September 13, 2012

Hi, all.  It’s Wednesday evening and the electricity just came back on.  It has been off most of the day from what I am told.  This means that the doorbell for the gate doesn’t work so you had better knock hard!  And as to my Internet, well, it’s Africa.  My plan was to end on Tuesday so I extended for a week, or so I thought!  I lost the connection yesterday and am waiting on Mautwa, Elizabeth’s cousin, to take me to the store.  He’s the one finishing med school, so I will kindly wait!

I look around at all that I have seen.  There is soooo much to take in.  I compare things here to yester-year of America.  Only the main roads are paved, all the rest are dirt, meaning most of them are dirt.  So when its rainy season – they all readjust themselves!  We have driven almost on our sides a few times!  Oh!  And the inside rearview mirror – it is positioned in every vehicle to look at the driver.  I’m not really sure they know what its for.  A little scary . . . . And then there’s the honking.  For EVERYTHNG!!!  They honk so much you become oblivious to it.  I think the honking compensates for the interior mirror?

They say the people here are soooo friendly.  I think they are friendly, but no more or less so than in the US.  I obviously stick-out so people are always trying to con me or have me buy something.  Take that out of the equation, it’s about equal.  I am very grateful that Christina’s family, and now Elizabeth’s is very friendly.

I had to laugh the other night – Elizabeth pulls out a plastic tennis racket, so to speak.  Only this one is battery charged and zaps bugs!  How cool is that??  And with the mosquito issue here, just how cool is that??

I just learned that Tanzania was only given independence in 1961, a very short life so far.  Elders believe it was better under colonialization than it is now.  I hope it changes.  I have been told repeatedly that there is great corruption in the government, and people are afraid to speak out, but it is slowly beginning to change.

And speaking of government, all you see is Obama’s face everywhere!  They believe he is going to save the people of Africa!  And they don’t want to here anything negative about him.  Sorry Cassie, but they believe he has totaled fixed America and that’s why we are all rich.  If you can assure me that is what is in store, he’s got my vote!  Many, many, many boys have been nicknamed ‘Baracka’ due to him.  All in all, President Obama has definitely impacted Tanzania!

The tropical weather here definitely impacts a person’s attitude and outlook.  You sweat non-stop and then add-in the dirt roads.  The need for improved infrastructure is great here.  I wish I understood more of the government issues, but we were told not to really go there and never criticize it, so, ok, I won’t.

As hard as it has been, I have seen 3 different ‘levels’ of life here.  And simply, it’s just hard.  We have so many things and they lack so many things.  Like today – I washed my clothes in the tub outside like they do.  I didn’t mind it, but the washing machine is a lot nicer!  But I also know there was a time in America that we were ‘Tanzania’.  There is a lot here if they can find the leadership to direct them!

It’s time for bed; I have an early class tomorrow.  I have to say, the family dog, which is part of the security, slept outside my bedroom window last night.  Makes a girl feel very comfortable!  Oh, yeah, he’s a Shepard.  😉

and so sorry – internet would not allow a picture today.  😦

 

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3 Responses to September 13, 2012

  1. yalandarose says:

    we really don’t know just how much we take for granted!

  2. Cassie wagner says:

    Funny about Obama! But a lesson that we are pretty naive to what perceptions the world has of us. Especially this week with the anti- American uprisings. Many people around the world don’t understand that if a citizen makes a video, it doesn’t mean it’s government sanctioned or approved. Such a basic freedom we take for granted and they can’t even fathom it! Stay safe…I’ve been tracking you on the map compared to where all these protests are popping up.

    • You are exactly right – I’ve had a few of my friends here text me looking for better understanding. Let me know if I need to be concerned – I leave the 27th for the Serengeti which I think will be safer than where I am. Then 10/3 to London. I do hope things settle down with all of this!

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