Friday, June 06, 2008

Kigoma continued....

Proud, humble, skilled, confused, trying hard, given up, generous, harsh, prayerful, searching, muddy dirt streets with lots of dust, beautifully ironed clothes, many or most children don't wear shoes. Everyone eats but the choices are few. There is almost a wild west feeling as you walk the streets of Kigoma. The endless haggling and muzungo prices (they always up the prices for white people) gets old after a while. "Tell me what it costs and I'll pay, but don't charge me 5 times the cost because I'm a muzungo" (white). Sometimes we are greeted in a warm friendly manner " Jambo" they they say or "Karibou "(Welcome) Other times I was screamed at "hey muzungo give me some Coca Cola." Bravado from young men who are day labors. They earn just $5.00 a day for back breaking work I would be frustrated too. Sadly they probably see no way out of their situation nor do I.

The life expectancy is for someone in Kigoma is just 51 years. That just doesn't seem fair. I am inspired, and saddened, I feel guilty for my (our) excess, but I struggle to put up with their minimum. There are moments when it all seems to make sense to me, what a folly indeed.

I often find myself asking what can I do ? I have come here to see to learn now what ? Often, very often people, especially the young in Kigoma ask us questions about our life and experience in the US. They seem to think that our streets though paved with gold. Are they ? As I reflect more, I come to the conclusion that while we have more, our life is not really that different from theirs. Our property does not make us holier or happier, ours is possibly, "possibly" an easier life with more distractions but is it a better life ? I am not sure, it just it depends on how we look at our lives at all.

Children of Kigoma.... build your dreams in Kigoma. Build them for your Church, your country your people. Our dreams are not what they appear our life may be easier but not better.... Still jet lagged..... Does the song on the video come from the Lion King ? I hope not...

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