Karibou Tanzania

Jambo! (hello)

I am here and it is fabulous. The funny thing is that it’s different, but yet I feel at home. Perhaps it is because I see every country in this one country. When crossing from Kenya to Tanzania, I saw the mountains of Poland, the donkeys of Spain, and even the land of Wisconsin. People are just like people everywhere. Everyone eats, sleeps and tries to maintain their life in between. There are the poor and the extremely wealthy. I suppose the only difference is that I am in a place many are afraid of, many pretend or forget of its existence.

People here are extremely friendly. Yesterday, I met a babu, a grandfather, who took me out for drinks and a discussion about religion. It was a fascinating conversation. He made some Ugali, a traditional African dish that you eat with your hands. It wasn’t as spicy as I’d hoped, but delicious nonetheless. His son will teach me how to make it this week. I participated in a procession with him, honoring the Body of Christ which was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced in my life. The music, the dancing, the adoration on people’s faces, dissolved any thoughts my tired body had of hiding from the hot sun.

I am still unclear about how 5000 people can sing all at once and be completely in tune and sound as if they have been practicing for months.

They taught me to sing “Bwana Jesus Anakuita uje kwake daima millele” (We call to you Jesus to come be with us forever).

Today, I learned that I am a legal intern for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Joyous and unexpected news, but it seems that I walked in at the right time and spoke with the right people. Now, I have access to all the buildings and have a nice little identity card that lets me in all the chambers(court rooms). Also, I have free Swahili and French classes because of my wonderful card!

I believe that I will take a safari in Ngorongoro this weekend and perhaps even the Serengeti. Apparently, green mamba snakes can rise as high as six feet and they chase the jeeps. One bite from one of those has enough venom to kill 10 people. Next week, we head to Kigali, Rwanda and the following weekend, we hope to meet with Father Kazik in Tanzani in a smaller village about 7 hours from here.

For now, a toast – Maisha merefu to the first few days here which have been some of the most spectacular…