A(nother) Letter Home

 Dear friends, It gives me so much strength and hope to see you all fighting back, through the things you post, the rallies you attend, and the thoughts you share. I really hope that in this moment we can not only fight the immediate threat but also realise that we have the opportunity to build…

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…

‘Mungu Ibariki Afrika’ Guitar Tabs

Versions of this song are the national anthems for Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa. After several unsuccessful online searches for the guitar chords, I tried to figure them out myself. Corrections welcome! Mungu Ibariki Tanzania C                          G    C Mungu ibariki Afrika C                 F      C    G Wabariki Viongozi wake C                          G  …

swahili proverb

Hoping without struggling is like waiting for food in an empty pot.

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…

This is Recovery, This is Healing.

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” -Louisa May Alcott Since my accident and subsequent return to the United States, I’ve been doing all I can to avoid slipping into a catatonic stupor or mindless depression induced by bed rest and boredom. The pile of books that…

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…

Climbing Kilimanjaro

“I wonder if there’ll be another time as good as this.”-Ernest Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro Before a few days ago, the snows of Kilimanjaro were for me more like clouds than anything else. Maybe just a little brighter as they shone with reflected sunlight from their heights above Moshi, Tanzania. I made the decision…

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…