Monday July 22 – Day 1 in Arusha

I’m up at 4am – not quite on Africa time yet. I have no watch and I can’t remember if I’m supposed to add 10 hours to the California time on my laptop (my son’s laptop) or subtract 10 hours. I decide to download a desktop app (clock) and remove the confusion. It’s add 10 hours and subtract 1 day. I can do this. Back up at 7am and down for a very relaxed breakfast. Being on “Africa time” means more than sleeping at night and being awake during the day. “Africa time” also means earning “Applewood points” (translation – relax, take it easy, bepatient and thoughtful). When I do that in the States (which is apparently rare) I earn points toward dinner at the Applewood Inn in Guerneville. When I get home, I’m going to Applewood for the first time!

After breakfast we met with the Tanzania Asante Africa delegation to discuss plans for the week ahead. They are a wonderful set of leaders with great smiles, passion, and spirit for what Asante is doing in Tanzania.

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Heward explained the vision and showed clips we have shot from Kenya. We’re working plans for the rest of the week including shot lists of kids, adults, schools and villages. The cultural differences emerge in language and customs. Heward is a wonderful leader with strong vision and ideas but with the real ability to listen to feedback, alternatives and enhancements and fully embrace the ideas of the larger team. He needs no Applewood points!

Planning for video shooting is complex. We need a script, actors, shooting location, costumes. The best line of the morning: Heward: “We need a baby. Can someone get us one?” We have the luxury of a few segments filmed in Kenya to explain the vision to the Tanzanians. The in country support team works the late morning and early afternoon on the detailed implementation plan with schedule and logistics defined my mid afternoon. Very organized and impressive. (I’m not sure what they were really saying in Swahili but their English summary sounded like they really have their shit together. Tomorrow we head about 2 hours out of town to an Asante School that I still can’t spell even after they spelled it for me. Even the letters can get lost in translation. I know it has a “k” where I thought there should be a “q” from the pronunciation.

We caught a ride to town with a gentleman from Atlanta. He’s been here since May. We did a little shopping. It is a very interesting experience to walk a shopping district of a city in the developing world dressed as a cash register. After buying a few things that Laura will call “stupid” I finally shook the last guy by giving him $2 for a bracelet that is now worth two dollars.

I mistakenly took a quick nap (dreaming of a Peet’s whole milk latte). We then met up with our Driver (Albert) and he took us to a hillside to watch the sunset and moonrise.

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Not the best view and not the best weather but we work with what we get. After being dropped back at our hotel we walked to town for dinner at the Africacafe. (American food).

Tomorrow is my first trip to a school, about 2 hours out of Arusha. I know what to expect – the unexpected!

I’m honored to be here with two such talented people – Heward and Elley. We have a plan. Life is good.

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