Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week 2: Being Chinese in Zambia

A quarter of my internship, and a third of my time in Africa, is already behind me.

This week was spent translating company workflow/operating procedures for Human Resources, watching and analyzing “Rain Man” in my English class (not a big hit with my students, as it turns out), and tagging along on a few outings with co-workers (vegetable market, container pickup at the Zimbabwe border). Last night we had another delicious party: massive crayfish, shredded potatoes, boiled dumplings, and chicken and onion stew, followed by plenty of toasting and several rousing games of ping-pong. Experts agree: if Brian Jacques had spent any significant time in China, his books would have had to be banned for excessive epicurean sensuality.

The trip to the border turned out to be a lot of fun. There was a miscommunication and it wasn’t until we got there (after waking up at 5 AM in order to arrive on time) that we found out the container had already been sent up to Lusaka. It was a beautiful drive, though, and on our way back we took a clandestine detour (shh, don’t tell the boss) to Lake Kariba, the largest man-made lake in the world. The only way I can describe to you how big it is, is to say that from the mountain road overlooking the lake, it looks like you’re looking down at a bay and out across the ocean. The Kariba Dam is, as you might expect, similarly massive. I have some great photos of the froth, steam, rainbows, and general impressiveness made by the cascade of water down from the dam… and at the time we went, they had only opened one of the six gates in the dam. (Apparently on the rare occasion when the water level is high enough to warrant opening all six gates at once, the President often comes down to see.) And although the dam was originally constructed by the English, we also ran into some Chinese workers from SinoHydro (
中国水电) doing expansion work on it.

Chinese companies, it turns out, are everywhere, at least in Lusaka, and are into pretty much everything industry can legally be a part of. There are so many of them that there’s a whole subset of them dedicated to providing things for the Chinese community: you can buy your favorite snacks or spices after a meal and maybe some karaoke at one of the more authentic Chinese restaurants in town; every week a guy comes around delivering high-priced Chinese-brand cigarettes; and there’s even a huge, Chinese-run “Great Wall Casino,” which I’m told is the reason behind my company’s strict anti-gambling policy.

“Made in China” takes on a completely different meaning here. Not that there aren’t cheap, low-quality goods coming in from that country – I’ve heard businesspeople and ordinary consumers alike complain about that, though some say it’s getting better. But in a country without much of a manufacturing sector of its own, it’s often just not economical to buy local. At the Chinese compounds, it’s understandable that a lot of things would be made in China – and most are – because they fit Chinese tastes, habits, and requirements. But go into the warehouses of any of my company’s three subsidiaries – machinery, department store, construction – and you’ll also find that most products, even large building materials that I imagine must be difficult and costly to transport, are imported from China. I asked about these latter materials in particular, and I was told that either they don’t make them (up to specifications) locally, or they do but it’s actually cheaper to import (probably because production is done on a small scale). I finally understand a bit better how, in a country whose standard of living and wages are clearly not equal to China’s, the cost of living in Lusaka can be significantly higher than the cost of living in Beijing.

The Chinese-Zambian relationship within the company seems, at its core, pretty strained. On the Chinese side – to which I am unavoidably biased, since I’m really not “in” with any Zambian workers – it’s mostly a question of theft and diligence. Theft is the biggest complaint, both from my co-workers and from my boss: supplies like cement and paint often go missing (so often that one of the construction company’s supervisors now lives on site), and valuables will sometimes disappear from rooms that are cleaned by local housekeepers. I have no idea whether this is accurate, but the more forgiving long-time Chinese employees have described it to me like this: “They don’t see it as stealing. It’s just taking. And a lot of them think that if they go to church the next day and confess, then it’s fine.”

The second-biggest complaint is always diligence: that local workers take thrice as much time to complete a task than Chinese workers would. I suppose that on the one hand it’s important to know that, in a country with a higher cost of living than China, the construction workers only make around 1/5 of their overseer’s salary. But I don’t think that negates all expectations of efficiency, especially in a country with sky-high unemployment – and when the tan, leathery construction site overseer tells me that he had to train all of them himself and that a Chinese crew would have gotten the new warehouse built twice as fast, I absolutely and without reservation believe him. I know his type. He came from a family with no money, quit school after the ninth grade, and worked years of day jobs, night jobs, and weekend jobs to get where he is today: spending three years living in a shack on a construction site in a faraway country, away from his wife and child, so that he can make a better wage and support his family. He is a Chinese laborer – that same, dying breed of man who built railroads in the American West in the 19th century; worked the sugar plantations of Hawaii into the 20th; built subway lines and high-rises in every burgeoning metropolis of China in the early 21st. He looks down on men who were unemployed last month and yet are already starting to show up late for work or refuse to come in on Sundays.

