All throughout intermediate and high school, I considered myself a concert rat. At least once a month my friends and I would head down to Mr. Smalls or Club Diesel, usually being the youngest people in the crowd, to see one of the many bands we were infatuated with. These venues usually consisted of shoving crowds, mosh-pits, and crowd surfers. I’ve had my fair share of crazy adventures to faraway shows and completely ridiculous happenings, but none of these memories compare to our recent quest for Tanzania Bongo-Flavor Pop-Sensation: Diamond!
My resume now includes: milking cows, hoeing weeds, fetching water and carrying it on my head, peeling green bananas, stiring ugali, cutting grass with a scythe, sewing with a foot pedal, cooking chai, hand washing clothes, blowing a blacksmith’s fire
Honesty and “Productivity” Didn’t Fit In My Backpack: The screams of the crows outside my window woke me up; I was a bit disoriented and my head felt as light as an air balloon. It was a Sunday morning and I was feeling the punishment from having too much fun the night before. My room was a warzone; a combination of clothes, readings and books covered the floor all the way from my bed to the door.
Have you ever wondered where your food comes from? Do you know the farmers who grow it or the chef who cooks it? When going to a restaurant in the United States, one rarely has the chance to meet the chef or see the kitchen. Knowing the farmer who sweat over the crops which make up that meal has also become increasingly difficult in our complicated consumer economy. I do not know if I will ever have a relationship with a chef or farmer at home and as clearly see where my food is coming from, like I do here.
March 18th was a beautiful morning with sun and a cool breeze. Seven students and two teachers climbed into a boat heading to an island off the Bukoban coast to visit the burial site of ancient kings. What they were not aware of however, was how this boat ride would be like nothing they would be prepared for. As the long, wooden fishing boat set off from the coast a line of swirling black clouds approached at high speed.
Be it funeral, wedding, or Sunday service, every time I enter a church, a silence sweeps the crowd as all eyes turn to stare. More than a few “mzungu ” (white person) are uttered under breaths as the ushers scramble to make sure I get a real chair and not a bench off to the side but in the front so that I’m visible to all.
Today, March 22, marks the 19th World Water Day and there is a lot to celebrate! In the past, World Water Day has been a time to raise awareness about the millions of people who do not have access to safe drinking water, and while there are 783 million people who still lack access to safe drinking water, we would like to take today to recognize the incredible progress we have made on this issue.
Most secular study abroad programs do not have regular discussions about religion. Our group consists of diverse religious believers in a country where asking about religion often comes before learning someone else’s name.
Think about the absurdity of a lifeguard being afraid of water or a kid drinking a hot cup of coffee in the middle of a warm summer day as he plays with the sand in a crowded beach. The reaction that most of you would have if you actually encountered such paradoxical scenes should be a fair comparison to the feedback and reactions we got as we planned and prepared for our camping trip to a mountain two hours away from our guest house.
I’m sitting in our comfortable bed in the Sleep Inn Hotel in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania’s capitol), with an air conditioning unit providing a cool environment while I watch Kung Fu Panda on a flat screen television. We have come a long way from Karagwe, and have enjoyed traveling along the tourist track followed by thousands of visitors each year in Tanzania.