With the week getting underway, some semblance of a routine is starting to form. I was thankful for a fairly unstructured weekend to acclimate to the area and recover from the week of goodbyes and travel, but now it feels good to have some structure and purpose brewing.
I say brewing because in Tanzania things move pole pole (slowly slowly) and yet can change very quickly. For example, today I finished the 20 minute walk to school just to be told to join my two housemates home because the immigration office has issue with our visas and ‘work’ at the school. So no more ‘work’ for now. And the day was spent in the V4Y house catching up on reading, chores, and conversation on the mess that the new Tanzanian president is making of volunteer immigration. I’m sure more on that story as it develops.
For now here are some tidbits and photos to give you an idea of my comings and goings thus far.
I have really enjoyed getting back on an early morning schedule! For the first time in years I happily get out of bed around 7am, get ready and have some leisure time before breakfast and starting the day. Waking up to the housekeeper, Naomi, noisily rising around 6am to start the cooking and cleaning, I lay in bed listing to the sounds of the day outside my window.
The sounds and the smells are the two things that most prominently remind me that I’m back in Africa. Noise is a given here. Often it seems locals don’t even notice – buses and motors screaming and honking past, dogs barking and cows mooing, children screaming and playing, and people talking at volumnes often very unnecessary.
The smells are harder and more unpleasant to describe. To put it simply, I don’t really notice smells all that much in America. I notice them constantly here. It’s a pungent place.
And a quick note asking for prayers or positive vibes to the Tanzanian government. Apparently the last year with a new president has left many things like immigration in a state of flux and confusion, making things very difficult of a lot of people. I may be getting a glimps into what our country may feel like if I were an American immigrant who doesn’t speak the language or know the expectations of travel/immigration. Here’s to the human condition.