I feel like I am leaving a lot behind. There is a lot I had in Michigan, and I am taking a risk by leaving it there and assuming it will be in somewhat of a same situation when I return. I understand things will change, but I also assume I can work my way back into American life, keeping and reforming my friendships and relationships. Right now, I dunno what I am getting myself into. 27 months seems long. This is only day 2.
I feel as though I need to make the most of this trip. Improve the lives of the people that need it. This isn’t about meeting friends and having a good time, though friends will come in turn. This is business. Half the time I still don’t feel like I am leaving for two years; it simply feels like a trip, a vacation, a week long meeting with new friends.
What will i choose to write about? Is this a diary-like lament for my life back home? Do I ponder why I did this in the first place? Do I continue to describe my feelings about vacation versus 2 year commitment? Do I simply write narratives; recaps of each day? Do I solely focus on the ways in which I interact and impact my village and the country? Do I only write about the people of TZ themselves?
This trip is not about what is back home. I love what is back home. It’s home. I will miss it every day. But I came here to do work, to make an impact, to serve something greater than myself. And yes, I came here to write, to learn, to read, to slow down, to grow in contentment.
So from here on out, I will not journal about back home, aside from the possible fleeting mention. This is not about that. Tanzania is not about Grand Rapids. As odd as the decision may seem, I turned a chapter in my life. Gone is Grand Rapids as I know it. Gone is my pre-trip relationship with my girlfriend and friends. That is already in the past. And I don’t want to focus on that. I want to focus on my Tanzanian relationship with home; it will be on my mind, but I will not let it control my decisions. The time here will fly by. Focus on the future, the now.
Instead, I will learn, write, play music. I will work harder than ever before. Two years of dedication to growth and Tanzania. Take these 27 months and grow more than I ever have before.
Most importantly, above anything else, put the needs of the Tazanian community before me.
Today was a 6:30a wake up, a yellow fever vaccine, and a trip to Whole Foods for last minute provisions. I strolled through the same neighborhood Valentiger visited a few years ago. The bus ride gave me a chance to listen to Fela Kuti for the first time. I said it was the missing piece in my musical library. Jets to Brazil was grazed too. I feel ready. I want to set my village up for success. I want to leave something more than my memories.
I am having a hard time not thinking of the education system as a joke. I am assuming it will be very difficult to teach all of my students. A better way to think of it, however, is that I have no idea what this community will be like. Hold judgement. 2:19p on 6/14/11, sitting in Newark International, no one really around me, save for a black couple with a 2 year old. She’s cute. Tracy Morgan is apologizing on the TV, from what I can hear.