Tanzania

I begin by saying that Tanzania seems to be opening to change. There are some very real challenges to the much needed development of infra structure both social and economic that would in turn contribute to an increased development in health care. Infra structure projects have spent a lot of money for management and development. Tanzania like other countries has been developing, attracting many donors to establish expand and manage a variety of infrastructure projects ranging from road and airport construction, water and electricity supplies and ports however the country is faced with some challenges which include a lack of transparency in the infrastructure projects , corruption, high dependance on donor funds and poor management of the projects as well as a lack of human capital to supervise the projects. There are however some optimistic indications. See “Infrastructure Projects in Tanzania, Obstacles and Challenges to improve Infrastructure”, by Irene Joshua https://www.nomos-elibrary.de/10.5771/2363-6262-2020-3-473.pdf?download_full_pdf=1

The elimination of blindness and development of infra structure related to eye care services required to address that, is inseparable from the greater social and economic development of infrastructure. The Rukwa area of Tanzania is in turn a lesser developed region of the country.

There is a large religious segment of the population here, the Christian religion seeming to be in the majority influence; as well, there  exists a substantial Islamic and a more secular population. Despite the diversity there is a relative equanimity between religions. As  far as the medical system goes the Catholic influence is often plays a big role in the creation of services. It seems to me that in general the religious focus seems to lean towards an emphasis on belief, theology and in some situations a hyper moralism; following of authority and strong collective norms.  We visited a Benedictine monastery in Subawanga and it seemed to be of a similar orientation with an absence of the kind of openness of process that western institutions can bring to exploring metaphysics/life in a personal intimate way.

I suspect the presence of precolonial beliefs,  values, ideals, biases and norms to be a deeply conditioned almost unconscious influence on thinking, interpersonal relations, family and culture. These naturally seem to be factors not always easily measured or articulated. The Christian institutions here can not be understood without realizing the influences of the culture and traditional spiritual practices that preceded it. Religion as well serves as a base and means of support for coping in a  society where survival is most always a major concern.

Th leaning towards fundamental and evangelical ways short of a personal process of reflection and development also influences a political decision making system, still emerging  from a post colonialism. Existing institutions are partly a product of a reaction to colonial abuses and a desire to develop a national identity outside of those influences.

