Just Breathe (And Drink Your Coffee)

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Crazy how the weeks just pass. I wrote the last blog post a week ago and it’s suddenly Sunday again. As we’ve gotten settled in a routine here it’s become just like it is back home: Mondays morph into Fridays in the blink of an eye. But I wonder if it’s a product of age – doesn’t time just fly faster and faster as you grow old – or familiarity? Maybe heat plays a role too – doesn’t the predictability of each hot and sunny day play into these patterns that make our brains forget about time, about the fleeting uniqueness of each day, each passing moment?

And how can you slow down this proverbial train? The funny thing is that although we’ve of course been thrown off course by this profoundly humbling and deeply invigorating experience, leaving behind all that was comfortable and cozy back home, even dusty East Africa has become so familiar, so normal that our brains only wake up to the craziness of it all in moments where something extraordinary happens: like when Boogie had a positively ancient local doctor tell him “Una malaria, rafiki yangu” last week (“You have malaria, my friend”, and don’t worry – after a serious course of Malarone B’s oddly mild form of the big bad M seems to have been defeated and we’ll have it checked again next week).

And in a way as we approach the end of our trip we’re getting ready to say our goodbyes to everyday Africa before we get completely absorbed by its hypnotizing ways and seductive slowness. The heat’s been intense in these past weeks as the beautifully warm but crisp mornings inevitably turn into relentlessly hot days. As we mentally prepare to say goodbye to this mysteriously charged, life-affirming, happiness-inducing, yet completely maddening place, we try to absorb all its goodness in our minds and in our memories. We try to make sure that we’ll always carry a piece of Tanzania with us: a piece of this beautiful country that will see us through even the toughest and coldest spots back home…

Three weeks to go until we head back home. I’m trying to play out our return in my head but truth be told there’s no way of knowing how we’ll react to being home again. We’re obviously  really, REALLY looking forward to being with family and friends again, but how will being in Switzerland feel? How will the beautifully efficient, über-organized, cultural-buffet table that is Europe strike us after six months in kind-of-the-opposite? Will it be a relief or a reverse culture shock of the highest order? Or will it just feel like we’re back after a weekend away; like this half a year was just a strange, drawn-out dream?

I’ll do my best to pick up the pace of the blog again in the last three weeks; to write about all the things I still want to write about, and to reflect on all the things that still deserve more than a fleeting thought and a passing line (recent trips, Amani kids, corruption, our travel library…).

In the meantime, I wish you all a happy, peaceful and relaxing Sunday afternoon. It’s not my favorite time of the week but it’s a moment like any to just take  a moment, breathe and enjoy the small things in life. Like that delicious cup of coffee you have right in front of you.

-K&B

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