Standing at the freezer in my local supermarket, while over the phone coordinating between two Tanzanians, one with a meeting, the other with a venue in Dar es Salaam. While simultaneously arranging myself meeting with a South Sudanese arriving in Copenhagen at 17:37.
Today. I watched The Good Lie at a special screening for Danish press in Copenhagen. The film is about the children who had to flee South Sudan in the 1980ties, and who walked thousands of kilometres only to reach the refugee camps in the neighbouring countries where most ended up waiting for years and years.
I was worried it would be a tame Hollywood drama. It is not a fine art movie with complex characters. But it is a fine story where the South Sudanese head characters, two of them former Lost Boys, shine through on the screen, incl. the child actors. The film's message is not so much about the finer details of the war in South Sudan, as it is about having empathy and being able to help others in need.
Well, I both laughed and cried.
It is released in the first week of November, all over Denmark it seems. Go watch it.
A Danish company called Bluecity has set up free wifi in Kerege Village (Pwani) in Tanzania based on 'special technology' and solar power. The pilot project is part of an exhibtion at Danish Industry in Copenhagen this week. Apparently, the free wifi is limited for the pilot project of two weeks. The article headline says: 'African villages go online'
The project receives a lot of praise, and fascination, when I look at the (still few) shares on social media - however, none of the information I have read so far include any Tanzanians, or any user experiences for that matter, and there are few specific details.
I mean, I am puzzled that there are NO words about the Tanzanian tech scene! - And is the pilot project over, and when did it run, is it only positive feedback, i.e. it says that the commercial telecompanies coooperate - but what is in it for them - long term? And who's involved from Tanzania (the article does refer to 'local partners'), any techies or only Danes?)
I probably should. But I don't, because only sometimes I can tell the difference, like when I have to write reports or do tax, or access my netbank on a wobbly Internet connection.
I do count handsome men in kanzu smiling back.
Handsome men in suits. With razor blade sharp tongues. Nairobi is full.
I ount hours of sunlight.
When finding the perfect South African rose wine.
Bongo Flava musician encounters taking me to islands, and sailing me back over the Indian Ocean at night (and you know you really shouldn't). Stars exploding over our heads, above the waves of a dark sea. When we merge with the lights of the Dar es Salaam skyline. Where desire comes in abundance, only to be matched equally with mysteries unsolved.
When the long rain starts. The heavy, tropical showers, which resemble most of my love affairs around here: short and intensive. Making iron sheets fly. Rivers flow. Blood rush. Taste salt. (and you know you shouldn't have done it. But )
The days I walk from Mosque Street, to Libya, down Uhuru, back again, and over Morogoro to Zanaki. Through the waves of scent of freshly peeled oranges, newly cut madafu, squeezed sugar cane, and black coffee stirred with ginger powder.
I count the sensations of finding a kanga with a perfect saying and colour. I count the kilos of heavy loads of vitenge in explosive colours. I count the pages in my notebook with illustrations and ideas of all the things I need to create.
I count the friends. The real friends and our conversations which connect. Especially the times when they offer pockets of sanity. Understanding. Relief.
That I'm not alone.
I count the friends I haven't seen in forever, but where we continue from where we finished last.
The deep, fat, red soil in Kigoma.
The palm trees.
Salt or sweet.
The Muslim call to prayer.
I count all the times I didn't get malaria, amoeba or worse (inshallah).
People who read and like the stuff I write.
I count the days till I am going to South Sudan.
I count the days till I'm meeting with family and friends in Copenhagen.