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Friday, March 02, 2007

A Picture Should Be Worth A Thousand Words of Blog

I know, I know, it has been two weeks since I posted. I'm actually working on three separate blog entries at this very moment - but work has been so crazy busy (spilling into my evening hours) that I haven't had an awake moment to sit and finish a blog.

So rather than sacrifice my high standards, I thought I would go ahead and share with you some visual images of the things I'm working on at the moment.

(Plus, my mom has been on my case to explain why I've been so hard to reach lately.)

We in the Communications Department at T-MARC are launching three new campaigns in the next seven weeks. The materials I am about to show you are still in progress, mainly because there are some graphic design issues to still work through.

Mama Ushauri

A week from today we re-launch a family planning radio soap opera called Mama Ushauri (Mama Advice). Mama Ushauri takes place in the fictional peri-urban community of Goromonzi where three storylines take us deep into the lives of one couple that is delaying their first birth, one that is spacing, and one that has reached their ideal family size. Perhaps it doesn't sound very exciting at first look, but trust me, I've applied my General Hospital credentials to this one. There's a lot of shit that goes down in Goromonzi, but no evil identical twins back from the dead.

This is the invitation to the launch event we sent out today. The wife of the Prime Minister is our Guest of Honor, as well as the Director of USAID.

(This is where I'd be showing you the invite - but I can't figure out how to turn an Adobe Acrobat file into a jpeg that will be accepted by Blogger. Come back and visit on Monday to see the read thing.)

And here is a poster advertising the serial drama. We are not so happy with it - but only had a week to put out a request for bids, award and execute this. They will be better next time.

(Same problem.)
Sikia Kengele

At the end of March we are launching a faithfulness campaign (values courtesy of the US government) called Sikia Kengele: Tulia na Wako - translated as Listen to the Bell: Stick to your partner(s). The launch will be in a community that is also a popular truck stop about 2 hours from Dar. Our guest of honor will be the retired President of Tanzania, Ali Hassan Mwinyi (we want Muslims to feel that faithfulness is for them, too), the pentecostal bishop I've mentioned several times before, the Director of USAID and others. This initiative actually has a really neat implementation plan. I don't have time to tell you about it now, but it involves commissioning a brass fundi (yes... they exist) to create a set of Liberty Bell-esque bells. Stay tuned for a future blog about bell ringers and giant bell shows.

Here are some of the posters from the collection. Targeted to men... the theme is: She takes care of you, don't bring home HIV. Be faithful. Listen to the Bell. Stick to Your Partner. It sounds better in Swahili. Trust me

Doesn't this make you want to stick around and get it at home instead of going out for it?

Vaa Kondom
And finally, the Communications Team hat trick is to launch Vaa Kondom (Put it on, condom) in April. We are still waiting for word on if the President will launch it for us, but we are hopeful. This is the biggest of all the three initiatives I'm sharing with you today. We are going to launch in Tunduma - which is way the hell out of the way - on the border with Zambia - so we will be chartering airplanes to get all the dignitaries out there. But, places like Tunduma, where truck drivers sit for up to one month waiting for their customs papers to clear before they can cross the border, is where we find our audiences for the initiative... truck drivers, bar girls, sex workers, mobile business people, police/customs officers, etc. We'll be implementing outreach to these groups and doing activities in bars, etc. HIV rates are very high among these groups. Where HIV is about 7% nationally, it is up near 78% among bar girls in certain regions.

Here are some of the posters/billboards from that campaign. They feature Tanzanian sayings and are meant to be discussion starters - for those long rowdy nights when you are hanging at the bar with a group of working girls and their tricks.

And finally, I just want to say that in addition to these new initiatives, work also goes on as usual. If you've lived or worked in the developing world you'd know that "life goes on" in a euphemism for "I attend meetings".

Here is a photo that appeared on page 5 of the top English language newspaper yesterday. The cameras here love me.

Or rather, they love my boobs.

What kind a photographer takes photos from this angle? Even Angelina Jolie wouldn't look good!

And there you have it. I'm busy. But I haven't forgotten you. Three fabulous blogs will be coming your way soon.

P.S. I hate the so-called "New Blogger". The settings keep changing on their own. This entire blog was written online. There should be no changes in line spacing. In the editor all the line spacing, layout looks great but then when I push "publish" it all changes on its own. Someone who understands Blogger, please help me figure this thing out. It has been driving me batty!


Anonymous Becky said...

Its about time someone targeted a faithfulness campaign to men! you go girl (or girls, or women, or whatever team developed this).
who ever knew that watching soap operas in your youth would be marketable in your public health days?
thanks for sharing, especially the great (not) photo! what a riot,

6:30 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

You make me so proud every day. I love that line "she takes care of you/don't bring home hiv." Like people have to be reminded why giving someone they love a fatal disease is naughty-naughty.

I'm swamped too but email me about blogger and if I can't help you maybe I can find you someone who can...

7:50 AM  
Blogger suburban dyke said...

So now, "you can ring my bell" means ringing it only at home. Loved the blog entry. I can't wait to hear more about the soap opera. Great.

Nice boobs. Was the photographer a midget or did he just like the upscale view?

Re new blogger, I like it. It needs two hard returns to create a space between paragraphs. You can cut and paste from Word. You can use it in html or just regular. Once you get the hang of it, you'll like it. Hang in there. I owe you an email.

5:58 AM  
Blogger Mothering Mini said...

Hey Hal -

Great post! I don't like the new blogger either. But, like all things, I'm sure we'll get used to it.
Chat soon!

4:32 PM  
Anonymous The Car Geek said...

Great endeavors you had there... I know more and more people or lives will be benefitted by this iniatives... By the way I was one of those persons who has recieved on of your campaign while I was transacting my push bars on a truck stop about 2 hours from Dar... I also shared this thoughts to my friend that has been using sex workers for their pleasure... All the best... Godspeed!!!

7:03 AM  

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