Globalization On the Ground: Health, Development, and Volunteerism in Meatu, Tanzania

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Virginia Tech

AHEAD (Adventures in Health, Education, and Agricultural Development) is a small grass-roots non-governmental organization working in the rural Meatu, District in Northern Tanzania. The AHEAD project employs Tanzanian nurses who provide health education, child weighing and nutritional counseling, family planning, and antenatal services. AHEAD has recently developed a water quality testing initiative in order to combat unsafe water supplies using solar pasteurization. Dr. Robert Metcalf, an AHEAD volunteer offers "expertise" to Meatu through transfer of solar cooking technology. Each summer, AHEAD takes volunteers into this setting who bring with them both "altruistic" and non-altruistic reasons for volunteering, economic and social capital, and a taste of the world beyond Meatu.

This thesis looks at the Summer 2001 AHEAD experience ethnographically from three perspectives: 1) as public health practice, 2) in relation to the contested domain of international "development" , and 3) situated within the larger literature of non-profit and volunteer action research. These three snapshots of AHEAD suggest a project of globalization, theorized as the flow of people, goods, and information across boundaries.

Ethnography, Solar Water Pasteurization, NPVAR, Anthropology of Science and Technology, Water Quality Testing, Approprate Technology, Shinyanga Region, Meatu District, Tanzania, Expertise, Globalization, Volunteerism, Development, Public Health, AHEAD Project