Tanzania volunteer Marsha Dixon served in Ipalamwa, Tanzania in January 2020 on her first service program with Global Volunteers. She wrote this poem on Ipalamwa and her worries now that the world is facing a pandemic. Her hope is that our futures are filled with more human connection.
By Marsha Dixon
It is through travel that I see the eye of my soul.
Chatter in various languages all over the world,
Cultures so different and uniquely special.
Bridges are crossed and divides are merged.
Upon arrival halfway around the world
Ipalamwa, Tanzania so basic and pure.
My eyes are wide and my heart is filled
With love and wonder for what lies ahead.
The Global Volunteer campus is our home
Our anchor to windward each morning and night.
Children swarm around us crying “teacher, teacher”
Their smiles so welcoming it touches my heart.
The village school filled with expectation and hope.
Oh the simplicity of it all, this basic life.
Tucked away in the back mountains of Tanzania
The fabric of their society comes together.
Away from the pack they make their way
Ingenuity and resilience a source of pride.
Gardens provide the nourishment they need.
The climate lush with seasonal rains.
The rutted road a challenge for all.
Men gather to lend a helping hand.
I observe the women with their precious babies
Bundled in vibrant fabric and held with care.
Bond between mother and child, a beauty to behold.
A thread through it all for generations to come.
As the world faces a pandemic
I worry for friends in Ipalamwa.
I worry for all of humanity as we take care
To be safe and see a better tomorrow.
May our future be filled with more connection
A meeting of our hearts from one to all.
It is through travel that a window appears
And there is a clearer understanding
Of the pulse of humanity and the love at our core.
Marsha also wrote to Global Volunteers staff, “Be well my friends. I think of the people of Ipalamwa often and in my meditation I can picture you as if I am there. The beautiful rolling hills and mountains and most of all the beautiful people and the staff at Global Volunteers are forever etched in my mind. This poem is a gift to all of you from my heart. I am so glad you like it and hope it will help others see the true value of all that Global Volunteers is doing in this world. My heart aches for those that have minimal health care. I know the negative impact that the lack of travel capability will have on all of you collectively, those that you serve, and those that are servers.”