The National Museum Dar Es Salaam

On the 1st of July John, Dolly and I (Matt) ventured into central Dar Es Salaam to visit the National Museum in an attempt to learn more about the history of Tanzania. For Dolly and I, who both currently live in England, the journey into the city was something else, but for John it was just an everyday thing. Our drive started early with a bajaj ride into Kibo, from there was caught two separate dala dalas into the city centre. The buses and roads were hectic, so much so that Dolly and I agreed that we would never have found our way to the museum without John’s guidance!

When we arrived at the museum things were a lot calmer. There were lots of different exhibitions starting with the history of man and the animals that used to be found in the area around Dar. Here we learnt about Mary and Louis Leakey, and how they discovered what at the time (1959) was the oldest significantly intact hominid fossil ever to be found right here in Tanzania.

We then moved on to a much gloomier period of the country’s history, the slave trading era. Here we read about Tip Tip (Hemed bin Monhamed El Marjebi) who at the age of 18 began the slave and ivory trade between the Eastern Africa interior and coastal towns. He was known as Tip Tip as that was the sound his guns would make when he used them. We also saw artwork depicting the conditions that the slaves were subjected to and how they were treated. After Tip Tip we found a section dedicated to Barghash bin Said of Zanzibar (Pictured below) which was a much more positive read. Barghash is credited with building much of the infrastructure in Zanzibar as well as helping to abolish the slave trade. In 1870 he signed an agreement with Britain prohibiting slave trade in his kingdom and closing the great slave market in Mkunazini Zanzibar.

The museum then went on to cover the periods of European colonialism, starting with Germany forming German East Africa and then moving on to the British after they gained control of the area after their victory in the First World War. The British ruled until Tanganyika gained independence in 1961, soon after this (1963) the Zanzibar Archipelago did the same with the United Republic of Tanzania being formed in 1964.

After this we headed outside and were confronted by a huge tree. We found out that this tree was called ‘The Sacred Fig’ or Bo-tree, this type of tree is very significant in Hinduism and Buddhism, and it is symbolic of happiness, prosperity, longevity and good luck.

Overall the three of us had a great day exploring Dar and learning more about the great country that we are in. A special thanks to John for helping Dolly and I around central Dar and to his Uncle who provided us with a lovely lunch at a local hotel.

Matt Jones- Marketing intern

Volunteering for the ’International Day of the African Child’ event

 

At Thursday the 16thJune a bus full of volunteers headed out at five o’clock in the morning to do some volunteering work for the International Day of the African Child at ’The Jakaya M. Kikwete Youth Park’. This is one of the biggest youth parks in Dar Es Salaam opened in October 2015 by the president of the United Republic of Tanzania. Which is compared to other sport venues quite developed as they had artificial football fields for example which is not that common for Tanzanian standards.

The event was apparently created for children which means a lot of colours, laughter and fun. But these colorful balloons weren’t blowing up them self from alone. Decorating was one of our tasks at the event next to judging and conducting of the reading and drawing challenges, taking pictures and collecting video footage, face painting, acting as a mascot or participating at one of the numerous sport challenges like football games or basketball matches. Supporting all these activities, helping to arrange the challenges and cleaning up is concluding our day at the event quite well.

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But next to the hard work (for some it was a tough day especially for our athletes and our mascot volunteers) there was a lot of joy for everyone as the kids who were participating organized several performances from traditional Tanzanian dances to singing performances. Also reputable sponsors like unicef or the Tanzanian government by itself were providing us for all these efforts with a lunch break and refreshing drinks. Next to the events it also had several stalls about nutrition elucidation or little healthy checks as well as technology companies presenting their electronic devices.

All in all, this day was quite a diversification as it was a pretty long and exhausting day for everyone who participated comparable to working at an exhibition day.Even more thankful was everyone for the already prepared food of mama Neema in the evening at home.

For more Information, you can have a look at the Wikipedia entry.

If you want to see more pictures of that day visit the Facebook page of Atte Leskinen Photography

 

Give yourself a different way to explore Bagamoyo!! – The Bagamoyo Cycling Tour

Cycling is definitely a fun way to explore Bagamoyo where you will find yourself immersed in the rich history of this former capital in the German era. Passing along the roads had just shown us how much this area was affected by various cultures with all those exotic-styled buildings.

