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Africa

Meet the Tanzania team

Adrian Kriesch and Julia Hahn travelled to the north-western tip of Tanzania for DW. What impressions and memories did they bring back from their investigations in North Mara?

Adrian Kriesch (pictured above): "Every European who visits Tanzania knows the word "mzungu." That is how many local people call their light-skinned visitors. But I have only experienced the phenomenon of literally seeing the dollar signs in peoples' eyes when they see foreigners when I was in North Mara. I studied in Tanzania and have visited many parts of the country. What was new to me this time is that many people on the road asked me for money when I was just out for a walk. Everything revolves around money. I had the impression that the wealth from the natural resources can change the mentality of a whole society."

DW reporter Julia Hahn Bilder Deutsche Welle, Julia Hahn, November 2012

DW reporter Julia Hahn

Julia Hahn: "I visited Tanzania for the first time. It is a country with an extremely positive atmosphere. "Hakuna matata" (no problem) is a phrase that I heard several times a day. Even if the problems were more than apparent, like in the gold-rich region of North Mara. Two worlds co-exist here: Inside is the mine and its employees, who live in plain but well-equipped bungalows and receive several meals a day in the cantine. They work in shifts and get leave every few weeks. If they want to leave the mine, they fly out in the company's charter planes. They are therefore spared the six hour-drive to the nearest airport along a dirt road. The outside builds a stark contrast - it harbors the world of the intruders, the villagers. Some of their huts are so close to the mine that stones from the mountains of debris roll down and hit their house walls. They have no electricity and no running water. The mine can always be seen, from their front doors, the place where the children play football, the market. They are constantly reminded of how rich their country is and how little of this wealth is theirs."