Lyrics to “Tanzania, Tanzania”
Tanzania Tanzania, nakupenda kwa moyo wote
Tanzania Tanzania jina lako ni tamusana
Nilalapo nakuota wewe, niamkapo ni heri mama wee,
Tanzania Tanzania, Nakupenda kwa moyo wote
Tanzania Tanzania I love you with all my heart
Tanzania Tanzania, your name is so beautiful/sweet
I always dream about you when I sleep, when I wake up everything is fine
Tanzania Tanzania, I love you with all my heart
Having been gone from Tanzania for over a week now (it seems longer), I think back of the time spent there and my mind lights up with the wonderful memories. All of the schools we visited in Tanzania would sing this song to us when we arrived. The chorus of the song “Tanzania, Tanzania” is simple and sweet. One of my favourite moments was the first time I heard this song. Tanzania is a beautiful country with so much to offer. Jacklynn romantically depicted her senses of Tanzania. She eloquently emphasized many of the same emotions I felt throughout our trip. The knowledge I learned throughout my time spent in Tanzania will definitely change my future endeavors. Just about two months ago, I could not have been more ready to be finished school, and while I cannot say I would like to relive my last and final semester, I can say that after leaving Tanzania, I have a new appreciation for my education. I am now refreshed and motivated to continue learning!
Over the span of the six weeks in Karatu, I have built many different relationships with people here. Of course the CPAR staff have been most wonderful in welcoming us and making us feel comfortable. Scott mentioned on one of our last days, upon reflecting on our time there, “It’s as though we had a VIP pass in Tanzania!” This is for sure true; the CPAR staff have been so amazing at making us feel comfortable, and giving us skills to interact with people. Without them, I think our experience there would be a lot different. They have taught us about etiquette and the do’s and don’ts. They have helped us learn to speak kidogo (small) Swahili, which has helped us interact with local people.
While being there, I learned the importance of building relationships. I will always remember certain people we met along the way. We went to Mama Kachafu’s everyday while in Karatu. This women made the BEST food, for super cheap! All of the staff would greet us with a smile, and it was comforting to know that they were expecting us everyday for lunch.
The stationary shop, where we bought our kanga fabrics and where Mallory and Jacklynn got their dresses made. The women were enthusiastic and fun!
Camp David (the President’s retreat), was luxurious in its own way. Whenever we went there to get the best chips mayai in Karatu, there was usually someone there to welcome us and make us feel special. Mama, who cooked the chips mayai, was a quite women, but always had a small little smile. She always would say “Asante Sana” whenever we left. Besides her chips mayai, I will always remember her warm modest smile.
Buying food in the markets is not always easy, especially as a Mzungu. Our first experience buying food in Arusha was hectic to say the least. Thankfully Nderingo went with us and was able to get us the local price for food. In Karatu, once knowing what vegetables and fruit should sell for, we felt more confident going on our own. We visited some of the vendors, and some people were not wanting to settle on a fair price. We did eventually find a man who gave us a fair price. Because of that we kept going back to his stand where we would either see him or his wife.
One of our first days after the study tour, Scott and I walked around Karatu. We met a young man named Leonce. He proudly let me know he was 18 and immediately asked if I had a boyfriend (a question us girls got asked often). He had his own little business selling carvings, bracelets and souvenirs on the side of the main road. He showed us around Karatu, letting us know where to buy everything. Leonce was very polite and willing to show us around. We let him know that we were here for a month, and we weren’t interested in buying anything at the moment. A week or two later, we went back to his stand to buy our souvenirs. He remembered us right away. Immediately we were swarmed by about a dozen people, who were pulling bracelets and carvings out of their backpacks. In retrospect it, was kind of comical with the “I give it to you cheapa comments.” Leonce helped us out by letting them know we weren’t just tourists here for a day and we would be back later. We went back to him and his gang, two more times. They would always remember us, and would say “Katerina, remember me?”. The last Friday we were in Karatu, we went back for the very last time to get a couple more things, Leonce showed us where to get the last minute souvenirs and at the end he wanted to give each of us a gift. He opened his bag and let us each pick out a bracelet. We were slightly hesitant, but he insisted, and he was so thankful for our support and loyalty.
The relationships we established here will never be forgotten. Of course some of these relationships will not extend past our time spent in Tanzania, however my mind and heart will be engrained with their presence. The small connections that we made with people here taught me a lot about meeting people and the importance of being genuine. I loved how these small acquaintances meant so much to us when getting to know the town of Karatu. In hindsight, after leaving Tanzania, I realize that the lyrics of the song are so true, and it is not just the beautiful scenery that makes Tanzania so beautiful and sweet, but the people! To tack on a small lesson I learned while in Tanzania: It is the people and relationships built with them that make development projects successful.
Asante Sana to the CPAR staff, and to all the people that made my time in Tanzania “revealing and refreshing,” as Jacklynn put it, and most importantly fun as Scott pointed out!