And that’s it for this week’s notes and observations. It’s taken me quite some time to write even these few paragraphs, and I want to start reviewing the second half of last semester’s vocabulary today.

Until next weekend.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tazara and Lusaka

This part of the story starts where the last left off, in Dar es Salaam.

My last two days of wandering the city were interesting but don’t bear a whole lot of description. Most people were in Dar to catch the ferry to Zanzibar, the predominantly Arab Muslim set of islands off the coast. So I wandered, which anyway is what I like to do best in a new city. I prowled the neighborhood; walked along the beach; decided that, sunburn notwithstanding, I was going to get completely toasted (the other kind) if I stayed out in the open for too long; happened upon the main fish market, which was bustling even late in the afternoon; ate some delicious fish, rice, & beans; met some interesting foreigners (a handful of Canadians, several groups of Scandinavians, and very few Americans; stumbled upon one of the five Chinese clinics in Dar; got lost in the auto parts/repair section of the city (this section exists) and couldn’t seem to get out; and bought provisions for the next leg of my trip – a loaf of bread, 4 liters of water, a half-kilo of peanut butter, a large package of raisins, and a few tomatoes and bananas.

Here I want to mention a happy discovery that I made while in Dar: I discovered that, after many years of refusing to eat bananas, my dislike for them has suddenly disappeared. I won’t eat them by the bunch, and I won’t rate them as delicious, but I would definitely call them an acceptable snack.

That Friday, I left my hotel for the 2-mile, hour-long trip (you read that right: traffic and terrible roads) to the Tazara Railway Station. (Tazara: TAnzania-ZAmbia Railway Authority.) I arrived at noon and had the good fortune to run into a few of those characters that one always seems to meet while traveling: a Ph.D candidate whose research topic was, in fact, the Tazara line; and a super friendly/easygoing couple (of travel partners?) from Sweden & Denmark. When it turned out that I had been booked into a compartment with three women and I was summarily kicked out, the Scandinavian couple took me in, which I’m pretty made sure the journey about three times as fun as it would have been otherwise.

The Tazara experience, was, in a word, fantastic. The company was fun. The food was good (and a lot less expensive than I had expected). The scenery was gorgeous: partly forested countryside, similar in some ways to more sparsely populated areas of New England but reaching a whole new level of greenery and vastness. Busy scenery-watching, which is made much more fun by leaning out windows or even doors, I ended up doing a lot less reading than I expected – and even by the third day, I still couldn’t get over the trees. I took a few hundred photos, but you’ll have to wait on those: the Internet here is, on average, even slower than it was in my Beijing apartment. On the first afternoon, we passed through the edge of a Tanzanian game reserve, where I saw my first (wild) giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and impala. But I don’t have photos of any of these, because the encounters were too fleeting – and to my infinite regret, I was reading on my own and completely oblivious when we passed the elephants.

Tazara was made by the Chinese in the early 1970s – partly to rival the Soviets’ dam-building up north; partly in a spirit of brotherhood with the new socialist countries; and partly to win African backing in the UN for international recognition of the Communist Party as the legitimate government of mainland China. Traces of Chinese workmanship can be seen everywhere, if you’re looking: from the bilingual electronics controls to the plates in the dining car (they still have originals?!) to the classic Chinglish sign (also on most trains in China) informing people that they should not use the bathroom while the train is stopped: “No occupying while stabling.”

When we got to Mbeya, a few hours away from the Zambian border, the Scandinavian couple got off and I was kicked out of my compartment on grounds of taking up too much space. I ended up with a couple of Zambian businessmen who work importing luxury goods for customers in Lusaka. They struck me as a bit hypocritical (I can’t really explain this), but overall seemed to be good people, and also quite helpful. The train was delayed for seven hours the first night (something about pieces of another train on the tracks? encouraging.), so we ended up reaching our final stop, the Zambian town of Kapiri Mposhi, at around midnight of the third day.

