Songs in my head


Originally uploaded by certainabsurdity

Excuse my lack of expertise about posting video. I took several short videos in Tanzania. I wish I would have taken more.

Because I like to travel light, I purposely did NOT take my iPod. There is just way too much happening to be tuned out and in your own world. Having an iPod would have just seemed stupid. When you drive up to a place and they start singing, why on earth would you want to listen to anything else?!?

Take a listen…


Who needs an iPod when you sing like this?


Originally uploaded by certainabsurdity

This video is how they welcomed us at Image Secondary School.

It’s been a long time…

since there has been a good travel climate for Americans.  I’m sure there are people that would argue with me.   I don’t know why, but it didn’t occur to me until we were almost done with the trip that this was the first time I’ve been out of the country since Obama was elected.

obama sticker zan

It’s pretty easy to say that I stand out in Tanzania.  For obvious reasons, I don’t blend in.  I walk into a shop and the scene plays out something like this:

Shop worker:  Karibu. (Welcome)

Me:  Asante. (Thank you)

Shop worker: I have small shop, small prices.  Where you from?

Out of habit from the last 8 years I quietly mutter:  U.S.

Shop worker’s face lights up:  BARAK OBAMA!

Now when they want to get your attention you are called “Obama sista” as you walk to another shop without a purchase.

As I got a henna tattoo on my foot, I have a conversation with the woman doing the artwork.

Henna artist:  Where you from?

Me:  U.S.

Henna artist smiles and says:  Obama

Henna artist:  Can I tell you a secret?

Me:  Sure.

Very proud henna artist:  He from my tribe.

All over Tanzania we found people excited about Barak Obama.  Being a political lefty, this made for a fun travel experience that I haven’t had in a long time.  There were even kangas (cloth used for a skirt, tied at the waist) with his photo and printed in Swahili at the bottom was something that translated to “Obama, hope for the world.”

obama belt

This is a Masai boy in secondary school. Check out his belt.

obama bag

This is a woman in Irindi. I told her I liked her bag. 🙂

Back Home

Dear Reader,

If you have been looking for me during the past 3 weeks, I’ve been on an amazing adventure in Tanzania. I’ve had many of those experiences that words can hardly describe. During the course of the next few weeks, I will do my best and post my thoughts here.

I think any trip to Africa changes you forever. It is so completely different than the U.S. The thing that struck me the most was how wonderful the people are. They are extremely poor, by our standards, but they have more joy than I have ever seen. It really makes me contemplate our value system here. I kept saying to myself that we’re really f***ed up in how we measure success. I’ve seen lots of proof lately that material wealth has nothing to do with how happy you are. I knew it before… this just made it crystal clear.

So I will be writing on a variety of topics. I’m trying to wrap my head around a lot of it still. But I’ll give you some serious, some funny and some informational stories about my trip.

It’s fun to be gone, but it is always nice to come home. Thoughts on Tanzania will be coming soon.