writings on the wall

Distant musings

This category contains 12 posts

When it rains, it pours

When it rains in Zanzibar, or Tanzania for that matter, it pours. There’s no middle way. If you had something drying on the line, expect to leave them hanging there for another day (or three, if you, like me, happen to be out during rain spells in the rainy season, and never manage to get … Continue reading

Between social media and ignorance, what is there?

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania has flooded. If this is the first time you hear the news, you might say “ok” and continue as if it never happened. “After all, there was just a huge flooding in the Philippines, which was all over the news. Dar es Salaam hasn’t even been mentioned, the flooding can’t be … Continue reading


Happy independence day! On this day, exactly 50 years ago, Tanzania’s visionary leader Nyerere (pictured) raised the placard for complete independence. A Zanzibari friend of mine gives however a cautious note on why this celebration isn’t as historically correct as it’s made to be: Tanganyika became independent 1961. Tanzania grew out of the union between Tanganyika and … Continue reading

Aid shambles: One cake…

This is the first (introductory) post of a three-part series taking a critical look at aid. Imagine you’re a baker, and you’re baking a cake. The local cookbook isn’t finalised yet so you’re using a foreign one where measures and ingredients are different, meaning you have to improvise a little. While the cake is in … Continue reading

“Thin line ‘tween heaven and here”

The quote in the title was uttered by Bubbles, a recovering drug addict, when being returned home to the ghetto after having spent a day in suburban Baltimore, USA in the TV-series The Wire (highly recommend it by the way). Looking at the above map of a small (200x300m) area in Namanga, Dar es Salaam, … Continue reading

On famine

UN declared famine in Southern Somalia yesterday, after months of drought and hunger in the Horn of Africa. Looking at the map, large parts of Ethiopia and Kenya are not doing well either. It’s a serious and sad situation, but I find it somehow ironic that it was the Famine Early Warnings System Network that published … Continue reading

A letter to the editor

Common currency emerging in Africa, the title says. Any comments? I was quite disturbed by the picture this well-known Finnish business paper had chosen to put on its frontpage, and as I’ve been feeling very well-versed lately (as you can see from increased blog-posting), I decided to take matters into my own hands and send … Continue reading

The Samsonite is ready

For the next few days I’ll be on the travelling foot. Usually when you go for a trip, you say you’ll leave today, and you also know you’ll arrive at your destination, today. Because my trip down to Dar es Salaam will take three days (out of my own choice), I really don’t feel like … Continue reading

Change of plans

The not-so-cheap-but-close-to-work apartment with a Tanzanian lady has been changed to a cheap-but-not-so-close-to-work apartment with two girls, one Swedish and one American-Chinese. Still close to the beach though = ) While it would have been interesting to stay with a Tanzanian woman for a while to get to know the culture better, I’m really happy … Continue reading

Preparations preparations

In exactly two weeks I’ll most probably be sitting at home, super tired and thinking back at my first day at work. In Dar es Salaam. Things have been hectic at times here in Finland this summer and there’s been a lot of things to take care of in preparation for the trip, but I’m … Continue reading

All writings on the wall

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