Yesterday, I was walking to the back of my apartment to get a bottle of water and it suddenly dawned on me that I live here. Not just that I live in this apartment, but that for the next 10 months of my life, we will be living in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Of course I planned to live here and I actively sought a grant and housing and other things to make it possible, but it was a strange moment to realize that we actually live here and that we will not be in the United States for the next 10 months. I had slowly been processing thoughts about the length of time, such as when I might see a friend again and or being happy that I don’t have to attend certain meetings for this school year. But, the reality has set in and in turn a bit of a schedule and routine.
This past week, we went to the economic capital of Dar es Salaam to the US Embassy to do our orientation and security briefing. This was the first time that Keith had been to Dar in seven years since we got on the airplane there at the end of my student Fulbright. He was able to see how much it had changed and all the growth and big buildings. We also saw a fellow Fulbrighter and enjoyed the view from their balcony.
On my social media, I have been posting pictures on my lunch views and enjoying the beautiful Indian Ocean and the delicious fresh juice. My aunt and my mother asked me if all I did was eat and look at pretty views.
While part of me wanted to say yes and part of me wanted to say no, the truth is that we are developing our routine and the semester here does not start until the middle of October. In addition, we are waiting for our work and my research permits to be processed, so at this time we are tourists who can spend some time getting to know Zanzibar and enjoying its beauty and food. I also can spend time as a tourist working on various pieces of writing and research that I have not had the time to do in the last couple months/year and get some of that work out for review. So here is my home office that I have set up and try to get a couple of hours of writing in each morning. We also can do some preparation for our upcoming work.
I have also gotten back to working out and doing my yoga. I found a yoga class here that meets twice a week that I hope to try soon.
On the list of other accomplishments, we are finally learning our way and I am particularly proud that I was able to find my way home the most direct route yesterday from shopping and lunch. When I ask directions, they commonly tell me just turn left or right here and then go straight till you get to whatever it is I am looking for.
I am learning that straight and follow the road have a similar meaning, but still lead to me getting lost sometimes in these curvy alleys.