July 16, 2011

religion is crippling tanzania

Forgive me for engaging in silly hyperbole, but to some extent I do believe this is occurring in Tanzania. I think even those of use that are Christians, if we observe the situation long enough, notice that it is inhibiting progress. Progress of what, exactly?

Well, as an educator myself, I make the argument that religion is inhibiting intellectual progress. It isn't difficult to see; at my school, we have 2 class periods (80 minutes) on our weekly schedule set aside for "Religion." We also get out 80 minutes early on Fridays for those that practice Islam. Four class periods out of the weekly 40-some doesn't seem like that much of a sacrifice, but I think it does do damage when students are trying to figure out how the two, education and religion, should coincide and fit together. I like the way C.S. Lewis puts it:
Nowadays most people hardly think of Prudence as one of the "virtues." In fact, because Christ said we could only get into His world by being like children, many Christians have the idea that, provided you are "good," it does not matter being a fool. But that is a misunderstanding. In the first place, most children show plenty of "prudence" about doing the things they are really interested in, and think them out quite sensibly. In the second place, as St. Paul points out, Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence: on the contrary, He told us to be not only "as harmless as doves," but also "as wise as serpents." He wants a child's heart, but a grown-up's head. (Mere Christianity, "The Cardinal Virtues")
In other words, "religion" is not an excuse for being uneducated. In Christianity, it is quite the opposite.

July 14, 2011

it's coming: the archipelago

I was going to wait a few more days before I posted this trailer, but I'm just too excited to share! I know it's been a while since I promised footage from my vacation, but editing and sifting through 8 days worth of HD video on an under-powered 10" netbook is actually quite difficult. Hopefully this will tide you over until I can put something long-form together. Share and enjoy!

July 4, 2011

personal reflections: budgeting the future

This entry comes from the free ramblings in my private journal.

Written on July 3rd, 2011
One of the things I've loved about my time here in Tanzania is the walks into town. It's a rare occasion that I don't enjoy them or feel like they're wasted time. There's always something to think about, something to ponder, something to figure out. It's actually because of these walks that I'm feeling the need to write these thoughts down.

Today I thought about the situation here in Tanzania in relation to development, and the role of foreign aid in that development. I reflected on what kind of impact I've made in my year and a half, and if it has benefitted Tanzania at all in the grand scheme of things. I thought about this because of a friend's exploits to stay another year in a much different capacity than a PCV, and because of my own curiosity as to how much time and energy someone needs to give in order to really accomplish something for the people of Tanzania.