Final Thoughts

What can I say? This was the most amazing trip of my life. I saw and lived a lifestyle that most Americans only see in National Geographic. People there live to live. It's amazing. The village was peaceful and quiet. Walking around at night by only the light of the moon, I felt completely safe. In David's home, we spoke so softly...just loud enough to be heard over the crickets. The people there were so kind and generous. It's good to know that he's in such good hands. The security guard at the school carries a bow and arrow.

My trip was too short. I wish I could have spent another three days in Endasak. The peacefulness would have been great. So if anyone who reads this goes to visit him, be sure to allow more time in his village.

The safari was great. I hope you've enjoyed my photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. There were some moments where I was just sitting there with my mouth open, thinking, "I can't believe that I'm taking these pictures." It was unreal.

The bus system there...absurd. Overcrowded busses with aisles overfilled. People standing for hours.

The's a land where four-wheel-drive utility vehicles are a necessity, not a gluttonous American luxury. More cows and goats use the road than automobiles.

Being in a place where I was one of only two white people was enlightening. Noticing people staring at me with their mouths open made me take a moment to be introspective of how I treat people of other races. Do I look at them differently? Am I less likely to smile at a passerby of another color than I am of someone of the same color? I may have in the past, but not anymore.

One mistake I made going into this trip was not learning any Swahili in advance. I relied entirely on David (and he was splendid). It would have been nice to be able to say more than "hello."

There are no lines or queues in Tanzania. Crowds move in mobs; it's every man for himself.

Time moves slowly there. But people take more time to do things. So time still slips away too fast.

Cows have a fatty "camel hump" on their neck. It looks goofy, a fatty blob wobbling around. The whole village is one giant barnyard.

Clean is a state of mind. You reach a dirt saturation point very quickly.

Go there. Go to a third world country. Give up your American lifestyle for a few weeks (at least) and experience something like this.

It was amazing.

And I can't wait to see David again.

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All content and photos Copyright 2004 Travis Pettijohn.