Trip Start Aug 23, 2005
21Trip End Sep 09, 2005
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· Whew - lots more walking!
· A beautiful day that never brought too much sun.
· I visited a remote mountain village where the mud huts are built to be like separate rooms for each hut. They are more solid & roomy than I'd expected.
· We visited a primary school where they teach the children agriculture to prepare them to make more money than their parents
· I visited a university of forestry which teaches agriculture & plants many trees & crops throughout the region.
· We picked up another American woman who is doing a dissertation on community/government projects.
· We climbed a mountain which took me deep into the jungle where the kalabus black & white monkeys reside. It was my first time to strap on my ugly hiking boots. I so prefer my lightweight flipflops!
· I returned to the hotel covered completely with clay dust. It took a couple hours to clean all my clothes by hand in the sink! I don't think I did a very good job!
Today I learned:
· Poverty is a hard life, but it can be lived very richly.
Today I met:
· Arian (American student)
· Steiner (American student's husband)
· Kwaheri (goodbye)
· Sawa (it's ok)
· Kidago (a little)
· Unasamade (beg your pardon / say again)
· Usa is a river - not U.S.A.
Today was a whirlwind of more tours in the conservation projects of Osotwa, led by coordinator/guide John Ole Daniel. It is amazing how much this group has accomplished in a short amount of time. I had my horizons broadened a bit when an Arizona State student joined us for the last couple hours of walking through the plantation jungles, where the colobus black & white monkeys live high in the treetops (along with baboons & blue monkeys). Arian, the student, is doing a dissertation on how community based projects work with NGOs & governmental entities. She said the corruption does go quite high in Tanzanian government, BUT the people are very enthusiastic to make changes. It is a David/Goliath scenario where David seems to be making a big dent in the forehead of the giant powers that be.
We hiked very high into the jungles of Arusha National Park where it borders with the plantation projects where the very poor villagers are given many crops to plant & harvest along with planting many trees. It seems to be a very ideal cooperation that is working well. Win-win.
At first I thought people were begging when we passed by & they put their hands out, palm up. Then I realized they were trying to hitch a ride, as my driver confirmed to me. Rural people do not have any transportation other than their feet. As impoverished as most of the people I have seen & met are, I believe they are very rich in ways many of us are not. Every day they look upon the most beautiful scenery imaginable. There is not one place I have visited so far which lacks a gorgeous view supplied by Mount Meru. They also are very rich with family & friends. They depend upon each other in a good way. And their faces are always quick to smile. They are happy people, despite that most do not even have the money to buy seeds for farming. Every day is a struggle, yet every day is a blessing.
I took precautions about health & wellbeing before coming, & I am glad I did. I met another American today who has been here with her husband since October 2004. Since being here, she & her husband have had many illnesses & infections. I am hoping I can avoid that, especially since I am here such a short time. It was very expensive to receive all the shots & pills needed, but hopefully worthwhile. So far I feel VERY healthy. It seems I am always quite spent by the day's end, & I fall asleep easily, but then I do not need as much sleep as I normally would, so I wake up early. I have to get used to this new rhythm.
I sang into my computer very ugly & loud a gospel rendition of "THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE" to make rehearsal tracks for my church - it was odd because this hotel has open walls at the ceiling so that everyone can hear everyone else. There are no other guests tonight as far as I know, so not as bad if I'd tried last night when safari travelers were here.
Now the dogs are barking & fighting outside again...