Diary

Njiani

Njiani*

(*swahili translation for on the road)

So you may think why am I on the road again after Nimefika (I have arrived) and Nyumbani (home).

Well yes, I see this as a constant journey with myself and secondly I had to travel out of Tanzania, due to my Visa situation. Time passes by too fast. 

I take it as a wonderful opportunity to explore the neighbouring countries and my first trip takes me to Nairobi, Kenya. 

I take one of the so called Luxury Busses from Dar es Salaam to Arusha. It’s a 650 km bus ride in 11 hours. 

It is something I wouldn’t do, if I was here just on vacation. But luckily on my journey I have the time to do so. It is a whole different way of exploring the country and seeing its full beauty. 

Being on the roads of Tanzania lets me see the landscape in so many different phases. Traveling up north you can view the different vegetations of this country. Tanzania is mountainous and densely forested in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro is located

It is weird and nice at the same time to be traveling alone and still on a bus with 50 other passengers. There are a lot of conversations going on. But to be honest I dedicate myself to the scene outside the window and the spectacle inside my head. 

I am not surprised about all the thoughts which come up. It has been a while since I have been completely alone and let them thrive like this. In my head I re-visit the past several months. 

I am actually in Tanzania now. 

On a complete new journey. 

Leaving my cosy comfort zone in search of some magic. 

It’s incredible how much magic has been happening in front of me. 

The way I found myself handling my life, finding a home and starting to feel in peace with myself. 

Don’t get me wrong. I am still going through some difficulties and everyday struggles. But I find myself in much more ease coping with day to day life. Sometimes I still catch myself in situations I compare a lot to the city I have lived before. But again I remind myself that even there I had to find my way around. Create my comfort zone, make friends and build myself a home. I’ve got the feeling that I had just gotten to that point, when I decided to start from scratch.

And to be honest, I am sure I was just able to do this step because I had such an awesome foundation. 

It is weird I tell myself, why would someone leave when it’s so comfortable. This question accompanies me for a while. There is no regret behind my decision. But I understand why a lot of people are afraid of moving on or trying new things. I remind myself that this has been a long-time dream of mine. My breath and soul where looking forward to this for such a long time. 

So on this bus, on this road, in the eastern part of Tanzania I realize that I woke up in one of my own dreams. So what do you do when you find yourself in your own dream? How did that dream go on? How did it end? What comes next? This is where I have to admit to myself, that I just don’t know. 

What comes now? 

I prepare myself to start a complete new journey with myself. I have to re-program and think about where I want to go. You can believe me when I tell you that I will do everything in my power to stay. I am doing my best to live in the present. To actually live my dream. With a new focus on my future and starting to visualize new dreams. I will be writing about it in the future again and my journal will help me keep track of the things I really want to do. 

But first I arrive in Arusha. 

Located below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley, Arusha has a temperate climate. That’s what Wikipedia says. But I was super freezing in October. If only had I packed one more sweater and a thicker jacket! I knew someone will be wearing the same things for the next three days. This was definitely not part of the dream.

I did manage though. Arusha is a beautiful small town compared to the busy Dar es Salaam – a lot of tourists. When I say a lot then I mean a lot. I found myself in a super cute little coffee house, and I was the only black person, besides the employees. So you can imagine my face in that situation. Apparently it’s also a major diplomatic hub and residency to a lot of NGOs. But then again why do I go into a coffee house. 

For the ones who have read Chimamanda Ngochi Adichie’s „Americanah“, I really miss the double lactose-free Moccachino. So, guess this is just the ordinary side dish served along.

But besides this situation I get to meet Kathryn again who lives in Arusha. You can find her on all social media platforms as traveling.sista. Sharing time with a fellow home-comer and pan africanista, just keeps reminding me that I am on the right track. 

Together with Keesha, a nigerian repatriate who came to visit Tanzania, we spend a lovely evening sharing our different journeys, dreams and visions. Our collective experiences show again how deep black women bound and how we inspire each other to keep growing. 

Kathryn has a wonderful expression I am going to be using from now on: We are building our own tribe. 

I have had this thought so often before, in the question of belonging. Growing up in between cultures. Where do I belong. In a society where you as an individual or even as a group, will never fully belong to. I feel like this has happened before. I had found my tribe and I will always have them with me. I know where I belong mentally, so I am just on a new journey finding my fellow people in a new space. 

And it is happening slowly but surely. 

I will keep you posted about other awesome people I meet on my journey in a future post about „friendships, relationships, and other non-floating ships“.

So to keep on going on the physical journey, I take another bus to Nairobi a couple of days later. Exited to be in Nairobi and to see friends and family I haven’t seen in years. This takes me on a ride into my past. And I am happy to say, that there are so many things I have successfully healed from. I am no more haunted by the wounds of my past. 

My breath is so much easier, I feel I have come home to myself. 

Even though I didn’t see so much of Nairobi itself, I am sure my path will bring me back to this „cool waters“. 

My trip back is easy on a 1hour and 25 minutes flight. And I get my Visa for another three months. I can’t wait to continue this journey through the jungles of the public offices. But this is a story for another day. 

I will be waiting for my beloved mum who is flying in the next days, to take my little child hand and teach me a lesson on Tanzanian bureaucracy.

And as most of you know, I was so blessed to take my loving adorable and amazing Sistahs on a shared journey through my new home, city, life, beaches, favorite restaurants, coffee shops, art spaces and my spice island Zanzi-bae.  I am so grateful that they took this journey on them to share this chapter of my life with me. 

These stories though will stay in my journal and especially in my memories for ever. Or I will just use it as an excuse to have skipped one blog post. Take it as you want. 

I am opening a gallery page though and will be putting up some pictures, but for all the lovers and haters, keep following my not so often happening Insta-stories to know what’s happening in my life. 

Or simply give me a text, call me, write me a letter/e-mail or respond on how you like my writing. 

This should be it for now. If you have read all the way down thanks for taking the time to accompany me on my journey.  I wish you all the best for your own, and may the ancestors’  energies and goddess help you find your right track in your right pace.  

„be insecure

in peace.

allow yourself

lowness. 

know that it is

only

a country

on

the way to who you are.

-traveling

nayyirah waheed

p.s.: my favourite coffee house in my neighbourhood is also called Njiani.   

So when you come to visit, we will hit the roads towards there. 

One Comment

  • hrmpfm

    I was thinkink about you this sleepless night and gleamed your new post.

    I am so deeply touched by your words and am happy, that you are building your happiness.

    You are missed here, but with an open heart for knowing you are at peace and loving and thriving.

    I wish you the best.

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