A Piñata Full of Desire and here I find my guts on the ground. Better nab it before it’s no more cause this Desire is laid flat out dead on the floor.
What I mean to say is that life is a grand parade in celebration of something absolutely wonderful that I have yet to be informed of, so I will just stand on the outside and cheers to its passing me by.
No, no that’s really not it either. This piñata full of Desire is defiantly in it to win it. Grabbing life by the horns, sucking on the marrow and consequently choking on the bone. Things here have been totally unplanned, unpredictable, and pretty damn good in total randomness.
A few weeks ago, after the disaster of an event that I planned and planned and tried to execute but was totally unsuccessful at the last possible minute, I decided that it was time to go to the dentist about some serious teeth problems that I have been having. So, I abruptly headed to Dar and ended up crashing a big Peace Corps meeting of different representatives for all of the areas in TZ we have volunteers. What started as really sore tooth turned into 2 cavities, a mouth guard for sleeping, a few crazy nights and a hell of a good time. I then took the 12 hour trip back to Njombe and back to Ikuna and was in the village for 5 days before VAROOM off again back to Dar to pick up Mike from the airport. Mike is a friend from high school who came to crash TZ just cause he knew he could. Sarah and I traveled together to Dar and after Mike got here we met up in Zanzibar.
Mike and I stayed in Zanzibar for 2 nights which included: one 2 hour ferry ride, one crap hotel room, one Ocean Virgin finally meeting the ocean, a lot of translation (and probably feeling lost in it), one day on Spice tour checking out the origins of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, random fruits, papaya liquor, cardamom, and other, one day spent in the company of a bunch of wacked out Europeans, one night with Rasta men at the bar, one day of walking through a maze of tall white buildings and row upon row of ancient wooden doors leading somewhere awesome, one cotton candy machine, ¼ liter of fresh street dates, 3 plates of spicy rice, who knows how many beers, 4 man sized freezers stuffed with homemade chocolate popsicles, one phone call to America to wish my pops a happy birthday, one American girl who knew what was going on (or doing a good job pretending), one American boy who didn’t and was being a trooper.
After Zanzibar we went back to Dar (via ferry) and then woke up early the next morning to make way to Iringa. After a 6am bus ride we got to Iringa around 3, cleaned up and went for food. Mike meet Huruma who is finally studying at secondary thanks to help from his Peace Corps buddy Ben and some moral coaching from me. They hit it off. We had an early night because the next day we planned a safari to Ruaha National Park. We headed out of town around 10am in our own car with a driver named Felix, who was just the bomb. We got to the park around 1 and spent the rest of daylight trying to track down lions. We found giraffe, hippos, charging elephants, wart hogs, birds of all color shape and size, impala and moneys. When we went to the bandas that we had arranged to stay in the lions were waiting for us…well, they were about 2 football fields in length away from the tin bandas and an elephant was checking out our sleeping area when we pulled in. The whole set up was right next to the river. After some food and a quick phone call we busted out the Captain and watched the stars and listened to the sounds of wile animals…in the wild. I don’t even have words. The next morning we got up before 6 and headed out to watch the sunrise. We saw lions attempt hunting as the sun broke the horizon. We pissed off some more elephants and tramped through the alligator hang out during the peak of rainy season. We climbed a baobab tree and walked a rope bridge and I sat in lotus on the roof of a Land Rover trekking through the African bush in the glow of mid-morning light and just enjoyed the hell out of life. Around one we left the park and got back to Iringa just in time for some cleaning up, dinner, and Friday night drinks with some of the best Tanzanians that I know.
What I have learned is how much I have forgotten. Swahili is not just a language you can pick up in 5 days, nor is TZ culture or understanding that things are always strange. Mike was a little overwhelmed by it all so decided to take a vacation from the vacation and spent yesterday in Njombe catching up on rest, breaking from this crazy life and gaining perspective before I take him to Ikuna to get down to the real heart of this whole country- Tanzanian villagers and Mama Witi. That’s happening in a few hours, but I thought I’d give a little update. Thus far all is fine, I’m ready to stop traveling for a little and just be in Ikuna, but I’m still gaining perspective, I’m not watching the parade go by, oh no, I’m in it and loving everything.