Just flew from Newark to Amsterdam. Sat next to a great Italian guy from San Diego named Tony. Just a gentle, nice, still with it old guy. He and his wife were visiting Italy again. Now I just need to stay awake all day. 1am Detroit time, 9a Dar time. Let’s just do.
The plane ride to Dar was nice. Sat by sara, she knew “Jay the Three Legged Cat Guy,” who we met on tour a few years ago. Nice gal. I tried not to sleep but I did anyway, what can I say. I needed it. It’s okay, because it feels like 12a (which it is). Let’s just see how the morning treats me.
First impressions as we made our way into Dar: It did not look like a 6 million pop city from the air; weak lighting dimly lit the neighborhoods we flew over; we are in Africa. The nitetime brought an extra dose of discomfort as we made our way through customs. Nite can bring theft, bad guys, etc. I felt a bit overwhelmed; I could tell because I was detaching myself from the situation, a key defensive strategy my brain has. I am also having trouble writing right now, probably due to the jet lag. Let me explain:
all times local:
6/14 7a, depart for yellow fever shots
6/14 6p, newark to amsterdam
6/15 10a, amsterdam to kilimanjaro
6/15 9p, kil to dar
6/16 12a, here, in my hostel bed, talking to you
So back to when we arrived. I could not help but think of all the bad images of Africa and black men in particular as we were beginning to make our way to the center. I made sure to take note that that image needs to be fought intensly. An image of a maimed, jaded, or evil African man, of a dangerous one. The sad thing is one negative image can destroy 100 positive ones.
We took a van from the airport to our hostel/christian centre, whose name I will mention when I remember it. There was a lunar eclipse. American music and ac in the van. Jump seats closed the aisle, converting the space into more seating. We were welcomed with gross pbj’s and fruit and bottles of water at the centre. The staff introduced themselves. I am looking forward to jumping into my Swahili lessons. I need to fight the instinct that tells me Africans are less competent than Americans. It scares me. I still don’t know how I will help people here that need it; right now I need the help.
prepare for malaria dreams