This is the question I’ve been asked with more and more frequency lately.
I guess it makes sense. The question I answered more than any other a year ago was “What are you doing when you are in Tanzania?” I suppose it’s a natural question. I am moving to another country in roughly 4 months. Generally people have an idea of what they’re going to do when such a major transition in their life is eminent. The funny thing is that I have no idea.
I imagine that I will go shopping at some point fairly shortly after I get home. I will after all need food. I’m planning on spending a lot of time with my friends and my family. I will spend a lot of time cuddling with my dog. I also plan on telling anyone and everyone I can about my experiences.
This is generally not the answer that people are looking for. It’s not the everyday things I’m going to do that people are interested in. They want to know what I will be doing with my life. Will I be teaching? Where will I work? To tell the truth, I have no idea what I will be doing. I’m not ready to think about it.
Right now, I’m thinking about teaching 6-year-olds about estimating capacity in everyday containers. How many cups of tea will that teapot hold? How many spoonfuls of water will the bowl hold?
I’m thinking about 9-year-olds who have written letters to their pen pals in the United States. I need to get them uploaded and emailed off.
I’m thinking about another safari. Just one day at the Ngorongoro Crater about a week before Easter. When else will I get to say I saw the Crater twice within a year?
I’m thinking about the mchicha I bought at the market this week. It is very similar to spinach, but I like it so much better. Should I have Josephine make something with it this week or should I cook it myself?
My mind is so much here in Tanzania I can barely think of what it will be like going home. You know what? That’s ok.
One of the things I have learned in living here is the importance of living in the present. I am spending as much time as I can taking everything in. Every single day contains a once-in-a-lifetime event. Today is probably the only time in my life I will plan a Palm Sunday skit with 5 and 6-year-olds in Tanzania. Yesterday will quite possibly be the only time I will ever spend part of my St. Patrick’s Day with someone from Northern Ireland in Tanzania. If I spend too much time thinking about what will happen in 4 months, I will miss all of these things that are happening right now.
I will continue to answer the questions that come my way with a positive attitude. I would have the same questions to anyone I met. I just plan on spending very little time thinking about it otherwise.
|CAMS whole school photograph. This is the reason I'm not ready to think about going home.|