We have been back from Tanzania for several weeks, and the students have been taking this time to process their experiences in the field and organize their research. Brad Weiss joined us on November 9th via Skype to help students think about how to organize their research and contextualize their experiences.
Over the next several weeks, students will be writing guest-posts, where they will talk about what they learned from fieldwork and how their experiences in the field influenced their approach to research.
Our trip was extremely rich in terms of our ability to observe historic elections, through individual research experiences, and through travel within and outside of Dar es Salaam. Our location in the city center enabled students to use free-time to explore the more historic districts of Dar es Salaam, to visit Kariakoo Market, to ride bajaji and other forms of public transport, and to have lots of conversations about political and cultural difference with people from all walks of life.
The majority of our time in the early part of our trip involved learning about the elections, observing elections, and learning more about the programs of the Legal and Human Rights Centre.
Meeting with Prof. Oswald Masebo, Chair of the History Department, UDSM
In between these activities, students also conducted their own research. Several students identified potential interviews through connections with the University of Dar es Salaam and the LHRC. Others hit the streets and the internet, contacting schools, NGOs, and government offices.
Marvi and Tori interviewing Dr. Pius Chaya of AFREM
As students continued their research after the elections, we also sought to visit major sites of historical and cultural significance in the region, including the National Museum, Bagamoyo, and Zanzibar.
The National Museum
Students on the “Academic Bridge” at UDSM
Sunset Cruise in Oyster Bay
We are very grateful to Prof. Masebo, Mama Bisimba and others at the LHRC, Mohamed (our fantastic driver), and Prof. Reid (who organized the trip). We look forward to seeing more outcome of student research as they continue to process their experiences in the field!