Unpacking the Past

About a week ago the five month anniversary of my motorbike accident in Tanzania passed by with little more than a sigh, as if a wind blew in Africa and rustled the leaves of a tree where I once sat, and I thought of its broad limbs at that exact instant. The sight of the…

Expats

(editorial note: I’ve decided to start posting some of my short stories on this blog. When I do, I will inform my readers. The following story is fictional.) On a hot day, Tom and I take the ferry from the downtown dock to the south end of Dar es Salaam, where a ribbon of beaches…

Volunteer Alliance Ambassadors

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, only with what you are expecting to give, which is everything.” -Katharine Hepburn In 2007, I co-founded an organization called Volunteer Alliance with a small group of inspiring new friends and co-workers in Tanzania. We wanted to start a movement of empowered and…

Will You Walk With Me?

This is a story about life in Dar by my dear friend Mwemezi Rwiza. Please visit his blog or facebook page. *** It is heavily raining in the city of Dar es Salaam. Roads have become rivers and cars are barely moving. Public transport is almost stalled. Daladalas (city buses) are either too crammed up…

Never Name A Pet That Might Kill You- Part III

Killian, our inimitable Kilimanjaro guide, had come to Dar as he promised and visited me the day I fainted in the market. When he arrived at the apartment I was lying down, still colorless and weak. “You gon’ be alright, I know it,” he told me. “Hakuna kisanga, dada. I feel real bad this happened…

Never Name A Pet That Might Kill You: Part II

I woke up from surgery stuck in my head. I couldn’t feel my body, or anything physical at all. I was only aware of my own consciousness, floating in a warm, black space. I had no memory, no sense of identity, and no knowledge of the world’s existence. It was extremely calm. I wondered how…

Never Name A Pet That Might Kill You: Part I

It all started with my underwear. Or lack of them. Don’t take that the wrong way, it’s not how it sounds. I know, it’s a strange way to start out talking about a near-fatal accident in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on my back in a puddle with my neck on the curb, my motorbike mangled…

Goodbye Babu.

Yesterday I sat at my computer for most of the day, angry to be locked inside writing graduate school papers while white sand beaches and Dar’s infinite adventures waited just outside the door. I checked my email every so often, looking for a distraction. In the small gmail chat box, I saw a name appear…

The First Quarter

A fourth of my year in Tanzania has passed. Three months. I never felt like a small-town girl til I lived in the big city. But Dar es Salaam is big in a small way. Goats clop along busy city streets, chickens ride the buses tucked under the arms of tired women, children roll tires…

The Paradox

Last week I turned in a paper for my State and Civil Society class in the Masters of Development Studies program at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM). The prompt was: Analyze the paradox between the World Economy that is continuously internationalizing and the world political systems that are compartmentalized into separate nation-states. Choose…

Krismasi Njema na Heri ya Mwaka Mpya!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! This is the first year I’ve been away from home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My thoughts have been with my family and friends at home even while my body has been here. Leading up to the 25th, the heavy heat of Dar es Salaam pushed the holidays to…

Merry Christmas!

So far, this has been a terribly serious blog. Yet as the Christmas season approaches and I melt in the 90 degree heat of Dar es Salaam, I’m feeling the need to lighten things up a little. As adapted from a chain email from my big sister, see the following list of fun things to…

Ali, the Taxi Driver from Bagamoyo

On Wednesday I met up with some American and British interns and volunteers for dinner at Zuane, an Italian restaurant here in Dar es Salaam. It’s located on the Peninsula, an area of Dar full of expats, hotels, shopping centers, and fancy restaurants. Most of the Westerners I’ve met live in this area, they know…