Last week was my friend Anna’s birthday. We are both the same age, both Aries’ and around this time of year I always think of her … and of Tanzania. We haven’t seen one another since 2008, when I last visited Dar es Salaam.
My first trip to Tanzania was in 2003, which I had scheduled for just two weeks. I had planned one week to climb the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro and the following week would be spent relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar. Fortuitously, those two weeks turned into three months to the day, ending only when my visa ran out.
When I reminisce on my Tanzanian wanderings, I recall a time in my life when I felt so free, as if anything were possible. Kilimanjaro, the mountain I conquered that challenged me more than anything ever had before in my life. That hot humid air and the crystal clear Indian Ocean. Camels on the beach. The beautiful Masaai herdsmen and the unforgettable week spent with the Hadzabe tribe in the bush. We visited the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, drank savannas (South African cider) while watching exquisite sunsets, and I got my first tattoo. And who can forget the striking, colorful kangas and kitangas that the women use for skirts, shirts, shawls and head coverings.
Anna was one of my first Tanzanian friends and even though we are continents away, we still remain close.
Asante sana Tanzania for so many incredible experiences!