Juulia Klemola - International Relations

Making graduation thesis in Tanzania

Juulia Klemola comes from Helsinki, Finland and is currently studying international relations at the University of Tallinn. Back in the autumn of 2010 she needed to decide where she was going to do her internship for her school. She was determined to go abroad. Quite soon she stumbled upon Art In Tanzania (AIT).

Klemola got in touch with AIT’s Director Kari Korhonen. Besides her internship, Klemola wanted to finish her graduation thesis about European Union development aid in Tanzania.

“Korhonen thought that the information I would get for the graduation thesis would also be very valuable for AIT.”

Klemola is enjoying working for Art in Tanzania because it's interns have a lot of freedom.

Creating sisterhood

Tanzanian women are immensely reserved and they do not tend to connect with strangers. Art in Tanzania’s (AIT) women’s group project gives a few Tanzanian housewives some moments for themselves. They form a bond of special sisterhood which separates them from their normal lives. Klemola works in the group as a volunteer.

“For example, we teach English and HIV awareness to the ladies. We also teach them anything which can help to provide for their families. Helping them to help themselves is without a doubt the best moment I have had in Tanzania”, Juulia Klemola, 27, says.

It's not all work

The burning sun of Dar es Salaam has traveled to the other side of the horizon. Crickets are creating night time noise in Bahari Beach, where AIT’s volunteers and interns live. Klemola is petting AIT’s unofficial pet dog's brown fur.

“All the little moments, like a visit to a local kiosk are very unique. You cherish them in a way you would never do back at home.” Klemola ponders as she scratches the dog's head.

In Bahari Beach, Dar es Salaam, those kinds of little moments make life very special. The burning heat, the culture of the Tanzanians and completely different surroundings create a cocktail that you want to enjoy every last drop of.

Juulia's life in Bahari Beach is not reclusive. There is a beach and she can go anywhere on the dala-dala. Dala-dala is share taxi which is a very popular form of transportation amongst Tanzanians. There are also loads of other interns and volunteers.

At first Klemola thought that Bahari Beach would lack some basic luxuries which are required by westerners. Nothing is missing, some products are just more expensive than others.

“For example shampoo costs 8000 shillings which is about four euros.”

In Klemola's opinion you do not need to be an experienced traveller to go Tanzania.

“Do not panic. People here do not really differ from us. And you do not need to prepare for every kind of mishap by packing loads of equipment. Most things you will need are available here." She adds reassuringly.

Additional information