It’s pretty evident that I have been putting off updating. The thing is that I cannot possibly sum up my Peace Corps experience in any commentary that’s worth reading. Nothing witty or awe inspiring comes to me, and that is terribly disappointing.
Leaving Ikuna was yet another Hallmark “Strange Transition.” Due to a slight calendar error the full good-bye party is planned for sometime next month. We managed a half good-bye party which included some songs, poems, dancing and presents…and a few not so brief speeches. It was all very sweet and entirely overwhelming…I’m not too sure what’s going to happen at the good-bye again party. Maybe it will be more like the Peace Out in 2008 party with homemade piñatas and kegs…that would be amazing.
The morning of departure Mama Witi came to see me off and we had a discussion that I feel would make a great independent film. Sitting outside under a cold, gray morning sky, on my dad’s canvas Cabellas bag full of crap we just kept saying to each other every minute of so, “This is a dream…right?” Suddenly I was whisked away in a taxi, and I am sure she believes that I will never return again.
After that I dumped off all of my belongings (which include 4 buckets of various sizes, and assortment of metal pots, and a whole set of mismatched dinnerware) and headed to Matema beach for the wedding of two Peace Corps volunteers. Attendees of the wedding included a bunch of other volunteers, a TZ Rasta man named Goba, a money named Monkey Baby, a random puppy and a crowd of gawking TZs. Naturally. It was absolutely beautiful.
After the wedding I headed to Dar es Salaam to complete all of my final Peace Corps paperwork, and say adios to a lot of the people who came to TZ with me. It was slightly traumatic and awfully scary thinking about being here without them (which really means wondering why the hell I wasn’t getting on a US bound plane too.) The day I finished up my stuff I headed out to the beach for a few days of rest and relaxation in the sun before heading back to Njombe to start my job.
Boom. 4 days later I started my job.
2 weeks later and I’m still here. I’ve been living in a hotel, but will be moving out on Wednesday, if all goes according to plan. On Saturday I am getting some roommates from California who I meet a few months ago in town. They are super jive and I’m excited to see what happens.
About my job. I absolutely love it. Making a newspaper is the shit. Making a newspaper in Tanzania, with Tanzanians, for the people that you have grown to love is kick ass. Sure, there are glitches in the system, and I know that still being here is going to get a bit weary, but I’m game for this, and thus far it’s been a healthy challenge.
Working with educated, informed, motivated Tanzanians could not be more different then the world I just came from. It’s incredibly empowering to me just to see these people in action, and it really makes me believe that good things are happening….good things coming from, and driven by Tanzanians.
As much as I am in love with everything that I see, I keep reminding myself that although opinions stemming from my mind are valid, they aren’t actually that useful, and can be pretty much counter active to the whole idea of what is going on at Daraja. So, I’m staying busy under other peoples direction, studying the psychology of this new, old, newish world, and trying to find the invisible line that links us all, inspires us all, and makes things work...naturally.
(In case you were wondering, I talked to Mama Witi, Baba Eliza and baby Benja on the phone a few days ago. Everyone misses me, but other then that life is as it was.)