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Here we start now!! Cool, everyone is looking good and fit!!

Getting the way to the Kaole Ruins is enjoyable with the amazing scenes overlooking the Indian Sea. In the Ruins, we had a glimpse on the traditions of this old trade center, including one of the oldest mosques in the midland Tanzania.

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There we are, on the way to the Kaole Ruins!!

After the Ruins, the route leading to the Catholic Museum gave a different feeling just as we had entered into a completely different world. Don’t forget to pay yourself a visit for the museum if you want to know more about the Bagamoyo history.

The Art Market and a nearby beach were the fantastic add-ons to this trip where we experienced the true beauty and colours of African art and interacted with the local people. We even joined in their singing on the beach. The warm welcome received had indeed made our day.

There is definitely a lot to see in this trip, just do not miss your chance to go there, and you won’t regret it.

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After a long day cycling, it’s good to have some music, isn’t it?

 

“Despite the bikes looking old – they were very safe and easy to ride. It was a very informative trip and we saw so much in just one day – completely enjoyed myself”

“I am a tall guy, so the bike didn’t fit me, it wasn’t a problem but actually was quite funny. The trip was very informative with rich history and had a lot great scenery which I enjoyed a lot”

 

By: Jade Lam

Spice Tour in Zanzibar – What a learning experience!

Juanita

Juanita is sampling some lemongrass

I might never think of food the same way again.

I used to think cinnamon was something you bought in the  baking aisle of the supermarket. It could be found there right next to the cloves, the nutmeg…. all in little bottles with tidy  labels.

cinnamon tree

You can cut cinnamon bark any time, but only on one side of the trunk

But where does this stuff come from? Is it from a flower, or is it a bean? Does it come from the bark of a plant, perhaps? Or maybe it’s in the root, underground?

I learned so much on the Spice Tour in Zanzibar! The guide was informative, and had a lot of fun keeping us guessing and testing our knowledge.

We smelled things, tasted others, and had a feast on fresh fruits as we wandered about the farm. We found ourselves sampling natural perfumes and being decorated with impromptu rings and bracelets made from the plants around us.

guide

Our guide Abeid had fun while tricking us.

Have you ever seen a cat come running at the sound of coconuts dropping? As we drank fresh coconut water, the cat eagerly slurped up as much fresh coconut as we put in front of it!
To top it off, at the end of the tour we enjoyed a lovely lunch with just the right mix of different spices in the different dishes to tease our taste buds.

Now I just can’t wait to try out the spices I’ve brought home!

Juanita Jenkin


Edward’s Famous Pilau  Recipe
(serves 2 people)

Ingredients

Edward and Jack Fruit

Edward and Jack Fruit

Spices:
Cardamom (2 teaspoons)
Cinnamon (3 sticks)
Cumin (2 teaspoons)
Garlic (1 teaspoon)
Black pepper (2 teaspoons)
Clove (optional)
Salt (1 teaspoon)

Rice (1/2 KG)
Cooking oil
Water
Potatoes (2 big)
Onions (2)

Method
1. Heat a pot on the stove
2. Once it is heated add 3 table spoons of cooking oil to the pot
3. Add to the pot finely chopped onions and let it sizzle
4. Blend together garlic, more onions and salt and add to the pot, fry this all together until it becomes crispy and brown.
5. Wash and add the rest of the spices Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cumin and black pepper then fry until they all become brown
6. Add ¾  litres of water and add the peeled and chopped potatoes (Clove optional) in the pot
7. Wait until the water has boiled then add the washed rice to the pot.
8. Slowly stir for a few minutes all the ingredients together so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot
9. Put the pot into the oven for 20 minutes until the mixture cooked
10.Take out the oven and is ready to serve

vanilla

Vanilla needs to be pollinated by hand and it takes nine months to be ready for harvest. That’s explains the price.

coffee plant

One coffee plant provides about 400 coffee beans per year.

nutmeg

Better check your country’s regulations before bringing whole nutmegs with you.