It’s usually not very safe to go out at night in Africa. But when several of the other foreigners who had been on the train with me tried to bargain for a minibus to Lusaka (200km or so distant), the two Zambians I had been traveling with told me that it would be better to get a taxi to a bus stop and wait for the public buses passing by on their way from the Tanzanian border. I hesitated a bit but decided to throw my lot in with them. There were definitely a few hairy moments: the “bus stop” was really just a gas station where buses might or might not stop if someone flags them down, and I turned out to be justifiably nervous about the young guys hanging out by a charcoal fire outside when one of them started throwing cinder blocks at another’s head and then pulled a knife and chased him away. But the men I was with knew what they were doing – they just kind of shrugged and said, “probably a turf conflict” - and we eventually all bundled into a taxi and drove to Lusaka. At between 100-150 kph, we managed the distance in just a few wild hours, and even stopped for tomatoes at a fruit stand along the way. I slept a few hours at the house of the brother of one of the Zambians – who, as it turned out, is an insurance broker for a firm whose clients include the company I’m interning for, so it was easy to arrange for one of the company’s drivers to pick me up and take me to company HQ.

Which brings me to my life as an intern.

It’s a busy job, but not hard. This first week has been mostly about getting familiar with the company (job shadowing), translating some documents into English, and holding intermediate-advanced English classes. I’m also practicing a folk-”red song” for the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, a move that’s sure to kill my 2028 run for President 17 years before it starts.

Company HQ is split into two major locations, just down the road from each other: one for the company’s agricultural machinery and department store subsidiaries, and one for its construction/contracting subsidiary. I live in the latter, which is very new and thus nicer in some ways – I have my own room, and it’s more than twice as big as the Beijing apartment I rented last semester – but lacks the homey feeling of the older one. The machinery-and-department-store area is comprised of a set of small office buildings, a machinery exhibition room, two large warehouses, and a square courtyard in the back around which the Chinese employees live. The construction company’s base of operations is a single large courtyard abutting the road, with offices on one side, 3 floors of dorms on the other, and a brickyard and warehouse in the back. There’s also a construction site further down the road, where the company is building several warehouses, a workshop, more dorms, and a villa (for the bosses).

 We work from 8:00-5:00 Mon-Fri and 8:00-12:00 Sat, with an hour each day for lunch. I also give English lessons for an hour each evening, Mon-Fri. There are plenty of times when people aren’t busy – for example, there are no orders from the warehouse, or no machines need to be fixed – so the employees often have time to talk, which has been very conducive to getting to know people and coming to understand how the company works. In principle, main job over these 8 (now 7) weeks is to work on company publicity: the idea is that I take a lot of photos, capture people hard at work on video, interview happy workers and knowledgeable bosses, and eventually put together a brochure and add a lot of content to the web site, both about the company itself and the situation in Zambia. (Many potential employees back in China – and, as I have discovered, plenty of Americans as well – see all of Africa as one big, hunger-stricken war zone.) The company already has a translator, but he’s abrasive and busy and his English is far from perfect, so I’ve also been translating a few odds and ends into English when needed: a certificate of government approval for a new product being imported from China; a quality inspection report for a different product (insanely difficult), a list of job responsibilities and best practices, etc.

Socially, things are going really well. I’ve been welcomed with open arms by most of the folks here – partly because the Chinese are just friendly like that, partly because I speak enough Chinese to get along with most of them, and partly because a lot of people here have something of an “us and them” (Chinese and Africans) mentality and I seem to fit in better with the “us.” This area of Lusaka is not exactly the most thrilling of environments to be in – for safety reasons, we’re not allowed out past 9 at night, and most people just want to sit down and relax anyway – but I have my own things to do during the week (reading, watching movies, reviewing Chinese), and on Saturday nights we have Chinese-style parties, which I have to say are far superior to most similar Yale events. At our courtyard, Saturday night basically involves getting some friends together, cooking some food, cracking open a few beers, and when everyone’s had enough of talking and eating, heading upstairs to play ping-pong, Chinese chess, and mahjong. People slowly head off to bed, or movie-watching, or watermelon-eating, and we wake up on Sunday morning ready to take advantage of the only full day we have each week to go out into the town.

