Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The end (for now)

Several people have commented that my last post from Africa seemed like an abrupt end to the story. I had sort of intended it to be that way, since stories like this don't ever really have an ending. I also really thought that I'd get around to posting one last time (earlier than now) with my final thoughts about what I'd learned and the impact that it had on me. That has proven difficult. When I first got back to Seattle I found it difficult to find words to describe how I felt about being back, or about how my summer had gone, or how it had changed me. Did it change me? It must have. I mean, of course it did. But how? That's the funny thing about seeing the world in a new way: when you get used to how you look at things, it doesn't seem new any more. I don't feel like there was any one particular moment or experience or person that changed my world view in any dramatic fashion. All I know is I don't think now they way I thought three months ago about development, Africa, America, myself, working with people, travel, and ginger, to name a few things.

So in lieu of a good wrap-up touching on life, the universe, and everything, here's a short list of how the summer ended: Kiana came to Tanzania. We stayed in Usa River, Arusha, Moshi (on the Mainland), and Stone Town and Kendwa Rocks (on Zanzibar). We went on safari to Ngorongoro crater, Terengiri, and Lake Manyara, hiked on Mt. Meru, Visited Kibosho Hospital and ate lunch with the Dr. Tan and his wife. We explored Zanzibar and enjoyed three relaxing days on a gorgeous beach. Kiana met Joshua, Simon, Ben, and Cory at Cradle of Love. (There were no siafu this time.) Kiana's shoes were stolen out of her bag by the staff at the Zanzibar airport (I should have tipped the x-ray lady) and we made it safely home to the U.S. on August 25. Kiana's bag (which had all the gifts in it) did not make it home until September 10. It apparently got sent to Paris instead of Seattle and had its own two week vacation before deciding to return home. I guess I can't blame it for wanting to see the world.

That's all. Go travel. It's a big world, and you'll be better off if you see some of it.