As anyone who has moved to a new place knows, it takes some time for the new place to become familiar. Whether it is a new apartment, a new house, or a new city, it simply takes time to get used to new surroundings. It seems to take even longer when that new place is in a completely different continent or culture. Things can seem chaotic and even simple tasks can feel so uncomfortable. The everyday melody of life just sounds like noise.
Simply stated, the way that the locals do things in Moshi were strange to us upon our arrival. Produce is purchased in markets and the prices are negotiated as opposed to being fixed, driving is done on the left hand side of the road, and soda comes in glass bottles. Most things were very different for us and it took a long time to become adjusted to our new place.
As we said in the update, individuals from the Romanian project, Motivation Romania, are visiting. Because we have had so many guests we, along with Rich and Barb, have been showing Moshi, explaining cultural differences, and running back and forth from town to get people to the right places.
Recently during one of the many trips to and from town – while dodging young men pushing carts, daladala’s moving in and out of traffic, and women with bananas on their heads – we noticed that things started feeling comfortable. Somehow, at some invisible point in our trip here, the chaos started making sense and the noise of a different culture became the melody of life again.
Though we are nearing the end of our adventure here, it feels like a breath of fresh air to come to this realization. We know the price we should pay for produce, John has become quite a talented driver, and we are more relaxed with the idea of life moving slower. It has taken a long time, but we are used to life in Moshi.
We are less than six weeks from completing our fellowship and we wonder what it will be like when we return to the United States.