Summer Post, Tanzania Conference 2019
IASE 16th Biennial Conference UPDATE: July 15-17, 2019, Magamba TZ
June 25, 2018
By Sara Rosenbloom
Welcome back to our humble blog gearing you up for all things IASE, SEKOMU, and Toa Nafasi come July 2019!
Now, lest you think what I just said was gobbledygook, allow me to remind you that we are The International Association of Special Education (www.iase.org), Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University (www.sekomu.ac.tz), and The Toa Nafasi Project (www.toanafasi.org), three great organizations that have come together to bring you the best biennial conference that the IASE has put on….ever!!
Just about a year out from the 16th biennial conference and the planning is in full force. In my last blog entry, from April and May, I alluded to an upcoming trip to Lushoto where the conference venue is located, for another face-to-face (to-face-to-face-to-face!) group session of all the stakeholders currently in-country. Unfortunately, that meeting was postponed and will hopefully happen this third quarter of 2018. Until then, we are making do with Skype, phone calls, and electronic mails.
However, I still wanted to write a little bit for potential attendees and speakers to get excited about! So, in this short blog piece I will talk about “arrivals” or wanaoingia in Swahili, literally translated to “those who are entering.” That’s you!
You’ve registered for the conference, booked your plane tickets, packed your bags, and after many hours (and possibly several different planes), you have arrived in the strange and wonderful land that is Tanzania.
Upon arriving, you will enter the country via the wanaoingia terminal at the airport, which is likely to be crowded with many excited and exhausted “enterers” just like you. Since it will be July, there will be lots of tourists coming into the country during what we call “high season” when safari-going, mountain-trekking, and beach-bumming are all the rage here.
Hopefully, you too have planned for some of these activities at some point during your stay – remember to book early though as schedules fill up with curious vacationers wanting to see this:
And climb this....
And swim this:
More on all that good stuff later, however. Right now, it’s hapa kazi tu, or “time for work” as our esteemed president likes to say, and you need to get to your final destination before that can happen!
Upon entering the wanaoingia gate, you will be asked either to purchase a visa or to show the visa you have pre-purchased in your home country. There will be some chaos and long lines, but you’ve come this far, you can do it! Reaching the immigration desk, you’ll hand over your passport, smile at the official and get a big karibu Tanzania “welcome to Tanzania” from the airport staff. You’re in!!
Waiting for your luggage can always be a bit painful, but relax, you’re in Tanzania. This is the world of hakuna matata or “no worries.” Bags are offloaded manually which can take a bit of time, so wait until the very end if you don’t see your bag off the bat. In the event that your bag doesn’t make it, or is lost in translate, DON’T PANIC. There is a lost luggage kiosk where you can report your bags are missing and they are very efficient at locating wayward luggage. I have never experienced a completely, totally, utterly lost bag in my eleven years of living here, hosting friends and family, or welcoming volunteers.
Now you’re out of the airport and off to Lushoto. Check for the SEKOMU personnel who will be meeting you along with any other fellow conference-goers and settle in for a pleasant drive from Arusha/Kilimanjaro to Tanga. You can expect about five peaceful hours of beautiful East African countryside, with the Usambara Mountains to your left and sisal plantations as far as the eye can see to your right. Try to catch some zzzz’s along the way if you can because this is the best rest you’re going to get in the next few days once the conference really kicks off.
If you’re feeling brave and exploratory, you can test out a few of the Swahili words I wrote up in my “Travel Tips” and which are reprinted here. Don’t be shy; Tanzanians love both teaching Swahili and learning English from foreigners and they will never make fun or tease.
Hello – Habari
Goodbye – Kwaheri
See you later – Baadaye
Thank you – Asante
You’re welcome – Karibu
Toilet – Choo
Water – Maji
May I….? – Naomba….?
I like…. – Napenda….
I don’t like…. – Sipendi….
Yes – Ndiyo
No – Hapana
Okay – Sawa
Stop – Acha
Please – Tafadhali
Excuse me – Samahani
Sorry – Pole
How much? – Ngapi?
My name is…. – Jina langu ni…
I don’t understand/I don’t know – Sijui
Doctor – Daktari
Police – Polisi
Taxi – Taksi
In my next entry for August/September, I’ll give you a briefing on what happens once you get to Lushoto. Stay tuned!