There are no things of my familiar life here.
Not the food, not the people, not the culture, the driving, the landscape, the heat.
The first day of this experience has meant more to me than many of the 25 years I've spent in the different spaces of my life. Here i am Mzungu, it means 'someone who walks in circles,' and slightly durogatory for 'white person.' All the children who smile, wave, and yell, don't let me forget that there is no such thing as blending in for me here, and its great. I have never been stared at so much, i have never been the minority. I have never been in the presence of someone who may have never seen a white person in the their life before me. I feel priveleged and honored, to be receiving the love of these people who would not know what to do with the amount of resources i have had my entire life, and still their furrowed brows and harsh gazes evaporate instantly with a smile and a wave, returned as quickly as they can before we pass out of sight. With my three words of terrible mispronounced Swahili and a smile, I have never been so welcomed.
I was priveleged enough to be invited to and witness a rural marriage ceremony as a community welcomed a couple to their new life by expressing their love through dancing with their gifts as they presented them. The ceremonial 'cake' being a roticery cooked goat, with a mouthful of leaves, which they feed to their closest friends and relatives first.
I can only hope that the first 12 hours my time here are an indiator of continued safety in insane traffic, warmth in the equatorial sun, and surrounded by the huge personalities and smiles that make up the Tanzanian people I have so far encountered.
Thanks for looking,
yes, there are goats tied to the top of that tanker truck..