And that’s just about it, in a nutshell. I’ve got a lot more that I want to add, but this has already gotten quite long and I’m sure there will be time over the next few weeks to go into specifics.

Hoping that you, too, are enjoying your summer,

Monday, June 13, 2011

Arrived in Lusaka

I've arrived at the company dorms in Lusaka, settled in, and done my first day of "work" - which today mostly consisted of taking a tour, getting settled, and leading a short informal English class. Which is great, because I only slept about three hours in total last night. I'm going to bed right now, because we have to be up early for breakfast; more to come later about a fantastic two-and-a-half-day train ride and my new workplace, with a harrowing experience or two thrown in for good measure.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dar es Salaam: Impressions

I’ve been walking around the neighborhood where my hotel is located for the past hour or two, waiting for an internet cafe to open its doors. But apparently a lot of places don’t open until 10 AM, and we’ve just been accosted by a mini rainstorm, so I’m now taking refuge in the hotel, where I have a fairly luxurious room to myself.

Hotel & restaurant, viewed from the street
Hotel reception

My room. With a mosquito net!

Dar es Salaam is a colorful city. Buildings, signs, and especially women’s dresses are often done in bold, bright, contrasting hues. Add to that the low buildings, the popular rounded block letters (think MS WordArt) and the Anglicisms left over from British administration (1915-1960), and this neighborhood has almost a quaint feel -- surprising for a city of over 2 million.

There is a side of the city that isn’t so quaint, and I’ve felt it a few times. I went out early yesterday evening, looking for some dinner, but I only got a few blocks before I turned around and headed back to the restaurant attached to the hotel; maybe I was just being paranoid, but there was something I didn’t like about the combination of the shadows, the number and look of the people on the street, and the fact that, being white, I stuck out like a sore thumb. Beijing is a city where I could walk home alone at 2 AM and not worry about a thing; in Dar es Salaam, foreigners would do best not to go out past dark. Even this morning, as I was cutting through an alley in the full light of day, I became very conscious that the street was the nearly exclusive province of young men sitting on the curb with nothing to do. There seem to be a lot of those men in Dar – sitting on street corners during the middle of a day in the work week – which is also a definite change from Beijing. Though to be fair, maybe that’s because the young Beijing men with nothing to do just stay inside playing video games...

Another change from Beijing is the street vendors: not that they exist, but what they sell and the way that they sell it. There seem to be a few common types of roving vendors. One sells single cigarettes, matches, and a snack (usually peanuts); he carries a basket in one hand, and jingles coins in the other to announce his presence. Another sells water and sometimes soda; he makes a hissing or squelching sound with his mouth as he walks. A third sells tea by the cup; he makes no particular sound that I can tell, but carries a tin pot or two and a small plastic container with water, which he uses in combination with his thumb to wash the cups between sales. I have yet to see a woman doing any of these three jobs.

The port of Dar es Salaam was founded by Arabs (1866), administered by the Germans (1891-1915) and English (1915-1960) and finally incorporated into the newly free Tanzania as its capital (1960). I haven’t seen any German influence so far – I read that it shows up in the buildings, but I could run face-first into Teutonic architecture and not know it –  but imprints of the other three administrations are pretty evident. The most obvious is skin color: alongside the charcoal of pure African blood is a swarthy Arabic complexion, and alongside that a grayer shade that you would almost swear was South Asian. And you’d be right: during British rule, large numbers of Indians were encouraged to settle in Dar, and you can see their influence in the food (I had a chicken tikki masala last night), the architecture (4- to 6-story apartment blocks that look strikingly similar to those of Mumbai), the businesses (“Taj Majal Sweet Mart”), the street signs (e.g., "Indira Gandhi Street"), and the clothing. A mix of religions is pretty evident, too, although I don’t know the proportions: I browsed through a stall of Qurans on one street corner and saw several copies of the Bible being sold on the next.

Well, it seems like the rain has abated, and if it hasn’t I may just need to suck it up and buy an umbrella. The power is out in this whole area of the city, which seems to happen fairly often (a shopkeeper told me, ‘Maybe it will be back on tonight? We don’t know. This is Africa!’), but maybe I’ll be able to find someplace with a generator to eat lunch.

