On December 29th, 2010, at 7:00 pm my husband 9 month old daughter and I waved goodbye to our (teary-eyed) parents who stood at the security gate of Boston Logan International Airport, as quickly as possible moved our four carry-on bags, three pairs of shoes, two laptops, and one diaper bag through the x-ray scanners, repacked our four carry-on bags, two laptops and one diaper bag, and headed to gate 36 to board a Delta flight which would take us to Arusha Tanzania where we were going to live for one year. We were pumped. Packed, ready, and pumped.
Five hours later we were standing at baggage claim again (along with every other passenger on the plane) to recollect our six fifty-pound bags; extreme wind had blown a luggage cart into the jet’s engine and the flight was canceled until the following night.
It was 11:00 pm on December 31st when we finally arrived at what was to be our home for the next year, a beautiful apartment above a guest house situated at the foot of Mount Meru, on the edge of town. My husband, Tim, was there to conduct field work for his dissertation, and Eleanor and I were along for the ride. Arusha was to be our home base for his trips to the filed, a small Maasai village on the Eastern boarder of Tarangire National Park. Had we known all that we would face in the course of that year, I’m not sure I would have been as pumped, or as eager to bring our 10 month old. To this day I remain grateful that we didn’t know, because it was an amazing experience and given the opportunity, I would do it all over again.
In a strictly selfish attempt to save myself time from writing the same email to dozens of family members and friends, I decided to keep a blog – a sort of documentary of our experiences – called Tanzania or Bust. I thought that I would hate it, blogging I mean. I thought that it would be a real drag, a strain, and that I would struggle to find things to say. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The best part, though, was that my family and friends seemed to love it as well. So, when we returned home – to our regularly scheduled program (whatever that means!) – I decided that I would keep writing; if for no other person than myself. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you find something to enjoy.