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Volunteers and Jewellery

November 30, 2009

La Chica ventured out (without her handbag, and with only a small amount of cash in her money belt) for an Arusha Volunteers Network catch up at Café Via Via. Drinking Kili beer which went straight to her head and made her feel like she was in a bubble, she happily chatted with the group of Aussies, English and Americans who are mainly volunteers with St Judes School and the Aussie charity Food Water Shelter. By the end of the evening she’d not only added some new contacts to her mobile phone with promises of future catch ups, but she walked away with three English paperback books to read – a valuable commodity in Africa!

La Chica has met up with Tati, a Swiss woman who runs the Masai Women Art Jewellery shop in Arusha. Over café lattes they talked about the challenges of doing development projects in Tanzania and the particular challenges of working with Masai women – who are ‘owned’ by their husbands and have no rights to their own wealth. Tati was excited by the jewellery and belts the Longido Masai women make using beaded work on leather, and has agreed to look at some samples for possibly including them in her shop. She also gave La Chica great advice about the process of getting jewellery made to a consistently high quality standard.

La Chica’s new best friend, a French girl called Aisha, returned to Arusha yesterday after a week away. Aisha has offered to be the new camera woman for La Chica’s documentary filming, and is going to accompany her on her next trip to Longido. Aisha is a professional photographer, and La Chica has already explained that the red light means the camera is recording!

Reading the Arusha Times is a highlight in La Chica’s week –  finding out the local news. The article that really caught her attention this week was a report about some robbers who had consulted a witch doctor from Dar es Salaam, and had been given a magical potion which would make them invisible when they carried out their robbery. Imagine their surprise when the police actually saw them and were able to arrest them, even though they’d taken the potion!

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