Until next time,

P.S. ...Bonus photos!

Outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ethiopian countryside

Iceberg in the sky

Sailing on top of the world

Approaching Dar es Salaam; I'm staying off past the left border of the photo

Flying over Dar

Tin-roofed houses near the Dar es Salaam airport

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Goodbye, China

As I start writing this from the airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African adventure that has been many months in the planning is finally starting to unfold. But I realize that I haven’t updated my blog in almost two months, so I want to look back before I look forward.

The final chapter of my China experience was a whirlwind. First I was preparing a tour for Michael (my old brother) and Cat (his girlfriend); then I was giving them the tour, often to places I had never been; and then I was juggling homework (I had to finish that TV show), preparations for leaving China/going to Africa (I spent four hours just setting up an international wire transfer at the Bank of China), and spending time with my increasingly-unhappy-about-parting girlfriend (more on that later; I have a half-written post that I’ll work on again when I’m in the mood).

Now I finally have time to take a breather and look back.

I spent over a year in China – June 3, 2010 through June 6, 2011. I passed through Shanghai (twice), stayed in Shenzhen, made a place in my heart for Jinan (Shandong province), traveled to the grassland and desert of Inner Mongolia (summer and winter), saw the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’An, entered the Thousand Buddha Caves in Dunhuang, climbed the highest dune in the Singing Sands, got food poisoning in Kashgar, ghosted through Urumqi (also twice), got chased by an angry toll collector in Turpan...

That said, the great majority of my time was spent in Beijing. I made friends (some of whom I might see in the U.S. this August), ate delicious food (how will I live without it?), saw the sights (Great Wall x3, and the third time was the best), met women (one of whom was fantastic in many ways; but The One still eludes me), accumulated some work contacts and experience (I hope to never be part of the Beijing English-tutoring industry again), and generally enjoyed a lifestyle very unlike the one I had at Yale.

And yet, most of my time was spent studying, and almost all of it was spent improving my Chinese – so (surprise!) that’s what I really want to talk about.

As Kelly from the Light Fellowship once said, “‘Proficiency’ is a moving target.” My goals, strengths, problem areas, etc have definitely all morphed throughout this year, so to get grounded I want to look back at the objectives I set for myself during the second week of HBA last summer.

From this very blog:

“When people ask, I tell them that I hope to come back "proficient" - I hope to be able to hold regular conversations without getting a blank look on my face every 30 seconds, and I hope to be able to read books and articles, albeit probably pretty slowly. Writing is something I care less about; I believe that's a skill that comes with a lot of reading. Which brings me to my real benchmark for success: When I leave China, will I be an independent learner of Chinese?

When reading, I want to be at a point where word banks and lists of grammar/sentence patterns are efficiently replaced by context clues and/or some flipping through a (Chinese) dictionary. When conversing, I want to be able to pick out the words and phrases I don't know and ask people what they mean (as opposed to giving them a "huh?"), and I want my spoken Chinese to be good enough that I can correct a handful of misused words and grammar every few days. I don't know that these goals are attainable, but I also know that I'll be pretty crushed if I don't get there.”

So am I an independent learner of Chinese?

From a reading and writing perspective: Pretty much. When I get back to Yale, I plan to read newspaper articles and continue with my translation of that history textbook that I started in January. I might have to ask some questions now and then, but by far most of the new material will be vocabulary that I can simply look up. I don’t know how “efficient” that is – I think I may have been envisioning reading books the way I did when I was in elementary or middle school, often picking up words from context without having to look them up in a dictionary – but it’s acceptable, and Yale will be a good place to improve my reading/writing further.

From a listening/speaking perspective: yes and no. I understand much more than I used to, and I can hold my own in a conversation depending on my interlocutor, but even as I finished off the last few episodes of 蜗居 I found that I still needed help with the meanings/shades of meaning/implications of a handful of words or expressions each time – and for that I need a teacher, or at least a native speaker with whom to consult. As for listening comprehension in the real world, in many cases I can now pick out words that I missed, just as I envisioned; but in many others, whether it’s because of speed, an accent, or a higher concentration of words I have yet to master, I have to say “come again?” and wait to be given the redux version. I’ve been having reasonable luck with the Chinese in the airport and on the plane – I was particularly proud of understanding one businessman when he told me that his company makes water pumps, a word I learned while watching Chinese news reports about the Fukishima reactor – but I’ve had to ask them to repeat themselves quite a few times already, too.

