Tanzania Team 7

Tanzania Team 7
At the Morogoro Regional Commissioner Office

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Our hard work, dedication, and excellent team collaboration really paid off!

On Wednesday, October 5th, sub team 1 successfully delivered a one and a half hour presentation and presented the Tanzanian Post Master General with a 60 page document detailing our recommendations-- including some steps TPC can take today to receive immediate results in their journey to successfully becoming a multi-agent service provider and to fulfill their social obligation to the citizens of Tanzania.

Our final deliverable was well received by TPC, our local NGO-- Digital Opportunity Trust, and IBM management! I will greatly miss my IBM teammates, the representatives from DOT, my IBM Tanzanian colleagues, and of course, all of the amazing people we met at TPC and during our travels in Tanzania.

Wearing our TPC hats

Saying good bye to our TPC friends from Morogoro

Friday, 30 September 2011

A Child called Nema

Nema, learning to walk
This is Nema. She’s 3 years old going on 4 and she's spastic. She's one of some 500 disabled persons that the Amani centre helps. The Amani centre in Morogoro was started in 1992 under a mango tree by a woman with a disabled child. It has come a long way since then, with 3 branch offices. The main branch has a few buildings erected with the help of foreign governments. It is run by a fulltime staff of 15 people under a Director, and volunteers help out.

 Nema's mother lives far away but she is staying for 2 weeks at the center with a younger child to learn how to care for Nema. The single qualified physiotherapist at the centre is helping Nema to walk. She's made good progress, according to the physiotherapist, who rattles off a long list of disabilities that the centre handles.
Benjamin, 15, is a paraplegic
Some 20 students are resident at the centre, but most students are day-care. The centre takes care of them so their parents can earn a living and also tries to rehabilitate those who respond to physiotherapy. And of course, they get to play with other children.
Disabled or not, these kids can dance! 
The CSC team visited Amani centre on Sept 30, bringing gifts for the children. We met the Director, toured the facilities and met the children. They ranged in age and disability: the Amani centre accepts all kinds of mental and physical disabilities.
An IBM balloon gets the squeeze
The IBM balloons were an instant ice-breaker between the children and the team. It became quickly apparent that kids are kids – they love a good time, they love toys, they love a little affection and they have lots of energy. What started out as community service became full-time play, subdued only at lunch which the IBMers hosted for the school – pilaf rice, beans, beef curry & vegetables.
Aremi administers a little TLC 
No less important were the ‘computer lessons’ for the staff and volunteers after lunch. Aenna had done a great job assembling a slide deck with pictures from all the countries the CSC team came from. Many of the staff seemed to have never had a hands-on session on a PC.
Aenna runs an impromptu computer class
It was a satisfying day for the CSC team – although our time was limited, it was well worth the effort for the reward of brightening up some children’s lives for a day.

Lee Yu Kit, Subteam 3

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A Day of Polishing and Perfecting

Sub-Team 3 spent the day refining, revising and refurbishing our final report to our hosts. Each of us took charge of a different section and utilized our various skill sets - all of which couldn't be more diverse. We will come together later to standardize our formats - both linguistically and technologically. (I never realized that Word comes in an "Asian Version" with characters I've never seen before until I edited some of Yu Kit's text.) We will have to align all our inputs to come up with a unified whole but that shouldn't be a problem. We have learned so much about e-Learning in the short time we've been here that each of the five of us could probably teach a course on the intricacies and pitfalls of e-Learning policies and guidelines. As we head into the final stretch, we also have some additional activities planned in the outside world. Tomorrow we head to SUA University to give a presentation on IBM, the Corporate Service Corps and some of our Smarter Planet offerings. Friday we are going to do community service work for most of the day at the Amani Center, an orphanage about 15 minutes from Morogoro. More on our experiences later...


The Mid-Term review on Sept 26 at Dar Es Salaam

The whole CSC team returned to Dar on Sept 25 in preparation for the mid-term review on Sept 26 with their respective hosts. COSTECH hosted us to a traditional dinner at an African cultural center, and invited some of the students from their incubation programme.

The students were bright and personable, young men with a shared vision for a better Tanzania. Their projects were varied, ranging from mobile phone data backup to online sites for selling native craft.

On Sept 26, Subteam 3's mid-term review went off more smoothly than we'd hoped, but it was a packed day with a couple of interviews thrown in.

The CSC team were impatient to leave Dar at 4pm for what we now consider 'home' - Morogoro. The journey tool 4.5 hours, thanks to the traffic leaving Dar, and rain along the way, but a cheer went up for the bus driver when we finally turned into the driveway of the Arc hotel - and the cool and quiet, fresh air of Morogoro.

The hotel staff were as happy to us as we were them. And the next day, Chef Arnold organised a buffet lunch which we enjoyed at our favourite spot, in the open verandah of the restaurant, the inspiring sight of the Uluguru looming in the background.

Life is good.
Lee Yu Kit, Subteam 3.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A Firefinch this morning ...

