I was given the task of writing the journal entry for our volunteer team today, and I though that I would share what I wrote with you all. (And I’m taking advantage of the available wi-fi to post as much as I can before we actually arrive at our final destination!) Each daily entry includes an “inspiration” which is any quote that has significance to the author at that point in the adventure. Here’s what I wrote:
“The whole pace of life and personality of the people who live among them are different. They’re not too busy to be courteous. The hereness and newness of things is something that they know all about. The discovery is a real find.” — Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
As I sat in my bed reading this book last night, wrapped in mosquito netting, I found myself reading this particular excerpt over and over…it almost jumped off the page at me. This quote has special significance because it puts into words how I feel about the Tanzanian community that I have experienced so far. Everything that we’ve seen and experienced is like a precious gem: the smile of the young kids as we waved to them along the road, the delicious food, the breathtaking scenery, and the incredible animals. Our journey today was very enjoyable…the 10 hours flew by with so much to see and take in. Our encounter with the baby elephant was definitely the highlight of the drive for me (we were about 5 feet away…it was incredible!) Lunch was fantastic; the hotel we ate at had tons of choices and we feasted on chicken and grilled tilapia. Before we knew it, we were driving through Mikuma National Park, where we saw impalas, antelopes, elephants, giraffes, buffalo, zebras and baboons! Still holding the title of the most eventful moment of our trip so far was when Mohammed avoided two fighting baboons who ran in front of our car! Baboons here are like white-tailed deer are in NoVA…EVERYWHERE! But I’d rather see a baboon than a deer any day. Not long after we sat in awe and watched the sun set behind the mountains, we arrived at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel was AMAZING: fresh chicken, Tanzanian rice, and steamed vegetables, all served with a mouth-watering sauce made from carrots and pumpkin flowers.
I’m very excited to spend the day in Iringa tomorrow, and experience as much of the area as we can before we take off for our final destination….Pommern! I can’t wait to see where we’ll be staying, and to meet the members of the community. I thank God for our safe travels so far, and pray for continued safety and to support and encourage us all as we become part of the community in Pommern. As Edward very eloquently said…Tanzania is home now!