I couldn't phrase it more aptly than Ryscard Kapuściński:
"I arrived (in Tanzania) with no particular goal. Having one is generally deemed a good thing, the benefit of something to strive toward. This can also blind you, however: you see only your goal and nothing else, while this something else - wider, deeper - may be considerable more interesting and important. To penetrate another world means to enter a secret, and this can contain so many labyrinths and hiding places, so many puzzles and unknown..."
Yes, except that at the beginning of my trip I wanted to support Kaira's project (with your help!), I had no plan for these seven weeks. None at all!
Car breakdowns and well, unfortunately a few days of illness, were not planned anyway.
How could I have known that I would be staying in Arusha for a whole week alone with four children? That I would explore the slopes of the nearby Mount Meru with the oldest one, Kaley (14), that we would fight through stinging nettle fields and follow climbs, always uphill, enjoying the increasingly pristine vegetation, penetrating deeper and deeper into the beautiful cloud forest?
How could I have known that three children would snuggle up to me on the sofa and fall asleep on me? That we would have fun despite the lack of a common language? That we would dance wildly in the kitchen?
How could I have known that I would give Kaira money so that he could finally buy a car that he could use to help, to earn and thus to help again.
I am impressed by how independent the children are. The older ones look after the younger ones. When Kaley and I are out, seven-year-old Kallaine is in charge. She warms up the prepared food, washes the dishes, sweeps or mops the floor.
During these days, the four of them washed, hung out and put away their laundry twice. Unsolicited.
Of course they quarrel too, since their characters, wishes and ideas are different.
The little, wild Ondinina (4) is my cuddlebug. He takes me by the hand, blinks up me and leads me to the sofa. There, he lays his head on my chest, lets me stroke him and rests on me like a sleeping baby for a while. Then he springs back into action, strokes my head in return, and is off again. A highly-intelligent, charming boy!
Middle row: an African fig tree, considered by many to be a holy tree. Even today, many ceremonies take place in the shade it lends.