Friday, June 27, 2014

A few reflections...

I am reminded again we can not refer to "Africa" as one unit with any credibility. Morocco, South Africa and Tanzania were entirely different experiences.

Tanzania has overcome it's tribal tradition. Most people can tell you what tribe they are biologically from, but except for the Massai, there is no way to tell in the day to day world.

Tanzania is, for the moment, not experiencing religious tension or dominance. The Muslim Zanzibar and coast coexist with the Christian center. In the area around Moshi, inter religious marriage are unremarkable.

Great strides had been made in accessible health care, but not as much in universal education.

In the area around Moshi, every scrap of land was used for corn or grazing. Even dirt yards supported chickens, gardens and beer hop drying enterprises. Goats grazed all the roadside grass. Shops were busy and industrious.

 Women are not yet in leadership roles, but are seeing the value of education and production. Conversely large goods are carried on women's heads.

People are friendly in response to overtures but not invasive, with the exception of the hustlers who are only in the tourist section. Children love to wave at vans and have no fear of visitors, but they do not beg.

Stores are minimally stocked but adequate. (How many toothpaste choices do WE really need?)

It was the best teaching I have experienced. The teachers did not see me as a sitter, but a learning opportunity for them as well.

Bonus: safari! Once in a lifetime.

I am grateful as always to my wonderful husband - and adults and kids alike loved the name "Bob" - always laughed and said "is that a real word?" - and for the opportunity not only to go but to come home.

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