I first saw this bird on a morning walk with Raghu, Yu Kit & Taek. From then on I was looking forward to a chance to capture this little beauty. I made my first successful attempt this morning & was able to get close to this bird after almost 30-40 minutes of following up.

The Red-billed Firefinch is 8-10 cm in length. The adult male has entirely scarlet plumage apart from brown wings. The bill is pink, and there is a yellowish eye-ring. Females have uniformly brown upper-parts and buff underparts. There is a small red patch in front of both eyes, and the bill is pink.

Surrounding areas around our Arc Hotel is full of avian life. There is so much to see, enjoy and capture.

-Munish Kaushik

Monday, 26 September 2011

We are on the same page, will keep you 'posted'

We, Subteam 1, have just 'delivered' our midterm presentation to the Tanzania Posts Corporation. In an 'envelope' ... It was an absolutely 'registered' success!

Subteam 1 is going from strength to strength, the client executives excpressed their appreciation of our work and said:

'we are impressed with a job well done so far',

'The methodology the IBM team is following made it possible to identify the real issues, the behind facts and findings in such a concise and clear manner, we look forward for the recommendations'

At this stage we confirmed we are on the same page with the client, we are ready to start working on the recommendations.

We got the 'stamp' of success!


#IBM Tanzania

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Uluguru Mountains

Here’s a picture of the Uluguru Mountains as seen from our hotel. It is a gorgeously scenic mountain range, topped by Lupanga at an elevation of 2100+ masl.  We work from the Board room, and just outside is a verandah with this view.  To top it all, there is a constant breeze from the mountains.

The mountain has many moods – bright and majestic as in this picture, sometimes dark and brooding with its upper range hidden in dense clouds, riven by lightning. After the rains, temporary waterfalls appear on its sides.

Lee Yu Kit, Subteam 3.

The Making of an African Woman...or Rather 3 African Women

Sub-team 3 was busily working away Friday when we got a call from our host in Morogoro, Veronica Mpazi. Veronica told us she wanted to stop by our hotel right away. We knew she had been in Dar es Salaam the day before so we figured she had information that might be vital to our heath care project.

Instead, Veronica was bearing gifts for us from Dar – and what incredible gifts they were! She had heard us say that we had wanted to have some African garments made to take home so she arranged – unbeknownst to us - to have these made at her dressmaker. Wow! We really made a splash with all the staff at the hotel. We might need instruction on how to properly wear the head scarf – but we were thrilled to have our hair tied up on a hot day. Such practical – and beautifully made – clothing. And we were overwhelmed, once again, by Veronica’s generosity. It only makes the team more determined to make progress on our project, both for the students of Morogoro and for future generations of learners.   


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Ready for the midterm review?

Sub-team2 is working with Tanzania Police Force in Morogoro. We had many useful discussions with them.
Now we are preparing for the midterm review in Dar es Salaam. Today we had a checkpoint meeting with our main stakeholders in Morogoro for the review!

#ibmcsc #Tanzania

Workshop at the TPF Morogoro
Checkpoint meeting
TPF officers and Sub-team2

-Aya Tomie

International Dinner!

Yesterday Munish cooked Indian cuisine and Aenna cooked German soup!
They were really delicious. We enjoyed our international dinner very much.

Munish is cooking Indian dessert
Looks nice!
Buffet style
Enjoyed dinner and wine

-Aya Tomie

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Another Day...Another Insight

Sub-team 3 had another good day today as we endeavor to craft a viable roadmap for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to use e-learning as a tool to train health care workers. We had an insightful meeting late in the day with one of our hosts, Veronica, who  - as always - was incredibly gracious with her time. Each time we see Veronica and her team it's like we're meeting old friends with lots of greetings and handshakes.  And we are gearing up for Monday's mid-term review in Dar es Salaam,  trying to schedule a slew of interviews while there under tight time constraints and at the same time, making sure we have all our facts and details in order. The next few days ahead should be key as we get deeper into the details - and as TaekYoung keeps reminding us to "think MECE" - mutually exclusive collectively exhaustive - or maybe she means exhausting?

On top of everything, we were lucky enough to witness the most incredible sunset over Morogoro...pictures please Munish! (He is busy cooking dinner for us all tonight...)  


We Have the Power

Sub Team 1 has been working with our host, Tanzania Posts Corporation (TPC) for almost two weeks now and have learned so much.  As a reminder, our task is to position TPC as a multi-agent provider.  We have narrowed our focus down to four main issues in agency services, international courier services, financial services and product offering consistency across the country.

We have conducted dozens of interviews, have received over 40 surveys and have gathered many data points.  We now have the power to take these data points, consolidate them, and develop findings that address the issues we are focusing on.  We will present these during our mid-term review on Monday in Dar es Salaam.  That is what is keeping us so busy now.  We are primarily working out of the hotel and gobbling up the broadband connection.

It is an exciting time – our team already has several recommendations in our minds and we are looking forward to further developing these in anticipation of our final report.  I’m amazed that we are already working towards the mid-term review.  Where has the time gone?

