The Group

Aaron Franczek, Collin Hartman,Monica Kling, Sarah Meleski, Claire Pattison, Amanda Schmidt, Becca Scholz, Alyssa Stuiber, Becky Thorn, Ryan Treviranus, Gracie Ventura Haas, Marcie Weiss, Jenny White, Robert Bhatia, Jill Braasch, Jenni Herrick and Laine Philippa

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Picture Perfect by Monica Kling

Father Tim explains how the windmills are made.

School children sing us some of their favorite songs.

Last night when I was looking back on my journal, I saw that there were only a few entries. At first I thought I had been majorly slacking on my recording duties, but then I realized that we have only been here for essentially 3 days! It blows my mind to think of this because I feel like I've been here for 3 weeks. This brought up the question: Why does Tanzania feel like home?

The answer is actually quite simple: our lovely truck "The Bumblebee." We have all spent a lot of quality time on this truck, and when I say quality time it's not just with each other, but with the people. Having an open sided truck where we are facing the side of the road makes it so that the walls disappear and we are able to interact with people who are on the side of the road. Also the fact that 18 white people are in the back of an open bright yellow truck makes us quite noticeable... either way, we have all mastered in these past couple of days the art of nonverbal communication here.

One very important lesson that we are all learning here is the lesson of when it is appropriate to take pictures. Like our waves and thumbs up, us putting our camera in front of our face speaks a thousand words, and not all of them are very nice. In America, we are so used to the tourist idea of getting the perfect picture, when in reality it just puts up a wall which distances ourselves from the people around us by, quite frankly, insulting them. I mean if a truck of people drove down my street taking pictures of me doing yardwork I'd be pretty annoyed too. However as our 8 hour trip to Dodoma passed yesterday (which was nothing short of an adventure), I noticed that my traveling companions were catching on to this idea as well. By the end, cameras were on the laps and hands were waving and giving thumbs up.

Today we got to meet the 4th and 6th graders who go to school here next to the water project, and I think it was really a turning point for everyone. Rather than taking pictures, a lot of us held hands with the kids and danced in a circle or played ball, or even had the kids use the cameras. We as a group put the cameras away in order to better experience the culture and make some new friends, something which I am very proud of everyone for. In the end, it really is better to experience things firsthand then have the perfect picture, because our memories are what this trip is all about. Who says a memory can't be picture perfect?

1 comment:

  1. So true about the camera putting up a wall. I'm thrilled everything is going so well. I can't wait to hear about all the wonderful people everyone has met. :)