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.
This story begins with a woman sitting on a long, plain, wooden bench in an ordinary room in Kayanga town. The room was once painted a yellow-tan color but has since been decorated in scuffs, scratches, and dirt. The paint is rubbed off in places, and the ceiling is home to handfuls of wasps, migrating from their main colony to smaller ones nearby. The woman sits with her feet firmly on the concrete floor, her back to a wooden door latched with a silver and gold padlock.
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.
“The cloths are brightly printed and worn together in jangling mixtures that ring in my ears: pink gingham with orange plaid, for example. Loose-joint breaking-point colors, and whether you find them beautiful or find them appalling, they do make the women seem more festive, and less exhausted.” -The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
This blog entry is part of an ongoing series from Amizade’s semester Service-Learning course in Tanzania. Today’s entry comes from Katie Wozniak, a sophomore biochemistry student at Duquesne University. Since coming to Tanzania, death has slapped me in the face three times
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.
Think for a minute about something you have that you take for granted every day. You probably thought of something like water,food, or shelter. These are all necessary for existence, but what about other things like having the opportunity to receive an education or have a job where your safety is a priority?
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.
Two weeks ago, we – a group of 8 students from universities across the United States—arrived in Kampala, Uganda. Each of us carrieda different story of how we found ourselves half-way across the world. As we have moved to our new home in rural Tanzania, our stories have begun to weave together, and we continue to braid in the new strands of all the people we meet.