This all in general does not necessarily allow for a flourishing of a creative incentive, abstract processing and problem solving. Added  to this is a general apprehension  of western intentions. All this can contribute to a system of appointees arising out of privilege, patronage, religion and  nepotistic influences. All these being factors in influencing relevant leadership and other positions in institutions. 
There is bit of a dilemma in bringing our western methods, values and ideals to our efforts to transform a society  that we perceive to  be impoverished and undeveloped. Consideration of the history and cultural differences that exist and that have influenced African society is essential if we are to have any kind of helpful impact. The west has its own unique history of development, creativity that have contributed to a unique cognitive response. The methods and science that we have come to rely on and that have influenced our institutions have been a part of an ongoing, synchronistic  unfolding  building on a  step by step development and realization. Our individual  education and cognitive functioning has been in sync with that. This is not necessarily the case with most African and to some degree Asian countries. They have not undergone a the same process if developmental that the West has which has occurred over a period of hundreds of years.
To expect that they will learn, behave and function as we do in the west is naive and only promotes confusion when insisted upon. It seems to me that an awareness of our own intentions, perceptions and substantial differences is essential . The goal should not be to impose our western vision but to help Tanzanians to become more invested in being creatively involved which includes the necessity of empowerment in taking ownership and helping to foster a sense of responsibility for what arises from interactions with western teachers
Understanding differences is essential . The goal should not be to impose our western vision but to help Tanzanians to become more invested in being creatively involved which includes the necessity of empowerment in taking ownership  and responsibility  for what arises from interactions with western teachers.
I begin by saying that Tanzania seems to be opening to change. There are some very real </span>challenges<span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”> to the much needed development of infra structure both social and economic that would in turn contribute to an increased </span>development<span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”> in health care. Infra structure projects have spent a lot of money for management and development. Tanzania like other countries has been developing</span>, attracting<span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”> many donors to establish expand and manage a variety of infrastructure projects ranging from road and airport construction, water and electricity supplies and ports however the country is faced with some challenges which include a lack of transparency in the infrastructure projects , corruption, high dependance on donor funds and poor management of the projects as well as a lack of human capital to supervise the projects. There are however some optimistic indications. </span><span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”>See “Infrastructure Projects in Tanzania, Obstacles and Challenges to improve Infrastructure”, by Irene Joshua</span><span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”> </span><span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”><a href=”https://www.nomos-elibrary.de/10.5771/2363-6262-2020-3-473.pdf?download_full_pdf=1″>https://www.nomos-elibrary.de/10.5771/2363-6262-2020-3-473.pdf?download_full_pdf=1</a></span&gt;
<span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”>The elimination of blindness and development of infra structure related to eye care services required to address that, is inseparable from the greater social and economic development of infrastructure. The Rukwa area of Tanzania is </span><span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”>in turn a lesser developed region of the country. </span>
<span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”>There is a large religious segment of </span>the population<span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”> here, the Christian religion seeming to be in the majority influence; as well, there &nbsp;exists a substantial Islamic and a more secular population. Despite the diversity there is a relative equanimity between religions. As &nbsp;far as the medical system goes the Catholic influence is often plays a big role in the creation </span>of<span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”> services. It seems to me that in general the religious focus seems to lean towards </span>an<span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”> emphasis on belief, theology and in some situations a hyper moralism; following of authority and strong collective norms.&nbsp; We visited a Benedictine monastery in Subawanga and it seemed to be of a similar orientation with an absence of the kind of </span>openness<span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”> of process that western institutions can bring to exploring metaphysics/life in a personal intimate way. </span>
<span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”>I suspect the presence of precolonial beliefs, &nbsp;values, ideals, biases and norms to be </span>a<span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”> deeply conditioned almost unconscious influence on thinking, interpersonal relations, family and culture. These naturally seem to be factors not always easily measured or articulated. The Christian institutions here can not be understood without realizing the influences of the culture and traditional spiritual </span>practices<span style=”color: rgb(49, 49, 49); font-family: -apple-system, HelveticaNeue; font-size: 24px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 1px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; text-decoration: none; display: inline !important; float: none”> that preceded it. Religion as well serves as a base and means of support for coping in a focused on survival.
leaning towards fundamental and evangelical ways short of a personal process of reflection and development also influences a political decision making system, still emerging are partly a product of a reaction to colonial abuses and a desire to bring a national identity outside of those influences.
This all in general does not necessarily allow for a flourishing of a creative incentive, abstract processing and problem solving. Added &nbsp;to this is a general apprehension &nbsp;of western intentions. All this can contribute to a system of appointees arising out of privilege, patronage, religion and &nbsp;nepotistic influences. All these being factors in influencing relevant leadership and other positions in institutions.
There is bit of a dilemma in bringing our western methods, values and ideals to our efforts to transform a society that we perceive to be impoverished and undeveloped. Consideration of the history and cultural differences that exist and that have influenced African society is essential if we are to have any kind of helpful impact. The west has its own unique history of development, creativity that have contributed to a unique cognitive response. The methods and science that we have come to rely on and that have influenced our institutions have been a part of an ongoing, synchronistic step by step development and realization. Our individual education and cognitive functioning has been in sync with that. This is not necessarily the case with most African and to some degree Asian countries. They have not undergone a the same process if developmental that the West has which has occurred over a period of To expect that they will learn, behave and function as we do in the west is naive and only promotes confusion when enforced. It seems to me that an awareness of our own intentions and perceptions and these substantial differences is essential . The goal should not be to impose our western vision but to help Tanzanians to become more invested in being creatively involved which includes the necessity of empowerment in taking ownership and helping to foster a sense of responsibility for what arises from interactions with western teachers
Understanding differences is essential . The goal should not be to impose our western vision but to help Tanzanians to become more invested in being creatively involved which includes the necessity of empowerment in taking ownership  and responsibility  for what arises from interactions with western teachers.

My Brother

I thought you did a wonderful job as usual orating the funeral. It was nice to see the extended family come together however briefly. Maybe it reflects my role with Dougie but I’m a little bit feeling unseen in my intention and hope to be as supportive as possible of Dougie and mom and Donna over the past few years.

I am aware that I take a risk being open and reflective about my feelings as always, at the same time I don’t shy away in fear of that.

