Flight! Which takes off today at 5:20 PM from the Atlanta airport, lands in Amsterdam tomorrow at 8 AM. Following 12 hour flight to Dar es Salaam from Europe, we'll be in Tanzania without consistent electricity, clean water, or constant access to the Internet. My sister sounded horrified at the thought--I'm kind of looking forward to a respite from the information overload which characterizes my daily existence in Athens. We'll make it to Bagamoyo, Tanzania (chickety check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagamoyo) Monday, May 10 around noon and begin our teaching duties (math and English) and cultural immersion almost immediately!
And by we, I mean my travelling companion, the lovely and talented Tori Akin, who momentarily took leave of her senses and agreed to travel with me to a continent neither we nor any member of our respective immediate families has visited--ever. Yet, we're looking forward to it with the excitement that denotes something utterly alien--our first day of college, our first behind the wheel of a car, for example--except in this case it's our first time forcing ourselves to leave the West behind and experience firsthand the quotidian existence of the world's poorest billion.
So, armed with toys (five jump ropes, eight kites, two frisbees, and a soccer ball), first aid supplies (what seems like gallons of Neosporin and truckloads of band-aids), vaccinations (yellow fever, typhoid, polio, and pills to prevent malaria) and utter naiveté, we're taking our first step toward becoming truly global citizens. All I can say about that: we have no idea what we're getting ourselves into.
Nevertheless, I'm going to keep this blog up throughout our 31 day stay in Africa. Will we change the world--or at least the lives of the children in Bagamoyo? I don't know.
Will we learn about ourselves? Almost definitely.