On Charity…and Two Worthy Of Your Attention

The more I stay involved with organizations that exist to serve others, the more I realize the wisdom we’ve all heard throughout our lives about the benefits of doing so. I have a dear friend who, every week, serves at a church soup kitchen to feed the homeless. I know many men who offer their…
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Connections And Coincidence: Tomorrow I’m Taking Computers Back To The Third World

In the 90s, a Minnesotan family by the name of Jacobson was in central Tanzania on a mission trip through their Lutheran Church. While there in the empty, hilly, rocky farmland of East Africa, their adolescent son befriended a local boy by the name of Evaristo. The boys stayed friends through their teenage years–whether together or apart.…
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Religion In Uganda: I Visit A Temple And A Mosque

What religion are people in East Africa? Christian? Muslim? Tribal mythologies? Witchcraft? How about dread-locked Rastafari? Yes. Contrasting people of Europe or China, those in Africa are especially open to religion. This openness combined with the influence of outsiders over recent centuries, means a lot of different faiths have taken hold. In June, I was…
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Ferry Ride To Bukoba, My Low Point On This Trek

I told myself when I left Arusha that this trek around Lake Victoria wasn’t going to be a vacation. It was an adventure. I’d be okay with delays and discomforts; they were all just part of the experience. The upshot: this mindset allowed me to also be open to any opportunity that came along. And…
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Mwanza: A Huge Lake, Freakishly Large Birds, And A New Friend

I awoke, did one of those looks back and forth where the eyes dart but the head stays put. New room; new city in Tanzania. A new city to explore. And I would do so this day to discover gardens along huge Lake Victoria tended to by locals, tan boulders the size of cars (and…
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On The (deadly) Road To Mwanza, Tanzania

“Here is it,” said the guy standing next to me at the busy Arusha bus station. Finally. It was the morning of September 18, and after the joy of waiting for two hours watching hoards of other Tanzanian travelers getting on their on-time buses, I was relieved with the tardy arrival of mine. I needed…
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Views Of Mt. Kilimanjaro: Goodbye To Arusha And Hello To A New Adventure

Walter Mitty was introduced to the world in 1939 by writer James Thurber. In Thurber’s short story, Mitty is a dreamer, not a doer. And his fantasies attempt to compensate for his lack of real life adventure and accomplishment. He never does find fulfillment. Not only do his dreams fail to replace reality, but his…
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Introducing The Maasai: Tribespeople Of East Africa

One more image in my mother’s mind that troubled her when I left for Africa was that of the technologically primitive tribe. She found their lifestyle interesting but didn’t want her son around their idols and whatnot. For the most part, she’d get her wish. That being said, it is easier now more than ever…
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Arusha, Tanzania: The Streets, The College Campus, The Food Market

Last week was a lengthy word story, this week is a story of pictures. As covered last week, on my way to see the bus company that had damaged my luggage, I met Innocent, a college student dressed in hip urban clothes and whose round, always-half-smiling face gave the impression that he lived up to…
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Arusha, Tanzania: Relationships And Lawlessness

When I came up with my itinerary for my year-ending trek, I knew it would be a series of stops around Lake Victoria. But I also knew I’d be kicking off this trek with a stop off the lake: Arusha in Tanzania’s northeast. Arusha had been mentioned by various travelers I met throughout my time…
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