Out of Africa
Cold shower. No shower. Warm beer. No beer. No food. No electricity. Toilet is a hole in the ground. Tent side swiped by wild bush pig. Feet caked in mud. Robbed by a monkey. Lions almost attacked us. Pickpocketed. Cooking water drunk by an elephant. Stale butter and carrot sandwiches for 5 days straight. Felt up by a toothless driver on the daladala bus. Wiping snot from a child’s nose with bare hands and no soap. Gunfire in front of our room. Sleeping on the bathroom floor. Two stolen cameras. Two stolen shoes. One dead donkey. Two dead puppies. Children throwing up all over each other.
Best time of our lives.
We’re sitting in a cafe in Prague, about 12 shades darker and 20 pounds lighter between us. The city is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen but I’m afraid my head and my heart were left behind in Tanzania. Leaving was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do and one of the saddest days I can remember. So many memories, experiences and laughs. Each and every day there was the best day ever. I went in hoping I could somehow help the people there, teach them something, but I think in the end, it was me who learned alot about life.
It took one day to get over the shock and soak in the life there. You are surrounded by such overwhelming poverty and every day-to-day task is harder than it is in the western world, but our way is not the only way, or even the right way. It seems the less you have the more one can appreciate the simple things in life and I am almost envious of the African lifestyle. Without distractions of televison, phones and Ipods, they are so much more in touch with the world around them.
I have met so many people who have touched by heart and the month in Africa is one that will live with me forever.
The Children of Living Waters were amazing and have so many sad stories, from losing their parents to AIDS, sexual abuse to deformation, and yet, they are the most remarkable people I have had the pleasure of knowing. They spend almost all day doing chores like cooking, laundry and cleaning. Even the two year olds are doing chores. They have almost no belongings of their own but they know who they are and feel lucky to have found a new family at the orphange. There is very little crying or complaining or misbehaving. A temper tantrum is unheard of.
After arriving in Europe, the first thing I saw was a child screaming and crying, something I had not seen in over a month even though I had been surrounded by 37 orphans. It all makes me wonder what westerners did so wrong and question what kind of parent I will be one day.
By the way, to all my friends and family. I can now be really, really hot without panicking. I can share creamy things, sleep through anything and I didn’t wash my hair for 5 days.
Enjoy every moment and happy new year,