After 25 actual hours on airplanes and 42 total hours of travel time, we have made it to Moshi the town that sits at the base of Mt.Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. We are both deeply exhausted but happy to finally be here.
So far, the mountain is hiding behind the clouds, so hopefully tomorrow we can take some time to appreciate what I know is going to be a breathtaking sight. In an effort to stay up as long as possible (goal being 8:00pm) we decided to check out the neighborhood. It didn’t take but 2 minutes off our hotel property for us to wonder “is it possible for us to stick out any more?” For the first time in my life, and believe me I am not complaining, we were the only white people to be seen in a solid 45 minutes of walking around town. What an powerful reversal to the norm. It offers me the opportunity to think about how that must weigh in on a person’s identity when you really are, the only one who looks like you. I felt people’s eyes watching us as we made our way down the broken streets. I was definitely the only one in workout clothes and Peter certainly the only person in board shorts. Being watched, even with friendly eyes, made me wish I was something different than Caucasian with bone straight hair. Actually, I think even back in California I would choose to be something different than Caucasian with bone straight hair. Maybe that means, that while I am here, I should experience what being “different” feels like and appreciate this opportunity for reflection. Leaning into a little discomfort now and then is good for me and I think being the minority once in a while is good practice for us all.