Anyone I've met who's been to Tanzania (and there aren't that many) has a faraway look in the eye at the very mention of the name. I'm the same. So what's that about?
We were visiting a town and schools which are twinned with my husband's school in north west London. So we drove 700 miles from Dar, and were right on the far west of the country. There is a quality to the country that hits a person right below the breastbone, in the heart. It's to do with the size and age of Africa; it's to do with the scent of the earth when you step out of the plane. It's to do with the groundedness of being there - what matters our ridiculous concerns for skinny latte or cappucino when there the aim of each day is to survive? It's to do with potential - the country is straining at the leash - pulled back by bad roads and transport generally, a struggling education system, a struggling economy, a political system still in its infancy and with all associated snags - but the people so hungry to learn and get on. And above all it's to do with a joy that we have largely lost. I found myself smiling differently in Tanzania - a wide open smile that reflected the welcome we received. Here, in this moment, now, you are welcome.