Tanzania Journal 4: Tuesday, 21 June

MacAvity's picture

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Well. It has been an exceedingly long day (probably because I've counted it as starting as soon as we left Washington) and we are all exceedingly tired (as in unable to keep from falling asleep in the time frame between boarding an airplane and the safety spiel).... but we are now in Tanzania! So, yay, one more country on that list, one more continent on that other list, and two more countries on the almost-list.

You know... the almost-list. Of countries that almost count because we have been to them physically but not legally because we never got our passports stamped because we never left the airport. Before today, that list (for me and Mr Fusion) included only El Salvador (on the way to Belize) and New Zealand (on the way to Australia - somehow I'm the only one of the four of us who remembers that we changed planes in Wellington.). Today we added Ethiopia and Kenya - Ethiopia almost made the proper list because we walked around outside, on Ethiopian ground, under the Ethiopian sky... but still no passport stamp, so we weren't officially there; Kenya almost failed to make the almost-list because we didn't so much as leave the airplane, but still, it did land in Mombasa.

Anyway, yeah, 'today' was a lot of sitting in an airplane, watching whatever movies were showing on the back of the seat in front (yes that does make sense) and sleeping uncomfortably for short periods. Aside from that, we argued over whether a moving figure on the horizon in Addis Abbabba - which I just misspelled, dangit - was a person (it was, and the horizon was just weirdly close), slept in the Jeep from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha despite the road's bumpiness and our willingness to stay awake, met Simon the organiser of our safari - who turned out to be a sort of unpleasant possibly-English white guy in a big weird run-down house, not the Big-Willy-like (remember Big Willy from Peru?) local-in-an-office-in-the-city I had been expecting - and checked in to the Ilboru Safari Lodge. And felt kind of weird and standing-out-in-a-bad-way-like being these comparatively wealthy white people in this country full of poor black people.

Anyway, details would be nice but I definitely would rather get to sleep now.

Written Tuesday 19 July:

21 June
- It's spelled 'Addis Ababa' - no double bs at all.
- It's not a Jeep, it's a Land Rover. Bonney's Land Rover, actually, and driven by Bonney. (Bonney was our guide the last week of the trip.)

Transcribed as faithfully as possible from my handwritten travel journal.
Italics indicate where I have changed or added to what I originally wrote.
Notes and expansions which I have written later, at the back of the journal, will be included along with their appropriate days, labelled with the dates on which they were written.
The handwritten journal uses a format in which the first line of every paragraph is indented and no line is skipped between paragraphs. As I cannot use indents here (or don't know how), I will skip a line between paragraphs, and use two a line of ........ when I skipped a line in the written journal.
Some entries are illustrated. I will do my best to either describe the illustrations or to include some equivalent image.

Well, I failed to keep myself out of the Inescapable Just Friends Zone with Marie.... But I'm not as disappointed as I would have guessed - she's a blessing even just as a friend. We had a nice afternoon together, and I like her a lot, but to my surprise I found myself much less attracted to her today than I have been in the past. I'm not in much danger of falling for her, I think. I think there's the potential for a really good friendship.
She talked to me for a while today about God. It didn't make much sense to me, but I want to learn more. Maybe she'll be able to teach me. I don't know. It's all so confusing. But I have the feeling that it's worth it, somehow.


lonewolf678's picture


you're so lucky as to have the opportunity to travel so many places! You've lived more than many ever will. How unpleasent was this "possibly-English white guy" (just curious lol)?

Marie sounds nice, but beware if she's trying to convert you! lol Ok maybe that's not it. If I may say this myself, the concept of god or gods requires more than simple teaching, it requires a willing mind to defy the limits of science and logic. You choose to believe in a power or being that some say isn't there.

Hence is why it's called faith. You might worship the god and or gods and trust in the one god or the gods. You make the ultimate leap of faith when you place your trust in something (I believe is very great) and know that there is something greater and alive in this small planet in the midst of a large and growing universe.

And eventually you may want to join an organized religion if you feel comfortable with a more outwardly focused life. Not that religion is ever really necessary to believe in any higher power (this is arguable and usually up for debate). God in my opinion, is not about Doctrinal teaching or laws but about the need to connect with God, and be a good person in this life.

It also comes down to "be excellent to each other". And we all know that this relates to everyone like a chain reaction. Be good to everyone and they will in turn be good to you (a belief of mine). There is more, but I'll stop here. I don't want to seem preachy or anything of the like.

MacAvity's picture


I know, I'm supremely lucky to have had all the experiences I have already. I do appreciate it.

And no, she's not trying to convert me. She's just willing to share what she knows, try to explain - I'm the one asking the questions.
But I've grown up in a family of scientists so rational that they don't even have faith in the scientific concepts they don't understand, like electrons, so it's extremely hard for me to break out of that skeptical mindset and believe anything without understanding. I am trying, but sometimes I think I will love God - sometimes I even think I already do - but may never be able to believe.

lonewolf678's picture


the conversion thing was a bad joke sorry. And that's ok about God, you do what you feel is right for you. Not trying to be preachy, although I sure sound it. lol