Thursday, October 4,2012

WOW!!!  What a time I have had over the last week.  It was tough leaving my host family – they are really good people.  But I was ready to go.  Honestly, the heat was debilitating.  By 7:30 or so, everyday, that sun was blazing and only got hotter as the day went by.   It makes you exhausted.  You hit a point in the day that you just need to stop and rest.  Or sleep.  It messes you up.  And moves you to becoming a bit lazy.

And I think I referenced to Tanzanians being so laid back and lateness being an issue.  Well, after talking with actual Tanzanians, they explained to me how it’s not so much laid back as the issue of transportation.  Due to very little paved roads and so, so many people, everything is congested and you just cannot get from one place to the next.  It is very frustrating for many people, but no one has a solution.  Other than the obvious!  Which takes me to the point that no matter what, I have learned ALOT Tanzania and its people.

I met a girl Wednesday morning from London as we were waiting for our flight.  She too was a volunteer, but with another agency.  We talked specifically to the point of EXPLOITATION.   And that reality that many/most of Tanzanians are just that, exploited.  They know things are not good, education is minimal, but they know there is more out there and they want it.  Which makes them a very vulnerable population.  Anyone in a position of authority seems to be too willing to take advantage.  This young lady told me of how the director for her program has 3 Macs, 2 iPad and a couple of iPhones.  Yet the “organization” had no money for supplies for her program.  It is a mess in Africa, a very hot mess.  We both are glad we came, but very disappointed in what we witnessed.

Side-point — the young man who needed to get to university made it!  We got the loan paid-off which allowed his mom to get the larger loan for his college.  Keep him in his prayers that things continue to go the right direction and Tanzania will have one more doctor!

Safari.  What can I say . . . . it was tiring, exhilarating, exciting, fun, amazing, cold.  Yes, cold.  We  went into a crater left by a now defunct volcano.  And we went early in the morning and it was cold!  It warmed as the day went on, but that beginning!  I saw a porcupine and 3 black rhinos amongst many other animals.  The black rhino is almost extinct so that was very cool.  Every park I went to I was fortunate and saw many, many animals.  And I met and chatted with people from all over the world.  Even the group from Pennsylvania!  There was a young couple from Japan, on their honeymoon, too cute.  And then there were the 4 French guys.  I spoke a lot with the one and he made a very simple, accurate point.  “Its Africa”.  And sadly, he is exactly correct.

For Tanzania, what an unbelievable experience.  There is no way anyone can go there, for an extended time, and not leave with greater humility.  No, it is not a 3rd world country, but within itself it goes the full spectrum with a large portion being 2nd world.  We complain ALOT in the US and I think that’s OK.  We want and demand.  But we really do not know what it is to go without.  When I  got home last week and found out that Elizabeth had Malaria, I was furious.  Here I am with an original prescription of 150 pills to take to prevent me from getting the disease, and I got them for free.  YES, for free.  And here she is with no healthcare, no prevention.  Just the meds when you do get it.  And for Elizabeth, this was her second time.  And then trying to teach a lesson to 3rd graders where most of them were without pencils.  So I bought them.  Then it took over 15 minutes to sharpen them because all they have are those little junkie sharpeners, or a blade.  They were in awe when I told them we have ones that you can mount on the wall and it does all the work in less than a minute.  If you want to change a little bit of the world, please let me know.  I can direct you.

I am working on a cyberspace place to put all my pics so it might be easier to view.  Will let you know as soon as I have that!  I left Wednesday morning for London and then onto Italia on Thursday.  London was very cozy, but expensive!  But I will go back someday!  And for here in Italia — I am sooooo excited!!  I love this country!  And the volunteer who greeted me and showed me around, Crus, well, I will tell you about her next time, but what an outstanding young lady.  She has been here 6 months so knows the ropes and did a great job showing me.

Sorry so long!!!   For now, ciao!


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