home town? This is a question that is coming back pretty often on Travelblog. I have been coming back at least twice a year to Shelly Beach....this place will be my home from 2018...but not yet. And for once, I'm not doing the first move, Tiffany is doing it! The young lady is now 13 years old, and in 4 years time, she will be entering University...times fly! Few months ago....while speaking with Leslie about boarding school, Tiffany said...this sounds cool! And today, it's Tiffany big move. She is entering a cool boarding school, an hour drive North-West of Durban, short of 2 hours drive from where I plan ... read more
The little girl and the bull shark!
At Eland Reserve, next door from the sharks...
I'm proud of my little lady!

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Entebbe January 30th 2016

Travel to and from Tanzania and the schedule in between is generally packed with activity, social events, reconnections and strategizing. The team and I generally leave pretty tired - ready to decompress and relax. I am fairly sure the same is true for our hosts. But this time ETI needed to stay overnight in Entebbe, Uganda since we wanted to travel here with our Swedish team who flew out at 4-something this morning (ouch) while we fly out midnight tonight. That means we have had a day to relax, check email, keep you entertained with blog posts and decompress. Fabulous. Chris Johnstone and I walked to Lake Victoria although were offered rides by most passing vans and certainly all motorcycles. It's 84 degrees so we worked up a good sweat as we stretched our legs. The ... read more
Chris Johnstone
Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria

Africa » Kenya » Rift Valley Province » Masai Mara NP January 29th 2016

So we dropped off a few peeps and picked up 16 more early this am. We got on the road apprehensively as our first impression of the new people was slightly askew (oldies and no one cool looking lol). About 30 minutes down the road we got a call and stopped the truck to wait for two people we forgot to pick up. HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Our tour leader didn’t even count everyone when we all left! So then two more Aussies came in a taxi and we proceeded down the road. We stopped at a view point of the Great Rift Valley and snapped a few candids on the way to the Masai Mara. After a super long and bumpy ride with this new truck (it had no power going up hills) we arrived at a campground ... read more
more phants
baby was ornery!

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Entebbe January 29th 2016

I am writing from The Boma Hotel at Entebbe. I can hardly believe there is BBC on TV, Internet, electricity, water in our room, lighting that makes the room feel cozy, and a bubble bath. We left Kayanga with our Swedish partners, crossed the border around noon and met Ben, our driver on the Uganda side. We had a marvelous day - recalling memories of the week and marveling at the lack of electricity, water, and infrastructure and the abundance of smiles, kindness and hope. It has been a phenomenal trip. We said goodbye to our Tanzanian partners who carry on to build KARUCO. We also said goodbye to our wonderful Swedish friends- Magnus, Per-Ole and Per-Ove. We miss them already. More tomorrow. ... read more
At the Boma

Africa » Tanzania » North January 28th 2016

Almost hard to believe it is our last day in Kayanga. We leave tomorrow morning and travel to Uganda to fly out on Saturday. I thought it would be a rich experience to travel with the evaluation team to the village and help collect data. I may not be able to upload the photos just now - power has been out in Kayanga and surrounding villages for the last 24 hours. I will take advantage of the generator at the Kayanga Internet Cafe and hope for the best. Thanks for following along. The eval team left around 9:30am with Chris Johnstone (team lead from UMN), Enoch, Assa, Vincent and Brighton Katabaro. Turned out the village chief did not communicate the research plan to his village so we headed to the clinic to see if people were ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » North January 27th 2016

Great Summit 2016. Each year ETI and KAD meet to renew partnerships and get progress updates. KAD invited a Swedish team this year so Magnus and Per Ove (specialists in rural agriculture) joined us. Highlights: - Water harvesting system is inspected and fully operational. To date 280,000 liters have been collected. February rains bring hope for more. - Borehole was named 'The Miracle'. Pump and flowing water are still amazing to most. While capacity and water quality are generally known, the well cannot supply KARUCO on its own. There are plans to dig 4 more. - Lots of construction going on. New women's dorm being finished and men's dorm started. Labs being outfitted with sinks and equipment. Dining hall and Auditorium proposals out, Adjacent school is offering staff housing. Germany is funding 50 computers. - 40 ... read more
Dr Chris Johnstone

Africa » Cape Verde » Santiago January 27th 2016

Hello from Santiago island in Cape Verde (CV) , one of 10 islands once ruled by Portugal but independent since 1975. We are now firmly in the Tropics..300 miles from Senegal on the west African coast. CV is a friendly place pop. 128,000 with 58% of the population under 50 years. There are so many young people that children go to school in shifts the first from 07.30 to 13.00 and the second from 13.30 to 19.00. Could be a good idea for London! There is 25% unemployment but still very low crime rate this our guide thought was because no one goes hungry. They give food but not money to the unemployed. Most young people who may have gone to one of 4 universities on the island will move abroad to work. The climate is ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » North January 27th 2016

Karagwe 2016 Guest Blog by Chris Johnstone, ETI Karagwe Team 2016: Evaluation Team Lead ********** My colleague @IsaacBolger recently sent me a blogpost outlining how seductive it is for young (or any aged) westerners to believe they can swoop into other lands and solve problems. In my years doing this work I’ve heard (and most likely uttered) the phrase "if we can just…” to start a sentence that ends with a relatively simplistic solution to a context that may or may not even be a problem. If a problem exists, it is likely not solvable with an “if we can just” sentence. This week we did some community-based work to see where asked people about their current situation in rel... read more
Taking 'The Survey'
Dr. Chris Johnstone

Africa » Tanzania » North January 26th 2016

Today's Summary of Activity - Watched unloading and stacking of firewood for the hotel. - Breakfast with the crew. - Visited my friend Jeminah at her dress shop, chose fabric and was measured for a dress. Custom-made: form fitted. Ready tomorrow. $15. - Walked about Kayanga. Went to bank. The hotel manager, Johannes, exchanged dollars to Tanzanian shillings for us. $100. = 210,000 shillings. - Data collection team went to a nearby village to collect data.. Yesterday was Nyakahanga: Today is Rugela. Data collection is headed up by Chris Johnstone from the University of Minnesota. Chris could not be kinder or more savvy at what it takes to organize and carry out evaluation. Monday's data collection went better than expected. We don't say that very often given all the challenges here. 58 people showed up to ... read more
Daily Chore

Africa » Tanzania » North » Bukoba January 25th 2016

Monday is here. Let the baseline begin! Chris Johnstone met with the evaluation team early and went over the directions and game plan for the day. Assa, Horace and Enoch will help Drs. Katabaro and Johnstone with interpretation of items. Assa, Horace and Enoch are employees of ETI's partner, KAD and will be 'instrumental' is interpreting items that have been translated into Swahili by the KAD Team. Today's village for data collection is Nyakahanga - not far from Kayanga or KARUCO. ETI is hoping for 40 villagers to participate in the data collection. But since it is our first time, we do not know what to expect. Our goal is to get a feel for conditions (economic, and in terms of social roles of men and women as well as practices that harm or sustain the ... read more
Drs Katabaro and Bagonza
Eval Team's Assa
Eval Team's Horace

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