Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Well things are in full motion and the flurry of emails have begun -- how to prepare and articles to read about Tanzania; suggested Swahili language CDs and books; vaccination requirements; visas and entry paperwork; and the list goes on...
Tanzania is taking shape before my very eyes and I can feel that tingling in the pit of my stomach that I get when I anticipate something good is about to happen. When my friend asked me about Africa and told me she would like to voluntour with me, I was afraid to get my hopes up. I waited for several days for her email with subject line: Trip. Then it arrived with the simple message: "How do we book this thing?"
We finally had a chance to touch base today after having booked the volunteer part of the trip last week. We were giddy and full of questions, ideas, and speculations - all expressed in rapid succession, in overlapping sentences. It'll be our first trip together since we were 14 and 16 years old and we both agree that it is OVERDUE!
We have no illusions; although it's called a volunteer trip, the purpose is really a cultural exchange to ultimately build bridges. We will leave with more than we give and if we are lucky, we will leave a little of us behind and take a piece of Tanzania home with us. It has me reflecting alot on our attitudes and intentions toward developing nations. I realize that often our good intentions have far reaching, negative consequences and I have to take more time to research my participation in philanthropic efforts to ensure that they align with sustainability and do no harm.
In the meantime we will have months of planning and anticipation to look forward to. I am beyond excited even though it is months away, however at the risk of wishing my life away, I will anticipate the trip with a measure of restrain (but not really)!