Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What do you mean I'm in Africa?

Sick all day and power out most of the day --- good time as any for this blog post that has been brewing in my mind since my trip last weekend.

Saturday morning, I went on the ferry to Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania composed of small islands and two large ones. I was at the port quite early, decided to stay on the sun deck to ward off nausea and amused myself watching people hurrying to board the boat with their various packages. Twenty minutes after we started moving, I looked around, surrounded by alien waters and it finally sank in. It's not the Philippine Sea, the South China Sea, or even the Celebes. It wasn't even the Andaman. I was in Africa!!! Crazy stupid how things like these, these realizations, come about. All the travel plans and immunizations I got, I'm surrounded by Africans everyday, have 50-90% Tanzanian students, I'm struggling to read and understand Swahili, and dealing with things I'm not used to --- yet it never really clicked until that minute how far I am from all I know. From my nearest and dearest.

I miss Vietnam. I really do. I keep being told (by my Vietnam friends, of course) that I should get my a** back there. And maybe I should. Could. It might make things easier and simpler. But you know what? I'm going on a wildlife safari next month, go back to Zanzibar and see more of it. I'm starting Swahili classes next month and I'm playing capoeira. At work, I've temporarily taken on the job of organizing and possibly ordering more resources, interested in other projects that BC does and looking into a post different from teaching. It's going to take time, but Tanzania will be my home for at least the next two years.