“Tanzania,” a Photo Essay

From May 29 to June 20 of 2004, I traveled to Tanzania, an East African country, where I climbed Africa’s tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro, attested to the incomparable sight of wild animals, and most importantly, met simply beautiful people.

My journey began when a friend told me about her experience spending six weeks in Peru as a volunteer for Cross Cultural Solutions. What interested me was the fact that she got to travel, volunteer, and experience living in Peru. Cross Cultural Solutions, a non-profit organization, offers programs year round in ten different countries for a duration of 2 to 12 weeks. A year ago, the idea of flying to a foreign country by myself and living with strangers would have been daunting to me, and the sheltered part of me would have had to walk away from going to Africa. I told myself, “It’s now or never.” So, I took a deep breath, stepped away from my comfort zone, and signed up for an adventure to Moshi, Tanzania for 3 weeks.

This is, by far, the best thing I ever did in my life. I lived with natives of Tanzania, who taught me everything from using a cell phone to call New York to showing me where to get the best price for fabric. I taught the children in the Ludao Day Care to sing, “I’m a Little Tea Pot.” I witnessed a blackout with beautiful stars. I got my tour guides chuckling when I, this big city girl, screamed while being chased by a bee on the Kilimanjaro Mountain. I traveled in a very packed dalla dalla, really a minivan as a form of local public transportation, with too many people, in my traditional Tanzanian outfit, laughing all the way home. I felt right at home when walking around town, I bumped into many “friend” I’d made, my Swahili teachers, tour guides, house mates, and other CCS volunteers.

Please check out my photos. I hope one day you will get to experience the joy of crossing cultures. Many thank-you’s to Cross Cultural Solutions.

Camera: Minolta 700i (35mm Color Negative Film)