Archive

Volunteering

This little lady follows us to work every morning. We call her Twix.

This little lady follows us to work every morning. We call her Twix.

Life has found a new(-ish) groove here in Moshi with a move to our very own slice of suburban heaven, walking distance from Amani, in a slightly rough-around-the-edges-but-still-friendly area called Soweto (yes, that’s the same name as the notorious Johannesburg township). We’re sharing it with two of the other Amani volunteers, Jay and Annmaree (last featured in this wedding post) and finally have an en-suite bathroom (yay!), real windows (double yay!), proper water pressure (ah, how I missed you), and yes, the ultimate ‘piece the resistance’ in a tropical country: air conditioning.

We’re also now back to cooking and cleaning for ourselves (normal life, I know), and it’s actually so refreshing to be in control of our of environment again, and to be able to move around without calling a driver (a slice of the non-normal life that you can actually afford here) and to go to and leave work as we please, usually with our new doggy friend in tow. Walking to work we must end up saying ‘Mambo’, ‘Habari?’ or ‘Shikamoo’ (the three key greetings, used depending on the age of the person at the receiving end of it) at least 20-30 times. We get just as many stares – or even outright wonder – when kids scream out ‘mzungu’ (white person!) and run to us to say hello/bye/good evening. Though people here are shy and rather reserved, they’re also unfailingly warm and welcoming. They take the time to acknowledge each other (as Kristy said over dinner tonight), to make that connection – even if it’s with a stranger and even if it’s only for a fleeting second…

Read More

Advertisements

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Our Amani friends are fantastic – sometimes shy, a little reserved in the way that teenagers often are, interesting bordering on mysterious, and most of all fun – but today we had the distinct privilege of hanging out with some little ones at a friend’s project called Kilikids, a twenty minute drive outside Moshi. It’s …

Read More

IMG_5838Part of the reason for coming to Africa and leaving all the secure and seductive trappings of life back home – even if only temporarily – was to buy some time from incessant busyness and tiring obligations, take a breather, and approach life with a new level of calm and acceptance.

As anything in life, it’s turned our rather harder than the deceptive simplicity of ‘taking it easy’ implies. Although our mornings are lazy, our days just busy enough to stay challenged and engaged but not to get stressed, time still flies and the mind wanders. As we pine for a holiday or plan our next restaurant outing, something within scrambles for a plan to anchor time without really, truly appreciating the here and the now. Even in strange, alien Moshi the hypnotic lull of routines, peppered with the incessant need to plan the future, can prove irresistible.

Time may be on our side, but it isn’t always so easy to realize, to really understand that the experience is right here and right now. These wonderful, inspiring kids that we have the privilege to hang out with will soon be just another distant memory; this whole experience will fade into the past, occasionally revisited with the help of pictures and funny anecdotes… Not doing our best to appreciate it right now would be a huge disservice to us and unfair to everyone around. But it’s so much easier said than done.

Read More