Tuesday, 25 September 2012

No, I don't want to leave!

I'm not afraid of weirdness, but this is something else. We are on the cusp of leaving Africa/Tanzania. Having already said goodbye to our recently completed home/cottage at Amarula Camp and the folks in the village of Mnenia, we are now about to leave Arusha.
  It was challenging! Especially getting onto the overcrowded bus, after being in a bus crash not so long ago.(more about that later) The swaying, jerking and bumping affecting my equilibrium as I unsuccessfully tried not to recall tipping over.

The time here in Tanzania has been full and potent with events, people and experience. I have new friends, thousands of photos and a greater sense of humility. It has been a huge challenge to sit and write (peck away at the keyboard) while there was so much to do, including wandering around the landscape marveling at the flora and occasional fauna. Even in the dry season.

 To get back to the weirdness, I'm anticipating a cultural shift of massive proportions. Stepping into a densely populated, sophisticated, moneyed and consumer oriented reality. Need I describe our existence up to now as anything but? Truly, I don't want to leave. And yet, I will, willingly embarking on new adventures, intending to learn German, teach English, continue to bake bread, do some traveling and get back to writing.
My sense is one of confusion, fear and concern... What if...? and I know that's all bullshit. The future remains an unknown, the time here now is what matters.
 We have some time to organize, repack and let go of the last bits of stuff I am still hanging onto. Anything to distract me from the impending departure. I don't want to leave!

At the moment I'm sitting outside on the porch of the Masai Cafe here in Arusha,  listening to the sound of the croaking white shouldered ravens. On the fence, red, orange and purple bougainvillea, while bits of avocado flower fall like rain and jacaranda blossoms litter the driveway. The temperature a pleasant 25'C  with the smell of burning cheese and dough from the wood fired pizza oven occasionally drifting past my nose.
Arusha is lush, Mt Meru's influence maintaining rainfall year round, although we've had a nice dry spell since we arrived. The usually shrouded peak is visible from most anywhere.

I'm holding onto these images, this moment,  feeling some sensory overload. Traffic for one, there isn't much in Mnenia. The birds have much more melodic and attractive songs, the acaia 'fruit' it's distinctive smell and the brown and greys of the dormant vegetation a stark sight on the hillside and mountains. But man! I love it there. I don't want to leave!
The shuttle tickets purchased, I have bread waiting to bake, bags packed, weight distributed evenly, my treasures tucked away..... Here I come!

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