Hey all! I have been put in my place when it comes to thinking I know all there is to know about Tanzania. The amount of things I have learned in the past two weeks is just too much to put into words, but I’ll try to name a few.

  • My name is not Emily here, only Emil.
  • Children slyly slip their hand into yours much like boys do in dark movie theaters
  • I am a minority here and am experiencing the effects firsthand and it is extremely difficult (in a very different way than minorities in America)
  • Rice on rice on rice every day
  • The contradictions this country contains are vast and intriguing
  • Bed bugs are not as fun as they sound, and I firmly believe I got them because no one tells me “don’t let the bed bugs bite” before I go to bed
  • My heart is heavy and full all at the same time
  • People stare at knees like Americans would if you walked around shirtless and I’m not sure why but I think it’s hilarious. They’re knees, people, come on
  • Sexism is so so real

I have so much more on my mind but it doesn’t feel ready to be vocalized just yet. From being taught by males that were raised in a sexist culture to staying in a home of a woman/wife/cook/cleaner/superhero and her husband for the weekend to watching small boys being fed before the women who cooked the food…my head and my heart are having a difficult time communicating exactly what they think and feel. I’m being taught about what it means to have power when everything around you is put in place to strip you of that power. About not letting the thoughts and actions of a man or a culture define who I am as a woman. About how my power and my validation comes from the one who created the entire universe and ONLY Him. About how thankful I am that the important men in my life encourage me to be powerful rather than try and take it away from me.

I love this country. I love these people. I love this language. I’m learning to love the pains of growth.

P. S. I’m starting a “How to make foods of Africa” page too so check it out, yo


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