This goes deeper than Dougie. I perceive you to be a very good person and I have no doubt that that is shared by people who know you.

I find it all a bit of a challenge trying to fit into a world that I left behind. My family is the most challenging part of that. The fundamental differences between you and I seems to serve to insulate us from one another more than brings us together and that is just how life goes, wether one is in family or not. I have no bad feelings just a sense of huge difference.

I suspect that one difference is that I chose to explore more the inner depths and to actively open to new experiences in doing that. That continues to be my life and my priority even over family and friends. I leave no stone unturned in speculation and contemplation. Iris is similar and we walk this path together. The funny thing about it is that it seems to have peeled a lot of layers away and I have come to live with my own vulnerability not needing to cover that over. That includes an honesty with myself and others however maybe without the mean overtones. I don’t think Dougie had that one worked out. The poor guy had a huge layer of insulation.

Anyway I want to say that I know that we choose to live in different ways and we may not have much more to say to each other outside of reflecting about the Maple Leafs or Donald Trump. Hopefully there is no bitterness between us. You may think where is all this coming from as is often the response to my openness. Now you know that it comes from within.

Getting Out of the Way

Change is inevitable and it is endless. Knowing this does not soften the difficulty that change brings at times. Resistance to change brings suffering and these days I am more prepared to accept change and deal with that suffering in a more direct, authentic way than I have done in the past. That involves removing of the mask that I have spent so much of my life creating. Ultimately that effects the rapport that I have come to have with many, at times making it more difficult to find common ground. Ultimately these days I attend more to what guides me from within. As an artist I have spent more recent years of my life attempting to develop and perfect a form of expression. I am only now realizing that being authentic has more to do with removing what form I have come to rely on in that expression. It is more about getting out of the way, which involves awareness of the constant work required to move beyond the power of the ego to contract on itself. In that awareness there is the removal of ideas, words and behaviour that block an expression that is inherent.

I, Me and My

Talking about my own experience at times can seem like a self absorbed fixation. The reality is that all we know of the mind, body and world is our experience of them, and experience is utterly dependent on the presence of our self, whatever that may be. Nobody has ever or could ever experience a mind, body or world without their own self first being present. The only real reference that I have to life is my own direct experience.

If nothing else, I have embraced “looking within”; a way of questioning and doubting what has come to me as external truth. I have no way to express that experience accept to use the reference of “I” and “My” aware of the limitation of those conventional concepts.

Essence as a Guide

I seek connection, intimacy and an ability to relate in my friendships. It is not those things in themselves but a sense of “essence” that they enable that is relevant. That is when I intuitively know that I have a friend.

There are so many things in our contemporary lives that distract us from knowing ourselves and in turn our essence. Conventional patterns and habits replace aspects of relating to life and others that allow for a sense of essence in our lives. When our relationships are not of that quality than we are better off looking to silence for that essence, rather than losing something essential of what we are.

A Light of Grace Penetrates the Darkness

It’s has been no easy task to find what is real of existence and to discern what, of what I have been taught and become, is grounded in truth. I now know that I have for so long relied on a contracted sense of self that guided my perceived choices about who and what to attend to and follow. My history of grasping onto things that were quite superficial was fuelled by the reality that I wasn’t ready to be more honest with myself, although there was a subtle awareness that I was lost and that suffering was brought on in that. I was not in a place where I could accurately discern where to turn to find something more dynamic and essential of myself.

The reality of what lay deep within the cave of my heart, that belonged to me alone, would remain illusive until in my fumbling a graceful gradual accumulation of courage, that I did not realize I was capable of allowed for penetration into the depths and enabled a movement towards a more complete embodiment of self than I until than had known.

David Whyte writes that there is sometimes a crisis arising where something essential of us is discovered when and where “it is making itself felt, where the touchable rawness of life becomes part of the fabric of the everyday and a robust luminous vulnerability becomes shot through with the necessary, imminent and inevitable prospect of loss, that has been described for centuries as the dark night of the soul.”

For some as it was for me it was revealed as a rush of feeling and intuition, breaking through the filters and assumed perceptions and falsities of “self”. That embodiment was not of willful choice. There seemed to be no option but to leave the folly I had known and attend more honestly to what I was realizing.