Thursday, March 11, 2010

Keeping life fertile

This is my last evening here in Karagwe with Amizade. Tomorrow I start traveling alone and have booked safari in the Serenghetti, after which I fly to Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean for some time on the beach. Hopefully, in about a week, I will again have internet service.
Today our group visited a private school where we were invited for lunch and to answer questions. The students were shy as expected. I asked if anyone liked to draw and the kids pointed to one handsome looking 14 year old boy who can be seen in the dark sweater. I pulled out my sketch pad and he posed for me for about 10 minutes. I did a decent likeness which brought quite a lot of interest and laughter. Then I posed for him. I sat like a statue for an equal amount of time, while he drew me. The youngsters gathered around and admired our tenacity. The above picture shows me praising his work and relating something about eyes being in the center of the head.
The second photo of a sunset taken near the gate of our lodging seems to evoke a feeling of the landscape where I have been living for over two weeks. The clouds in the distance look like the shadow of a banana plantation. This reminded me how in nature large and small forms are forever repeated.
Last is a shot from the Chonyonyo water project which will provide water to a small village and eventually a new school. Funds have come from European philantropic organizations and through the generous contribution of AllPeoplebeHappy, a foundation created to help worthy projects in honor of my cousin's late son, Eric Tang. I have visited this site several times during my stay and the work is amazing. Also today, with several other Amizade members, I hiked down into a canyon in the searing heat to a spring. Along the way I met villagers carrying full 10 gallon containers of water up the hillside. The trail was at least 2 kilometers long and really steep. I was dripping in sweat when I came back to the top and I had only been carrying a camera!
I am actually anxious about leaving. The journey here has been long and the stay has had plenty of personal challenges. Yet the intensity of the experience is addicting and leaving here will give me a sense of satisfaction and loss.


  1. I sense that this has been a very deep and challenging experience for you and how could it not be!! Your pictures are wonderful as always. I have to admit I'm envious of the next leg of your journey! A safari is something I've always wanted to do. Thanks for sharing all of this with us!


  2. There are so many things I could say about this post, but what impresses me the most is that you mentioned your cousin's son Eric Tang. I'm so happy that you informed everyone who didn't know already that this brave and idealistic young man is the inspiration for the AllPeoplebeHappy foundation, which funds Amizade. The world is the poorer for his untimely passing, but that almost-completed cistern in your second picture shows that his spirit lives on. And I mean that in very real way, not just the usual sentimental way.

    It lives on in you too, but then I guess I really don't need to say that. But I'm saying it anyway--just because I feel like it!

  3. Correction because I don't feel like typing my comment over: I was referring to the almost-completed cistern in your third picture, not the second one.

  4. I've been scrolling down through your are truly on an amazing adventure. What contrasts. Incredible natural beauty vs. some rather dismal human conditions...but beautiful people. And it's quite fascinating to see how they live and move and have their being amidst conditions quite remote from anything I've experienced.

    I also figure you must be getting in pretty good shape; probably lost a few pounds, too, heh?

    Best wishes as you continue your journey!

  5. This is another great set of photos, bringing such a foreign experience into our lives and consciousness - making it less foreign, and making us care. Nice diversity in the photos. It's especially good to "meet" the people.

  6. A true adventure - and you are doing it for bringing good things. Wonderful pictures and wonderful writing.