We who have come so far, and have so far to go. Can three days bring a change? Can we grasp the leap from our high tech world to subsistence farming? Can we possibly assimilate the change from Dubai to Dar es Salaam to Iringa to Ipalamwa?
Today Mohamed pulled us and rocked us and, some would say, massaged us, into a world we can not have known. A world of hand worked fields; a land of clustered dwellings carved from the red earth; a land of colorfully clad beautiful women; a land of strong grave men; a land of curious, friendly perfect children; a land dry with the heat, cooled by a highland breeze, a breeze that rustles the towering bamboo, that brushes softly the spend stalks of corn. Are there many cars in Ipalamwa.
Along the way, lovely sweeping landscapes, herded cattle and goats, buckets of onions and tomatoes neatly crowned, and neatly furrowed fields. The villages are randomly arranged, the markets busy with work, the mosques, white and gleaming in the sun.
Up and up we climb, urging Mohamed forward, swerving and swaying with him to avoid the on coming lorry. Up and up we climb, and then drop down through a heavily rutted road to wonder at the well tended fields alive with crops and brushed by the setting sun.
Up, up, up we climb, and there we are told on that hill is Ipalamwa—a long way off it still seems. At last we see the beginning of Ipalamwa and dancing, smiling children, returning gaily from school, eager to greet us with waves and chatter. Can we really have arrived? We see a church, handsome buildings and on a rise a field, full with soccer and before us, the student body, lifting voices in song.
Yes, we have arrived and are duly introduced to the teaching staff and then presented to the students, all closely examining the quartet from GV, the four fresh faces finding new strength from the vision of uniformed students. But the greeting is not complete—we are regaled with songs and forceful dances. Our applause is vigorous but cannot measure up to the students’ performance. Are there many cars in Ipalamwa?
Thoughts For The Day:
“Never before has man had such a great capacity to control his environment, to end hunger, poverty and disease to banish illiteracy and human miser. We have the power to make the best generation of mankind in the history of the world.”
-John F. Kennedy