Preparing for Travel

I am ready to go. I have never been more ready to go. Everything leading up to May 4th seems unimportant because of how ready I am. It is taking every ounce of strength to not ditch the rest of this semester and hop on a plane tomorrow. I cannot wait to surround myself with the Tanzanian culture. It is foreign to me, but I am not afraid. I am excited. I am excited to learn and to grow, to explore a new people, a new physical environment, and a new way of life.

We have been preparing at meetings every couple of weeks for the “shock” we will experience when we first arrive, but I do not believe the term “shock” adequately describes what we are about to experience. The word shock carries a negative connotation in my book. It implies stress or anxiety, an inability to comprehend. I doubt that is what I will experience when I arrive in Arusha. I see it more as a headfirst plunge into a cool lake on a hot day. I am expecting a moment (many, if I am lucky) when my breath will catch in my chest. But the fact that I am expecting it helps remove the fears or insecurities I have about jumping in the first place. Then, suddenly, I will realize that the place that I am in is where I want to be, where I need to be. Tanzania will become my cool lake on a hot day. I am ready to be refreshed, to be reminded of what it means to be a traveler, a visitor, and a guest.

And hopefully I will learn a thing or two along the way.

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