25 July 2006


Hi all,
I ment to post the message below on Sunday, but when I got to the internet place it was closed. Now I'm at the Lake Manyara National Park HQ and using their internet and can post my two day old message :)

As you read below keep in mind that US$1 = Tsh 1240.
So there is internet here in Babati….one place…but this is the first day I’ve had the time to write (I'm writing on my computer, but will go to the internet place after I'm done). I arrived on Wednesday to return to the district head quarters, get more information and to pick our study villages. We set up residence at this guest house that wasn’t the best. It just had a dirty feel to it, there were bugs, hugh holes in the bug net, and the choo (bathroom) stank. Needless to say, we changed guest houses on Thursday and for Tsh 1000 more we have very few bugs, a nicer choo, and no smell (is is Tsh 6000 / night, and Mimi and I are sharing). On Thursday we went to two of the villages and set up plans to come back and start interviews and focus groups and of course … we got a puncture…but it was okay our driver knew exactly how to get the tire high enough to change it (it requires two jacks) and while we were talking to one of the village heads he got the puncture fixed. Susan and the rest of the team arrived Thursday as well and on Friday we started in the village of Orng’adida (which means lion mountain in their native tongue). Friday morning was the village head interview which I didn’t do b/c I went to our third village to set up our time to visit them. In the afternoon I went with most everyone else to Orng’adida (S 4 degrees 17’46.6” E 35 degrees 51’ 39.5”) to start household interviews. We paired off (we have varying levels of experience so part of what we are doing now is training). We had an odd number of people so I went with on person to two households. The first household had 18 people (a husband, two wives, and the rest were children). They make less than $50 a year (the are subsistence farmers). The second household was better off, only eight people, and while they too were farmers they have a wider diversity of crops and had some livestock (the first household only had one goat). On Saturday morning we returned to Orgn’adida for focus groups. I listened in on the village game scout group and heard stories of people killing a giraffe with a panga (a knife like a machete). We talked to them about hunting companies, the protected areas, and photographic safari companies in the area. We also talked about resident hunting (legal hunting with permits), and about poaching. Saturday afternoon we went to Sangaiwe (S 3 degrees 56’25.6” E 35 degrees 49’23.2”) and did the village head interview and two more focus groups. We were told Sundays are not good days to do interviews/focus groups, I think because they are church days, so today is sort of a break…our questionnaires are still works in progress so I’ve been working on them, but at least things aren’t quite so hectic.
On a side note….every morning I drink tea (that has been mixed with whole milk and lots of sugar, no choice that is how it comes) and eat chapati for about Tsh 500. For lunch and dinner I either have the choice of rice and beans for Tsh 700 or chips (fries) and egg (cooked together) for Tsh 800. If I ate meat I would have a few other options, but regardless of where we go to eat, the menu is the same. The options are some meat (chicken, beef, goat or fish) with ugali or rice, rice and beans, or chips and egg. I don’t mind rice and beans once a day, but I can’t do it twice a day (The chips and egg is really greasy and not the best so I can only do it once very other day or so). Luckily, I brought some peanut butter and jam from town and I’m going to search for some bread on my way back from posting this at the internet place and have PB & J for lunch. I am VERY excited about this. Today or tomorrow we are moving from Babati to Makuyuni, finishing up in Sangaiwe, and starting in the village of Minjingu.


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