How should I summarize this?

I guess I should say: I’m satisfied with my gains, but I think I need another year. I would love for that year to be spent as a student directly enrolled in a Chinese university (i.e., not as part of an “international exchange program” or “language and culture scholarship”), but given certain realities (scholarship issues; 1 year max on leaves of absence from Yale) that seems unlikely to happen.

I’m also very interested to see how well my Chinese will hold up in a work environment; I’ll be finding out pretty darn soon.

A farewell to China shouldn’t just be a farewell to the Chinese language. Here are some things I’ll miss, and things I won’t miss, from day-to-day life. In no particular order:

1. The food. People name this as their #1 regret pretty often, and get laughter or disrespect or sometimes even feelings of offense in return... but I really will miss Chinese cuisine. I’ll miss the price – I ate three square meals for $4.50 every day – but most of all I’ll miss the countless delicious dishes. I won’t expound too much in this category, but I will say that 1) the selection of Chinese vegetables is so much more varied than your classic choices in the U.S.; 2) lamb is, after pork, a meat of the everyman; and 3) the Chinese mastery of spices and sauces is utterly unparalleled. [It took me three tries to spell that word right.] HOWEVER (and, to be fair, there must be a ‘however’), I’m absolutely pumped for Italian food, simple dishes (boiled vegetables!), decent-tasting sweet things, dairy (especially CHEESE), and a juicy Prime 16 burger when I get home.
2. I’ll miss the dining culture. (Yes: food again.) When Chinese people get together for dinner, it’s always loud, meals are ordered together and eaten together, family members or close friends will place tasty morsels on each other’s plates/bowls, and someone will often stand up and take the check for the entire table. There’s a certain amount of pressure involved in every one of these aspects of the dining culture, but I also think they make for an incredibly communal experience.
3. My status as a foreigner. By the end of my stay, I felt like I was fitting in fairly well with my environment – that, partly because people got used to me and partly because I adopted the speech and attitude of one who belongs, I didn’t stick out like a sore thumb everywhere I went. (A little secret: You know your Chinese has progressed beyond a certain level once people stop complimenting you on it and start conversing with you.) But foreign nationality – more specifically, white skin – gives you some extra padding. The fact that you stand out keeps you relatively safe from certain vicissitudes (e.g., government employees abusing their power), and the fact that you are clearly from far away invites feelings of hospitality. What I won’t miss is white skin equating to an invitation to a) be ripped off, b) become Random Guy X’s New Foreign Friend (TM), and/or c) be cast into a mold of preconceptions and stereotypes.
4. I’ll miss the ratio of my wages : prices on the street. Enough said.
5. I’ll miss, and not miss, the stereotypical Chinese girl. The fashion that borders on, and sometimes is, ridiculous... the (sometimes literally) unbearable cuteness... it can get obnoxious but it’s usually just great.    I will NOT miss the alternately faux-sensitive (feminine) and faux-macho (obnoxious) behavior of the stereotypical Chinese man.
6. I have a love-hate relationship with the Big City. Beijing, like any big city, is definitely a land of opportunity – a place where a friend of a friend can introduce you to your next employer, or you can come out of the subway station and run into an activity being run by a guy who is from your next destination. It is a place where everything is (relatively) convenient: of roughly 15 million people in the city center, any two of them can probably meet up within an hour. There are stores and services for everything you need, and plenty that you don’t. But it’s a horribly polluted city – my sinuses felt it every time the pollution got extra bad – and transportation (especially surface transportation) is horribly overcrowded. If I could choose a medium/long-term workplace anywhere in China, I’d definitely settle on a smaller city, preferably somewhere with a better climate.
7. I will not miss... THE INTERNET. In the weeks before I left, I would go through long periods of inability to connect to any foreign servers whatsoever, and the majority of my time online was spent with a download rate of 20 kbps (5-10 if I was using my VPN). Goodbye, Great Firewall; I welcome the slow connections of Africa with open arms.

And that’s all from me, for now. More coming soon on my last weeks in Beijing and my first weeks in Africa.

Good-night, now from Dar es Salaam,