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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Haraka haraka haina baracka

Back in the states. Let's talk about culture shock. Not because I particularly love the phrase, but because this is much more of a "culture shock" to return than it was to arrive in Tanzania.

The cars go so fast.
So many traffic lights. (There was only ONE in all of Arusha.)
I feel naked wearing a dress that comes to my knees.
I can eat ice? and lettuce?
I can use sink water to brush my teeth?
A bottle of water costs HOW much???
How is everything so clean? Why is everything so clean?
Are you really in that much of a hurry?
Pennies are so small and skinny. The dollar looks weird to me.
Money is just paper. Where does it get its value? Why do people lust for it?

Here, Life is no longer LIVING; it is a game that can only be won if you have money.

August 1, 2009
10:04 a.m.

I am sitting in the Amsterdam Schiphol airport, totally alone. Talk about "culture shock" ... where is all the dirt on the walls? the toothpicks? the pole pole? "Everyone is so haracka here!" We just wanted to wander. Everything is so sterile and clean and EVERYTHING HAS A LABEL. "Lounge" "Perfume" "Chocolates" "McDonalds" ... whaaaaaat is going on. So much to look at, so much to buy... it's utterly overwhelming. Walking home at the end of the day, the only things you could buy were mahindi or machungwa ...

There are so many people I didn't get to say goodbye to... I can't think about it or I'll cry. And the people I did say goodbye to, those I will miss so much. Warda, Frida, Agatha, Lucky, Bless, Ibrahim, Levina, Fauzia, Noor, Zahir, dear dear Lashma... and so many others. You are all so very precious to me and have taught me so much. You are all truly so kind and welcoming. Your smiles are my smile.


Haraka haraka haina baraka.
Haste haste has no blessings.

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