Our weekend was nothing short of wonderful – I feel it’s only fair to state that right off the bat. We spent yesterday afternoon by a pool in a sweet little hotel outside town, lounging around, swimming and reading a book. Today we visited a small family-run coffee farm on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, roasted and brewed our own coffee (surprisingly simple, but very labor-intensive) and hiked through the surrounding lush hills with loads of local kids in tow, topped off by a very quick swim in an absolutely freezing cold waterfall, the waters of which flow down from the volcano’s snow-capped top. Last weekend we went to some “hot springs” an hour and something outside Moshi – more springs than hot – basically a beautiful underwater river that surfaces as a stunning crystal clear pool in the middle of miles upon miles of arid savannah land…
All this fun – and I was perhaps more aware than ever of our privilege in being able to enjoy it – came after an exhausting and emotionally draining few days in nearby Arusha, shadowing the Amani social workers as they did their ‘street work’, socializing with and trying to save street kids from the perils of homelessness, aimlessness and ever-present violence. The whole experience was eye-opening to say the least, but also so much more emotionally and practically complex than I expected. Witnessing the consequences of deep, seismic shifts in Tanzanian society (strained families, broken communities) and abject poverty, and the inspiring and very hard work that Amani’s social workers do to try to help its most vulnerably victims was exhausting, confusing and humbling all at once.
These emotions are still rumbling and bubbling up inside us and I feel we need to give them some more time to settle before trying to do this complex issue justice here on the blog… I owed you an update though and reflecting the paradoxical beauty of this country (and perhaps this continent), the bad and sad will always come with so much goodness and beauty.
Sending you lots of good Sunday evening vibes (hope you like the photos!),