Saturday, December 26, 2009


Well after almost 19 months in Tanzania my travels and experience there are over. Saying goodbye is so hard and resuming a life that is SO different is really hard. I've been home a week now. Home for Christmas and all that. I'm glad to be home. Definitely. But Walter couldn't come with me and I miss him everyday. I know he's an Africa dog and is happier chasing chickens and eating cow poo than he'd ever be in my backyard in California waiting for me to get home from work but it's still so hard. He really is Walter the Wonder Dog and there will never be another like him. So there's Walter that I miss, and then there is the people in Tanzania: my friends in the village and the volunteers I worked with. These are truly some of the most amazing, creative, resilient and funny people I've even know. I'm so privileged that my path in life crossed with theirs.
On that note, and because i like making lists here is a list of 50 most important things I learned while in Tanzania:
1. Get your dog neutered
2. Farm animals are painfully loud and annoying
3. You get used to it
4. Its easy to loose 20 lbs if you used to eat fast food everyday and then you move to Africa
5. You can find something in common with anyone... seriously ANYONE
6. Toilets are overrated
7. There are a-holes, liars, cheaters, thieves, and gossipers everywhere in every country and culture
8. A smile, offers to share meals, and soda are understood in all languages and cultures
9. Sarcasm, regular bathing, and personal space are not
10. When in doubt, consult old people
11. Most of the stuff we refrigerate in the states doesn't really need to be refrigerated
12. Everyone likes butterscotch
13. Chocolate, however, is an acquired taste
13. Listen to your gut
14. Those deprived of power and privileged most of their lives will be the first to abuse it
15. Everyone needs to believe in something
16. Take care of yourself first, you'll never be able to help or inspire anyone when you're all broken down and busted
17. Use snail mail - old fashioned cards and letters are fun to write and receive
18. Trust
19. Pay attention to the way your body and health react in a certain place or with certain people- sometimes it knows better than you do about what's best
21. There's always a way to be happy
22. Teaching- whether its to make pancakes or a new farming technique- is hugely rewarding
23. Be compassionate towards others- just a mere twist of fate would have your places in life reversed
24. Compassion can be really hard- especially when people are screaming in your face, stealing, or hurting children
25. Eat fresh fruit and veggies whenever you can, you'll never know how lucky you are and how good they taste until you can't get your hands on any
26. The developing world is a lot like Little House on the Prairie only with cellphones and the occasional motorcycle
27. When dismounting said motorcycle, do so on the left. Getting off on the right will result in a really painful engine burn
28. Wear sunscreen
29. Plant your own veggie garden, its fun and tastes better
30. Different cultures grieve in very different ways
31. Self-reflection, existential crises, artistry, and volunteerism are privileges of living in a developed country
32. Sometimes it feel really good to cry
33. Unconditional love is likely the best gift ever given or received
34. People will never know what is acceptable or unacceptable to you unless you tell them
35. Rats and snakes are not as scary as I once thought them to be
36. Take a multivitamin
37. Eat yogurt whenever you can, its good for the tummy
38. If you're sad, go sit and play with a baby
39. Faith and hope in personal abilities and power is a difficult concept to teach particularly to people who have never ever been introduced to it before
40. Cherish your education that taught your how to think and discern, where your teachers showed up, and where beatings and sexual assault were not acceptable
41. Make your house a comfortable place to relax but don't get too comfortable that you forget there's a big world beyond it
42. Read- it feels good
43. Don't make yourself miserable for the sake of being being tough or to make some similar point- no one's impressed and mostly, no one is paying attention. Stubbornness does not equal strength of character
44. CLEAN water is the best medicine for most ailments
45. Some rules must have been made with the intention that they would broken... why else would some of them be so stupid?
46. Timing is everything
47. Letting go is the only thing you can really control
48. Exercise- it also feels good
49. Silence, with strangers or friends, is ok and truly isn't that scary
50. Usually we sell ourselves short, we're stronger, more patient, and more flexible that we think

So there is the little wisdom i picked up in my travels. I'm home now and have my old cell phone number 626-590-4592 so feel free to call. Also I'm still raising money for the well in my village. Any donations or ideas on ways to raise money are sooooo appreciated. Much love and be well.


Bebedores do Gondufo said...


Brittany M Wiitala said...

Such amazing lessons! All preparation for what's to come in in life! You were made for such great things!

Paria said...

Lovely Insight...thanks kimbo. good to read before i leave for africa. wish i could have met up with you in tanz and met walter and all your amazing friends, village. love you lots.

Sarah M said...

Kimmy, how wise you have become. I laughed and cried - sometimes at the same time, which is not really pretty and involves a snorting like noise. Though I know this list is mainly for your own reflection, thank you for posting it. This world is a better place because you are in it. Changed in a way, you are still Kimmy and that is refreshing. Love you, "identical cousin" - love you lots!

Marianne said...

I'm gonna agree with what Sarah said. And hopefully I will see you soon!