Travels with V

Tanzania, Zanzibar & Pemba

The legacy of Mama Barbro

Dar es Salaam part two

The next day we travel inland from Dar es Salaam to a village called Luguruni. We’re here to visit the “Barbro school”, started in 2000 with support from the Swedish Embassy. The inspiration came from Barbro Johansson, a Swedish woman who lived and worked for many years in Tanzania. She was a minister and a personal friend of the first president of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere. Everybody knew her as “Mama Barbro”.

The Barbro school in Luguruni is open to girls from poor families. There is a selection process to detect the most talented and motivated girls. They’ve done so well the school is now one of the country’s most respected and coveted schools. We talk to the headmaster Halima Kamote and one of the teachers, Susan Nakayiga, and it’s not dot difficult to share their contagious enthusiasm.

We also meet one of the students, a very bright and lively girl, a little precocious, who already knows her future; she wants to be a doctor.

Read more about the Barbro school here.

We return to Dar, and in the evening a minibus waits for us by the hotel entrance. We’re going on a tour to some music clubs and bars in the city. We’re four westerners hoping for some good vibes, us two and an Englishman with his son.

Our first stop is a street restaurant serving great Indian food, and after that we proceed to a sort of expats pub in the embassy areas in the north of the city. In the car park we see for the first time some masai men in red cloaks and carrying sticks. We’re told that masai men are often hired as car park guards in Dar.

But we joined the tour to hear some live music, and after an hour it looks like we’re not quite on track. The guides don’t seem to be so well informed, the first two venues we get to are closed. The third however is in full swing. It’s a simple, concrete floor, strip lights joint with steel wire furniture. A band is blasting out afro pop and the crowd of locals are bouncing and jumping around. And we quickly join in the maelstrom. Some people have had too many beers and sit sleeping at their tables. It sure was a good night out!

In the next part we leave Dar for the great national parks in the north. Join us as we go on safari!

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