Well, we’re back from safari, and Arusha already feels familiar. There’s really no way to put the past two days into words. “Ridiculous” has been floating around amongst the team a lot, but I think “unbelievable” might be more accurate. The beauty of Lake Menyara, the Ngorongoro crater, and everywhere else we’ve been. The beauty of all the animals, so close you literally could reach out and touch them! Zebras, giraffes, elephants, wildebeasts, hippos, monkeys, lions, the list goes on! And the plants and trees! And the birds! It’ll take a long time to really process it all.
What we saw on safari just reinforces the impression I’ve had all along – the one word that best describes this place is “contrast”. The beauty of nature, the ugliness of poverty. The wealth in natural resources, the paucity of infrastructure. The amazing smells of the jungle, the acrid pervasiveness of diesel fumes in downtown Arusha. The Maasai warrior in full National Geographic regalia getting into a taxi! Its all just amazing!
And speaking of amazing, I can’t say enough about how amazing my fellow teammates have been. I can’t describe how honored I am to have been here with them. This has really taught me what it means to be part of something bigger than myself. For this I will be forever gratefull, to Dr. Shriner in particular, for this opportunity, and to everyone else here as well, including the Upone staff, for showing me how to think beyond myself.
You were right Rhonda, you can’t help but go home changed. Thank you all!
See you all soon,