"Living a truly ethical life, putting the needs of others first, and providing for their happiness has tremendous implications for society." -Dalai Lama

"Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us." -Sargent Shriver

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Dear friends!! Sorry for being MIA for so long.  So much has happened in the last few months so here is a quick-ish recap.
First of all, the volunteers in my region organized a girls' empowerment conference.  This involved 5 days of sessions covering self-esteem, menstruation, HIV prevention, and so on.  Every volunteer brought 4 girls, so overall, we had about 60 girls running around, acting like crazy yahoos!  Now when you get a bunch of American girls together, they paint nails, braid hair, and talk about boys.  Tanzanian girls might do some of that, I'm not really sure, but they do something that is unheard of.  They wash clothes...a lot of clothes.  In fact, they used every drop of our bathing water every day of the conference washing every stitch of clothing that they had worn that day.  Pretty much though, the conference was a blast.  The girls learned so much and for once, I felt like I was doing my job.


After the excitement of girls conference, school wound on down and I counted down the days till family came.  And let me tell you, I had an entire troop of family visit: my mom, dad, aunt, uncle, cousin, 3 sisters, and 1 brother.  It was a whole lot of entertaining, tour guiding, and translating, but it was such an outstanding month of family.  For the first couple days, they got to see the excitement that is Newala.  I even convinced 1 sister, a brother, and my dad to stay at my house, even using the pit latrine.  Everyone got to see the market, my school, and meet all of my friends.  After Mtwara, we went on to Zanzibar.  We stayed in my favorite hotel called Zenji.  It is a little bed and breakfast that has the greatest staff in the world.  Zanzibar was incredible, as always.  We went on a spice tour, prison island to visit the giant tortoises, snorkeled, visited monkeys at Jozani forest, swam with dolphins, and of course, shopped till we dropped.  By the end of our time on Zanzibar, I was besties with a good number of the shop owners.  After Zanzibar, we headed up north for a safari.  It was incredible.  All of the hotels were insanely nice and I stuffed myself silly every day on scrumptious foods...nom, nom, nom!!  All in all, we hit up Lake Manyara, Ngorogoro Crater, and Serengeti parks.  We saw everything: elephants, cape buffalo, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and everything else.  We also had a pretty fun cultural experience also.  We went to visit the Wadatoga tribe.  During our visit, we got to a home and talk with the women and then visit the men who are expert blacksmiths.  They demonstrated how they make brass jewelery and arrowheads and tried to teach my brother how to play a fiddle-like instrument.  The next morning, we also got to join the Hadza tribe on a morning hunt.  We showed up to their campfire, and first thing we see is a kid around fourteen, tokin' on a joint.  Just what you want, the group that will be shooting bow and arrows around you getting nice and stoned.  It turned out alright though, as in nobody got shot.  They did manage to shoot some birds and a kangaroo shrew (rat-like thing).
Really, it meant so much my family coming to visit.  I was so excited to show the crew where I have lived for the past two years.  Karibu to anyone else that wants to fit in a last minute visit before my time here is up in October.  Well that's all folks!

Babies on the spice tour

Aldabra Giant Tortoise

Red Colobus Monkey on Zanzibar

Ripley Sea Turtle

Masai warrior

Grinding corn flour

Wadatoga tribe

Playing music with the Wadatoga tribe

Practice shooting with the Hadza tribe

Coffee plantation

Mtwara airport

Entrance to Ngorogoro Crater

Peace out!

1 comment:

  1. Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Tanzania? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Tanzania in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog www.cartasenmibuzon.blogspot.com where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez