Monday, November 3, 2014

Finding Myself - Far Away

Here I sit, legs stretched out before me, cooled by the breeze blowing in from the open window writing a post to my blog on my faithful Surface. I am grateful for the WiFi that is supposedly included in our room charge; but that is mostly elusive.

I have to pinch myself. I am in the land of the red dusty roads, lavender blooming jacaranda trees and smiling, welcoming faces. In amongst the visiting, volunteering and exploring there has been time for reflection - something that was not in such abundance last year when I was here. And there is much to reflect upon. It makes me wonder if we must travel far to learn what is indeed inside us; to learn where we need most to go. Must we travel far to see ourselves as minuscule pieces of a whole?

When I travel here under the guise of volunteering, I am fully aware that this is really my post secondary education. I am learning much about this special place and the people who call it home, and I am learning so very much about myself and my place in it.

The people we eat our meals with at this bed and breakfast offer intelligent, stimulating conversation and we have covered the gamut of topics: ISIS, violence, war, social structures, religion and the role of the church, human rights and of course, sex.   New people come and go every day, people of different nationalities (Dutch, Belgium, German, Swedish, Italian, to name a few) and perspectives.

And today we are more than half way through our visit to Moshi. There are only a few days to finish up our projects with our respective groups and attempt to settle issues that can enable us to continue in a productive fashion when we return home.

I have many unresolved issues and unanswered questions... such as where do we international volunteers fit into the grand scheme of things; are we contributing to creating a culture of dependency and/or robbing Tanzanians of self direction; and how can we make sustainable differences and contributions to this spectacular country?

I don't mean to ramble. I guess I am realizing that we really aren't that special. But we are fortunate.