Category Archives: DO

Rwanda on my mind….

Sitting at my dining table, drinking Tanzanian coffee, and looking at my baskets from Rwanda. I thought I would post a few pictures and a little blurb about where the baskets come from…

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While working on a project in Rwanda, I heard about Covanya Cooperative located in Nyamata – about an hours drive outside of Kigali. The cooperative is made up of about 40 woman weavers that make beautiful Agaseke and Plateau baskets. I really believe in the cooperative model – it has the potential for great things. However as an development anthropologist I also see the other side that is not always so glossy – this post is about the beauty at the cooperative and in the country….

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Looking at these pictures again makes me smile…..

Travelling with Baby

Recently my husband, my son Niko, and I travelled to Tanzania. I searched the web and asked friends for travel tips. A number of them suggested we travel at night during baby’s bed time. We didn’t have much choice in terms of flight times – we went with the most affordable option – which meant flying in the evening to Amsterdam from Toronto (where we live) and then from Amsterdam onwards to Tanzania during the day. The flight to Amsterdam was pretty fantastic – Niko slept almost the entire flight, it was the flight from Amsterdam to Tanzania that was a bit rough for our little wee one. He wanted to sleep, but because it was day the lights were on and people were moving about. We got through it okay, and I am already thinking of travelling again! A few things we took that were very helpful:

Our white noise machine – we have this one http://www.amazon.com/Munchkin-Nursery-Projector-Sound-System/dp/B006SFUEF2 we put it on every night just before Niko falls asleep. So happy we decided to take it along, a familiar sound at night helped Niko fall into his night time sleep routine pretty quick. I believe you can also download white noise onto your computer or iphone.

We borrowed a friend’s Baby Bjorn travel crib. It’s fantastic  – light, compact – essentially super easy to travel with. Our son wouldn’t sleep in it – we decided to put it out on the veranda during the day and he would sit in it and play.

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A stroller – ideally an umbrella stroller,  easy to fold up and stash away. I can’t imagine travelling without a stroller – the trek to through terminals, going from one gate to the next would have been a nightmare for me if I wasn’t able to put Niko is a stroller.IMG_2832

The MEC Happy Trails Carrier – this thing was great – in Tanzania there aren’t many proper sidewalks, which makes pushing a stroller on the road side a bit stressful. When we went for walks in the city and in local villages we had Niko in the carrier – he loved it! The carrier has a little flap on the top that provides shade from the hot hot sun. We bought this one on craigslist for $25.00.

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We donated most of the clothes and toys we brought with us for Niko to a local orphanage.

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We took diapers along with us– one of the supermarkets in Moshi (a mid sized town  in Tanzania where we spent most of our time) sells diapers, however they cost a small fortune because it’s only really foreigners that buy disposable diapers.

Happy travelling!