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A beautiful world You are what you think

City life

TANZANIA | Thursday, 15 May 2014 | Views [278] | Scholarship Entry

I remember the first time we went out into the city of Arusha in Tanzania. It was so different from the calm and lush tropical landscape of the Imbaseni village. I was 20 years old then. I was participating in a global scholar internship for the summer after my third year in college. For the past week, my home had been in a small wooden hut with a family of four. The father farmed and tended the cattle and goats. The children were two small girls with cropped hair taking a liking to me immediately. Karen, the smallest of the girls, about four years of age held my hand after the first day we met. The bathroom was in another hut, located outside and much smaller. Once inside flies buzzed around you and within the dark hole in the ground which was actually the toilet. One night I saw a couple of spiders dangling off my ceiling. I told Papa (they liked to be called after the position they had in the family) I was terrified of them. He looked at me and started laughing. "You are scared of that?". I nodded vigorously. "No worries, I take care". I expected him to slap them away but he decided on heading straight over to them and grabbing them in his hand like they were just any other speck on the wall. He showed no fear and I was amazed. He took it outside and I was happy to see the little guy would survive. Later I found out the people here are terrified of chameleons. How funny!
The nights were quiet and peaceful there and I loved it so much. Now we were headed to the city. Once we arrived, the city lay before our eyes in stark contrast to the village. There were streets, pavement, white concrete buildings everywhere with some palm trees, the hustle and bustle of markets and the city life. Everywhere you looked people were selling things on stands: bracelets, flags, earrings, sneakers. I looked over near a building to see a stork! I've never seen one before and honestly thought they were made up creatures in cartoons. It was astonishing to see one! With its long beak, black and white feathers, thin legs and pink wrinkling skin near the head and mouth. As we walked by several vendors something unforgettably funny happened. Our trip leader is very tall, has long hair, quite a beard and blue eyes. While walking alongside him we heard some vendors approach and jest "Oh Jesus! Help us, we have so many problems!". My next home stay would be here in the lively and humorous city of Arusha and I could not wait for a different experience!

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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