I miss Tanzania
London Travel Blog› entry 12 of 15 › view all entries
I cried so hard when I left Dar. I didn't expect to fall in love with the country, but to an extent, I really did. Combined with the very intense and challenging experiences I shared with this amazing international set, it did not hit me that I was leaving until I was in the taxi on the way to the airport and started crying. And again in line for checkin. And again waiting for passport control. And I teared the entire time boarding the flight.
But the purpose of sharing this is to show how completely unexpected things happen when you take a chance. Every day, I sat with these amazing people hailing from all the different countries in Africa and and Europe and listened to them talk about politics, civil liberties, and they spoke about the world very differently than Americans do. I think Americans tend to think "what can I get for myself out of this life?" The rest of the world thinks "How are we as a global community, faring?" I consider myself very cultured, well travelled and intelligent. But next to these folks, there was no doubt who the dumb American was. I was humbled and in complete awe.
Tanzanians are some of the friendliest, most welcoming people I've ever met. Curious by nature, when a foreigner comes, they treat you with such hospitality, as if you were visiting their home and they wanted you to have a good time.
I miss the noise. The noise of the wildlife and lively people chatting in Swahili. It's a really lovely mix of sounds. I miss the earthy smell. I arrived in London today and sat in a hotel bus with 10 other people. It was dead silent the entire time and when I asked softly to the driver "excuse me, what district are we in?" The girl in front of me gasped and nearly jumped out of her seat at the sound of my voice, as if I had put a live wire up her ass. Man London was not the place to go to after visiting such a beautiful, rich country.
I find myself resolved to go back in one way or another. It was like a fantastic dream that I wish I didn't have to wake up from.
Reflecting on 2006, this past year has been a good one, more or less. I've healed from my traumatic jobs with crazy bosses and I'm in a really supportive environment with two great bosses. (As supportive as a corporate environment can possibly be.) I acknowledge that I am limited in many ways by work and family responsibility. I felt so free and unrestricted there, as if I didn't have to divine everyone's frenetic and disparate emotional states and could speak (but more listen) as I pleased in a safe, nurturing environment with sharp, brilliant and emotionally intelligent people.
All I want in this life is to again hear Ale say "You must try this, it is wonderful!" and Wafaa say "you forgot your razor? I can show you how to make wax!" and Stefano say "The food is terrible. Let's go catch a fish and cook it over this fire." and have Mahimbo make fun of the way I say "awesome" and intonate the word as if he were in an 80's surf movie. That is literally all I want out of this lifetime.