Days of rest are really quite useful. We get our schoolwork done, and get to rest in this different place, with its unique features. Hopping around the world has given me a new perspective on these places. Different languages, different cultures, and completely new environments are around every corner. Sometimes I just watch the world, and observe as time goes by. It is amazing how different parts of this one, minuscule planet in the vast multiverse are so different, with only borders to separate them.

We’ve been to many places, in Europe and Africa so far. It was interesting to observe how Spain and France, or France and Italy are very different places. They share borders, but don’t share customs.

Tanzania goes along with that too. Tanzania has its own way of life, and its own way of dealing with things. It may not be the richest or fanciest of countries, but it is magnificent here. There is so much to do, and so much to learn about Tanzania. It is similar to Morocco, in the way that the streets are often quite chaotic, with people walking in the streets as cars come rattling by. There is a certain vibrant, alive feeling that just blows in the wind. I am talking about Morocco compared to Arusha. It is hard to describe. The donkeys and carts came by in Morocco, while the dala dalas and vans came by in Arusha. In Morocco and in Arusha, it didn’t really matter if I stepped a foot off the sidewalk and into the road. Everything was too busy. Every single second I was in the streets of Fes, Marrakesh, or Arusha, I was constantly TV surfing, switching to channel after channel after channel every time I turned my head.

I felt very at home in Arusha. I felt very safe (opposite of what I thought before coming here) walking through the streets, just watching and slurping up yet another unforgettable experience. The people of Sub-Saharan Africa have adapted to have a darker skin color because the sun here is very hot and bright. A lot of the kids who were playing in the streets greeted us continuously, because they were curious about how we act. I wonder what they thought when they saw us, and noticed how we were different.

It is true that we stick out when we walk around, and I feel like a big beacon, sending a beam up into the clouds high above us, telling everyone that we are here. That gives me some empathy for the African-Americans that live in the US. But I feel quite comfortable. People smile and greet us warmly, which is what makes me feel so at home here in Tanzania. We have learned about the greeting standards here, and other interesting words:

Jambo: Hello

Mambo: How are you

Shikamu: Hello for elders

Karibu: Welcome/You’re Welcome

Kwaheri: Goodbye

Poa: Good (Basic equivalent of a thumbs up)

Asante: Thank you

Sana: very much

Asante sana: Thank you very much

Hapana Asante: No thank you

Tafadhali: Please

Pole pole: Slowly

From the Lion King:

Hakuna Matata: No problem

Simba: Lion

Rafiki: Friend

It was very fun re-watching The Lion King, and that time observing Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background, and some Swahili words used in it. Hakuna Matata is a thing here. People usually use it to say “No problem/Don’t worry about it.”

There are also a bunch of animals in the Lion King that we might actually see with our own eyes on our upcoming safari. The safari will be an extremely unique experience. I am very much looking forward to driving through the parks in Tanzania, game hunting for all the classic zebra, elephant, and giraffe. It is so special because those unique animals might not be there in the near future. Humans could destroy their habitat. That is part of the safari, to see those special animals, that can almost not be found anywhere else in the world.

Below: Arusha Street Scene


Below: Park in Arusha (littered with trash)