Farewell to Jambo, Jambo

As with any trip you take or any endeavor you engage in (not trying to sound too morbid, but…), one day you start and before you know it it’s all over. We were told to leave our duffel bags (easier than suitcases to cram into a limited space) outside our rooms at the crack of dawn, and the staff would bring them to the reception area to be loaded into the Land Cruisers. The staff at the Oldeani Mountain Lodge gave us a final round of ‘jambo, jambo,’ and that was it, we were off for our final day in Tanzania. Continue reading

Jambo, Jambo (Part 6)

It’s been several weeks since my shul, Musar Avicha, (as with all the other houses of worship in these environs) was reluctantly closed for business. Sooner or later, the virus and our consequent forced isolation will go the way of all viruses (until it returns in some mutated form), and we will return to our assigned seats and resume praying together. That means we’ll be singing or reciting the repetition of the Amidah Shabbat morning. Matai timloch b’tzion (when will God rule over Zion?). Even here in the Land, we sometimes get somebody doing it in Ashkenaziz, when it becomes Masai timloch b’tzion. What, you want an African tribesman to rule over us? Vas is daz? Continue reading

Jambo, Jambo (Part 5)

It’s not just us – assuming that we are part of ‘us,’ a dubious proposition at best. The ‘us,’ or maybe the ‘them’ I’m referring to are the white Europeans who, as part of their legacy, trashed several continents ecologically and impoverished or enslaved whole populations. There’s a reason why the American bison almost became extinct. You can decide for yourself whether you consider yourself or your ancestors as part of the problem – or not.

Either way, it’s not just ‘whitey’ who is responsible for this human depopulation. The Tanzanian government, taking its cue from the Europeans, is doing a first-rate job of keeping the various antelope species safe and sound, but as far as the humans wandering around, that’s what this article is all about. Continue reading