A Personal Interaction in Arusha

Never before I have encountered a people more genuine, real, and kind than when I met Lightness and her family. From the way she instantly greeted and took in my mom and I like we were family to how she is always checking on me and goes out of her way to make sure I am taken care of. What does one do in this life to deserve someone as truly compassionate as Lightness. One encounter in particular had solidified the way I felt about this family. We were all sitting in front of the TV one night eating dinner. We all contained a delicious array of well seasoned pieces of chicken, rice, and some well-seasoned vegetables that Lightness and the house cook had prepared earlier. We were watching some cheesy African soap-opera purely in Swahili, and for the most part because of the language barrier I had no idea what was happening in the movie. But, this is probably the happiest I had ever been. When I watched the family members: Lightness, Ruth, Neema, and baby sky interact with each other it was so pure and joyful. It was almost like no time was passing in this moment, and we were just able to purely enjoy each other’s company. I have never felt or encountered something so real. Though this is a seemingly ordinary moment to me it exemplified the naturalness or Tanzania. A friend once said to me, “You ever notice that when people have more they start to care less.” This is a reason why a country that to the world is so seemingly economically impoverished is probably living happier and more authentically than a bulk of us. They place less value on class divided and materialistic objects and more on moments, time, and presence. It is moments these that I observe being replicated effortlessly because they are pattern, habit. The world does not have the best views of what life in Africa is really like. After taking the time to really live here and experience life one could say that the Africans are living richer than the rest of the world. For Africans at least Tanzanians to my knowledge they have mastered the secrets to life: humility, a giving nature, equity, and the ability to enjoy others’ and their presence.

Some of the food we had the night. It looks a little messy, but it was sooooo good.
The cheesy African soap Opera. The soap opera was cheesy, but I loved the hair and costume design ❤️

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