Calendar Home
Previous Day

October 20, 2003

Next Day
Our last day in Africa so we want to make it personal. John Ottaru (we met him on the train ride across Tanzania) invited us to his home and we gladly accepted. First he gave us a tour of Dar es Salaam, his hometown. While he showed us around, he talked about his life and how he struggled to free himself from a broken home, pay his way through college, and then find a job with Tanzanian railways. He's also an entreprenuer, running a chicken farm and planning to start his own consulting business. He tells us, however, that's it's difficult for Africans to obtain bank loans. He says, matter-of-factly, that the banks only loan money to Indians. We wonder if Indians would agree that they have an easy time in Africa.
John's surburban home in Dar es Salaam, designed by his architect wife. John juggles several jobs and an extended family, so we wanted to peek at how he holds it all together.
The kid must have played a Vulcan mind trick to beat me at homemade checkers.
In Tanzania, employment opportunities are scarce. John has become a legend in his family by running several enterprises at once, such as keeping over a thousand chickens in his backyard. No wonder his relatives come to him and seek employment (and eggs).