Tanzania Bound

Dar es Salaam from the airI’m sitting in terminal three at Dubai’s International Airport. The moving sidewalk beside me sounds like horses trotting on a packed dirt road. Since my 14-hour layover began a several hours ago, I’ve heard the Islamic call-to-prayer twice over the airport intercom system, followed soon after with enticing invitations to browse the duty-free shops that run down the center of the terminal. I should be sleeping, re-setting my internal clock, but the fluorescent lights and ribbons of Arabic that stream from the ceiling won’t let me rest.

I trained for a week in San Francisco, had two days to pack up my bags and say my goodbyes in Athens, and now I am headed for Tanzania. Once I get to Dar es Salaam, I will settle into a homestay and begin work at Tujijenge Tanzania, Ltd., one of Kiva’s field partner MFI’s. I’m en route. I am Tanzania bound.

Tanzania bound. This is one easy way of saying where I’m headed, my destination. But, being an English major in college and the daughter of a poet, my head immediately spins with what other meanings these words might bear…

What does it mean to be bound?

bound1 definition intransitive verb
  1. to move with a leap or series of leaps
  2. to spring back from a surface after striking it, as a ball; bounce; rebound
I’m bounding into this new world, a little reckless and unsure, barely allowing myself to look back. Innovation and discovery sometimes require a leap of faith. I’m making mine.

bound2 definition adjective

  1. confined by or as by binding; tied
  2. closely connected or related
  3. certain; sure; destined
  4. under compulsion; obliged legally bound to accept
I have made a commitment, and I’m bound to it: Tanzania for a year, to study international development at the University of Dar es Salaam and to work as a Kiva Fellow. I will be collecting stories in the field, and must tell them honestly.

bound Idioms

  1. deeply devoted to
  2. implicated or involved in

Tanzania, my heart was already bound to you when I spent two months with you in 2007. After a year, you will be a part of me forever. I cannot wait to taste ugali, to greet my elders with “shikamoo,” to wrap myself in a bright kanga cloth.

bound3 definition adjective
  1. ready to go or going; headed: often with for bound for home
  2. Archaic ready; prepared
There’s no turning back now! I’m already some 7,000 miles from home. I’m ready for this adventure.

bound4 definition noun
  1. a boundary; limit
  2. an area near, alongside, or enclosed by a boundary
What boundaries will I encounter? The cultural and environmental lines drawn around me will be new and unfamiliar. Which challenges will I overcome and which ones will overcome me?

bound- idioms

out of bounds

  1. beyond the boundaries or limits, as of a playing field
  2. not to be entered or used; forbidden
Can there be limits to what the human spirit can achieve? I am hopeful–no, I am sure that some things–love, compassion, imagination–know no bounds. We are all explorers who must fill in the map of the world around us. Every day we can discover a new outer limit to what can be achieved. Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “it’s not too late to seek a newer world.”

I’m on my way, I’m leaping into uncharted territory, I’m committed to this mission, I’m tied to the place, I’m challenging the boundaries…I am Tanzania bound.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. plimptonnati says:

    words are incredible. as is the dubai airport. fantastic post.

    1. rebeccacorey says:

      Thanks, Jeff! The Dubai airport was something else… but 15 hours there was way too long :)

  2. cheryl says:

    Praying for you this morning, sweet girl, as you begin your journey…..though I really think it started twenty-three years ago. Can’t wait to see the mark you make in this world. Love you!

    1. rebeccacorey says:

      Thank you so much, Cheryl! I wouldn’t be here today if not for truly wonderful people like who who helped me grow!

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