Where On Earth Is Tanzania?

Where on Earth is Tanzania? That’s a very good question and new media producer and member of the Sydney Twitteratti Stilgherrian is about to find out. For a while now, Stil (who appeared on the Erk Pod going away episode 174) has been mentioning #TOTO on Twitter and preparations for it.

So what is #TOTO? It turns out that Stil had a mission to go halfway around the world to Tanzania to help create a blog network for the locals and to experience life in a third world country in Africa, Project TOTO. The trip is in conjunction with the charity Action Aid Australia who are trying to use Stil’s knowledge and experiences there to increase the awareness of the situation in Africa.

South Park fans might remember an episode where the boys wanted a Tekio sports watch after seeing an advertisement on TV and ended up with an Ethopian boy they dubbed Starvin’ Marvin. In the end, Cartman sees for himself what it is like to be hungry in that environment. I wonder if Stil has seen that episode?

He has been doing his research (by watching that episode of South Park? Who knows?) and getting physically and mentally ready for the trip. He has been gathering supplies and working out what will work and what won’t. How will a man who is heavily attached to technology, gadgets and the interweb in inner western Sydney going to cope on the other side of the world in a totally different environment? Through his blog, we will find out how he goes with the technology (or lack thereof), the locals and the weather.

Before he left, I gathered with other members of the Sydney Twitteratti to farewell Stil in what was called the “Going Away And Maybe Not Coming Back” party. A few of us took part in this farewell video filled with useful (and maybe not so useful) tips, suggestions and good wishes. I thought he was going for a long time which was hard enough but he has to travel, set up, get used to the climate, report back and then come back in an 8 day period. As if the challenge wasn’t hard enough! Assuming that all goes well, you can follow Stil’s adventure via his website and Twitter @stilgherrian. He departed Sydney without incident on Friday 27 June 2009 and I hope to find out more about the adventure for Erk Pod when he returns.



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