So I have been back at the UAACC for about 3 weeks now. During this time I have been learning more about the free internet service that is provided to schools and other organizations around Arusha by Habari Node. (I will be getting more information about it and how one could support their projects of getting more village communities connected to the internet.) As part of my job to help these schools and the internet providers I have been working with the students at the UAACC and soon with other schools to set up a blog that can be run by the students. The blog will allow the students to help supporters see what they are doing in school and how the internet access is benefiting their education. It is also an opportunity for these students to learn how to use a blog since many of them are musicians and artists.
Also since I’ve been back I have noticed a lot of changes that have slowly been building up since my trip began. Being out here for so long has made me a much more independent and self-reliant person. I was in a situation I disliked in Zanzibar and was able to change my trip to a more comfortable situation. This change also got me traveling around Tanzania more as I had to take a ferry to Dar and then a bus to Arusha. These travels allowed me to see more of Tanzania and to see how easy it is to get around the country. I am actually planning to do a couple weeks of traveling around Tanzania, Uganda and Nairobi, a week in Zambia and Zimbabwe and then another week in Ethiopia. When I first came out here I didn’t think I would be eager to do all this traveling on my own but now I am feeling very comfortable and excited to be here and get to experience the wonderful people and places out here.
While being out here I have also adapted very well to “African” time. Most people are late to appointments anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 days later. And most people understand this and have an attitude that things happen and everything will get done eventually so most people don’t stress about the time delays. Most of you who know me know that I like to stick to a strict schedule especially after all the years of softball where you always had to be to events early. But I am fully enjoying this laid back time scheme out here. It allows you to take care of what you need to and not feel stressed when things get delayed or don’t work out the first time. I’m not fully sure how I will adapt back to the American time scheme when I get back.
I feel like I am maturing on this trip yet also feeling the youngest I have felt in a while. After just graduating from college I felt somewhat old because I had accomplished that and had senior standing, but out here almost everyone I hang out with is at least 5 years older than me if not 30 years older. It has been great to be able to hang out with people across a wide age spectrum and to get to learn from everyone’s different experiences and knowledge. I am maturing and aware of it and yet I feel so young and with so much ahead of me. It is a very cool feeling.
Well I will continue to report as I continue to have wonderful and insightful experiences out here.