"We Have the Power" - An international fire hazard, indeed

The team learns about one of the payment systems used by TPC

- Andrew



Our five-person sub-team team was tasked to "Conduct an 'As-Is' analysis and provide strategic recommendations for the improvement of the traffic systems."  Other then magnitude and severity of the gaps, I have been surprised how much the actual engagement has been fairly similar to a standard road-mapping project back in the US.

The challenges faced by the Tanzanian Traffic Authority are substantial: over three thousand Tanzanian’s die each year on the roadway, a startling number given the countries size and low rate of vehicle ownership. From an economic perspective, traffic accidents waste an estimated 4% of Tanzanian’s GDP.  Highways, traffic light grids, overpasses, and tunnels are virtually nonexistent, at least in the form present in developed or even growth countries.

Despite its problems, Tanzania truly is an amazing country. The town we are being hosted at, Morogoro,  lies at the foot of a mountain range, about 30 miles away from a national park from which one can see zebras, giraffes, elephants, wildebeests, and even the odd lion. Our hosts, the Tanzanian Police Force and our partnered NGO, digital opportunity trust, have been nothing but gracious and engaged. Other Tanzanians have been similarly hospitable and welcoming. There are a lot of challenges facing this country (the entire countries GDP is around 20B, and 6% of the population is reported to be HIV positive), but with a bit of help in the form of knowledge, investment and instructional resources it is not hard to see a country like Tanzinea entering a period of strong and equitable economic growth.

To give an example of the hospitality we have encountered, I want to share an anecdote- someone at home brought to my attention that an advertisement for our hotel mentioned a complementary bottle of wine. I mentioned this promotion to our program manager, who mentioned it to the owner. The owner apologized, saying that the promotion only applied to people purchasing suites. Three hours later, the owner's wife calls our program manager, and says that she felt bad for us not being able to collect on the promotion. As a result, she gave each person on each of the three sub-teams a bottle of wine worth around 35$, or 60,000 TZ Schillings. This has been typical of the exceptional treatment we have received.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Putting Our Swahili to Good Use

Sub Team 1 hit the streets of Morogoro today to conduct a survey to better understand Tanzania Postal Corporation's customers. Unlike my approach -- head down and walk as fast as possible when I see a surveyor coming towards me -- the citizens of Tanzania were gracious and more than happy to fill out our survey (and provide feedback on my Swahili pronunciation in the meantime). 

Asante Sana citizens of Tanzania, I promise to take your approach on the next surveyor I come across. 

Explaining the importance of our survey

Hassan hard at work

Aremi conducting her 1st survey
- Kelley Hadlow

Monday, 19 September 2011

Morogoro Region's School of Public Health

CSC Sub-Team 3 had another great day at Morogoro Region's School of Public Health where we met three of the tutors (teachers) who are on the front lines of crafting Morogoro's e-Learning vision - and hopefully the nation at large. Elizabeth Kiula, Sister Aloysia Masoy and Jafari Ally Mussa had just finished an e-Learning course three weeks ago and were enthusiastic about how e-Learning can be successfully deployed to build the numbers of health care workers in Tanzania. While team member Fiona Robertson was talking with Distance Learning Director Sister Aloysia, a man arrived who had come from a rural area to claim his hard-earned diploma: his six-year studies by postal correspondence course had finally paid off with a full-fledged degree. It was an inspiring story - and a real-life example - of the importance of the work we are doing here. Just imagine the resources saved (including photocopying reams and reams of paper) if students could train via the myriad methods of e-Learning, which include using a combination of flash drives, DVDs, web-based services or other media to carry out course work. We are all very inspired to help the tutors and administrators build capacity and get more students into the healthcare learning pipeline.

-Debra and Fiona

A Day in the Park - And What a Park!

Yesterday we went to Mikumi National Park, about 1.5 hours from where we're staying in Morogoro. We left the hotel in darkness around 5:15 AM (admittedly a difficult job for some) in order to best view the animals in their natural habitat. And what animals we saw! I know the lion ranks high on everyone's checklist of "must see" animals while in Africa but I thought the lone baby warthog was truly amazing. Maybe Munish "Mr. National Geographic" Kaushik will post his photos some of these fantastic creatures on our blog. We were just feet from the lionness and thankfully, it was too hot for her to move. But the experience of being so close to these magnificent beasts was wonderful.



Saturday, 17 September 2011

Assistant chef from India

Munish spied a favourite dish on the menu and when discussed with the our friendly head chef Arnold, the decision was made that he would demonstrate the Indian way of preparation and cooking. Tanzanians become serious when having a photo taken, but the smiles on the chef's face when we were done was enough thanks for something that really was a fun experience for us.

I introduce you to Arnold, our very caring executive chef

Arnold is a fast learner!

Munish takes over the burners....he can't help himself :-)

just a few final instructions......
and Arnold takes over to finish it off (under Munish's watchful eye!). And the final result was PERFECT!
hope you are enjoying our updates!