Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Arusha Homestay

Our eight day long home stays are coming to an end today. I think that the theory and idea behind staying with a family in the village that we were doing our projects in was a great idea but it was somewhat limited as about half of the group stayed at the chairman of the village’s house. It was nice to stay with Alex and get to know his family and his lifestyle but it was somewhat odd that we were not more spread out in the greater community as I am sure there were other people in the village who would have loved to host us.

It was interesting however to see how Alex, the chairman of the village played a role/ didn’t play a role in some of the projects. For example, Natalie said that when she went to one of the orphan centers with Alex, the director and other staff people there acted much different than on the day that Natalie and I went there with Zenan. I am not sure if they felt threatened or scared or intimidated by having Alex there but it definitely changed the entire environment and the conversations as well as the information which was exchanged that day.

The home stay was a good experience though as I enjoy home stays and could make comparisons with the other home stays that we have done during our program here in East Africa. This home stay was most like the Riruta Satellite home stay as we were in a somewhat modern home with modern technologies in a somewhat poor and developing village. It was interesting to see the way in which other people in the village were living and struggling to get resources such as water and how easy it was for our family to access those resources. Instead of having to walk to a water tap or well or something, our family had jugs of water delivered to their home. This increases their ability to do work around the house and do other important tasks as they do not need to spend the time or energy carrying jugs of water to and from the water tap. I am not sure if the reason that our family had water delivered and always available was due to the fact that they could afford to pay for it or due to the fact that it was the home of the chairman of the village. I am not exactly sure how much power this gives Alex and what kind of rights he has that other villagers lack.

No comments: