Time of consciousness part III

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Time of consciousness part III

What’s following is the third part of Mattia Confalonieri’s travelogue. For part I, click here, for part II, here.

28.01.2015
Independence, beloved, needed independence. Vital nectar in a world where the personal space is decreasing and people don’t have time for themselves, just for themselves, alone, to sit and meditate about their existence and gain awareness.
The unpredictability of the events, the enchanting diversity, the incoherence of thoughts and behaviors, it’s all fascinating. Living everyday in connection with the herenow finding the essence of the moments, the depth of thoughts, the spirit aura, living approaches that are thrilling my life.
Observing the seconds sliding, visiting soul and mind areas never perceived, I deal with the incredible captivating power of the moment consciousness.
I put aside my ego, my character barriers, my judgments, the past history, personal involvements and I plunge into the herenow.
An energetic and refreshing breeze together with intense fragrances through the fields next to the Arusha airport enlarge and enrich the daily African feelings and thoughts.
A yoga session will follow today to the office routine and a profound meditative status is going to emerge and spreading all over me. Look ahead, BE.

29.01.2015
Morning here in Arusha is a symphony, birds warm up their voices and shed celestial lyrics in the air. At the same time from the primary school next to the office a large group of young girls intone melodic songs that blend splendidly with the birds voices. In Tanzanian schools is a routine to sing every day, such a wonderful way to start and to celebrate the beauty of life.
Sing along connect the spirit with the very moment, instants of pure essence. Singing means enjoying life, living the moment expressing completely yourself and the feelings you are carrying. It’s a means to let the children spreading their energy and voices, a wind of positivity that fill up the morning souls.
At least distorts for a while the attention from the laptop screen, loyal companion of the daily routine. Funny that the thing you lay your eyes for longer time in your day it’s a screen, a laptop that is your loved and sometime hated working colleague. Sitting perpetually on the same chair, increasing back problems and testing your posture skills.
I’ll work hard to find myself working in the future within a more healthy and stimulating environment. Technology and internet help much in the research and including some farming and cultivating activities, alternating mental work to manual work, I want to craft a sustainable job environment, for people.
The foot slides down on the dirt road surrounded by coffee trees, a fresh breeze is a companion to a great run, after long time, finally within a green heaven. It’s the best way to enjoy myself after a day in the office, on the journey of new stimulus and experiences.

03.02.2015
February hits up the air and the souls, wind stop blowing and temperature rise up above 30° C. The hot climate makes the office job going slowly and becoming rough, I feel in need of spreading the energy anytime I start to sweating a bit.
My last month in Tanzania is started, I’m happy of the time had so far and I’m confident that this last period will be a consolidation of the fascinating experience I’m enjoying, gaining professional and living knowledge.
I’ve pointed out few destinations that I’d love to visit before going back to Italy. To mention a few there are Mwanza, picturesque town on the stunning Lake Victoria, located 10 hours west from Arusha. Other places where I’ll try to go are Tanga on the coast, Lake Eyasi and Mount Kilimanjaro National Park.
Backpack on, traveler mood settled and new cultural and natural dimensions to explore within Tanzania, land of wilderness, warm people and terrific natural and cultural beauties.
Cooperation is an anthropologic behavior that during the years developed among Tanzanians and that built the actual social structure. There are still enormous factors that can be improved, like social integration of youths, free education, poverty alleviation and corruption, the most undermining element that numerous undeveloped countries are facing.
A bottom-up policy is what is needed, with the help of responsible and aware external expertise Tanzania has the potential to succeed over all this issues.

09.02.2015
Every first Saturday of the month OIKOS, an international NGO for the conservation of natural resources and sustainable development, organize the farmers market, an enchanting occasion that assemble together all the organic farmers and producers of the Arusha area.
The Arusha Farmers Market is a monthly farm-to-table initiative that help more than 120 small scale organic farmers to find a fair market for their products. The market hosts also small scale food processors, certified Fair Trade organizations and small ethical entrepreneurs.
Visiting the market is always a consistent buck up of cohesion and fair cooperation and promotion of organic products that puts together people, with an incredible attitude and spirit for sustainable development, and organic products.
I find amazing the chance to buy vegetables, fruit, cheese, snacks, coming from local producers that put all their love and passion, going against the consumerist world and the market that is developing nowadays, in favor of local economy and the promotion of organic cultivation.
In a country like Tanzania where chemical and toxic pesticides are common and widespread all over the crop lands, it’s fundamental to approach and inform the local people and expat of the existence of alternative and natural pesticides.
I feel home whenever I ride down to the market, a wave of change is breathable around the green and wonderful garden that surrounds OIKOS. Local families, kids running around, it’s a sustainable heaven, a small scale producers place where you can see clearly with your eyes who is the person that grow and sell the products that you will eat. A developing awareness is in progress in Tanzania. Stand a chance to sustainability and the conscious conservation of natural resources.

17.02.2015
Less than one month and I’ll be dispatched back in Italy. I’m really excited about coming back, meet my family and friends and see with a new pair of eyes my wonderful country and the opportunities that I’ll have in the next future.
I’ve spent a wonderful weekend on the border between Tanzania and Kenya, at Lake Chala, stunning tiny lake with colorful surroundings. I’ve camped in the Tanzanian side of the lake and I’ve dipped for a refreshing swim in the blue water as soon as I got there.
After a relaxing two hours laying amidst the enchanting nature silence, birds singing and wind blowing the only noises around, I went for an excursion on top of the hill at the edge of the lake, from where you can enjoy a marvelous view of the lake and of the area all around. Mount Kilimanjaro in the Tanzanian side, with all the other green hills, at its feet, and the Kenyan side, more reddish and dry, with just few houses that can be sighted.
I’m trying to plan my weekends remaining as better as I can in order to visit the culture and nature places in northern Tanzania. I’ve already got a consistent insight of the culture, the local people and the places, but there are still numerous things I’d love to do, see and experience.
After two grey days of rain and low temperature today is getting better, sun is up and I’m ready to hit the road after work. People comes people go, moments stay, a deep breath and enjoy.

19.02.2015
After a relaxing day of yoga and meditation I’m mentally revitalized, I strive to maintain an healthy posture everyday and most important aspect I feel every instants of the day flowing and I can focus much more better on the rhythms and the needs of my body and mind.
I like to live the journey with stimulating perspectives, mentally you can exercise and reach a peacefulness that is enchanting, you just need to extend your views and concentrating on things and places that make your heart and soul smiling.
Living with awareness every moment helps you to love your person and explore constantly new dimensions of mind and body. It’s the beauty of being.
A sunny Thursday in Arusha, after a Wednesday of streets rivering and rain drops, is a new day to live in harmony with ourselves and the life we are living. As writer and character of my journey I’m drawing stunning moments here in Tanzania, lovely and warm people makes you feeling connected with the place and enhance your appetite of coming back.
This weekend I’m ready to discover and experience two local tribes in the northern area of Tanzania, around the Lake Eyasi. The Hadzabe, indigenous ethnic group considered among the last hunter-gatherers in the world, and the Datoga, pastoralist nilotic people of the Manyara region.
Getting finally closer to some local ethnic group is exciting and fascinating, I’m going to live as they do and bringing some of my culture. I’ll breath and experience some of their uniqueness and authenticity.

23.02.2015
Saturday afternoon I jump on a plane directed to Lake Manyara airstrip, the view from above it is simply breathtaking, the hills covered of a rich and shiny green trees pattern, the lake bright carries a magic misty breeze and even from a distance you can perceive the magic of the place.
The backpack is loaded of fresh “matunda”, fruit in Kiswahili, the traveler spirit is boiling curiosity and I’m ready for a new adventure in the Lake Eyasi, home of the Hadzabe, tribe of nomads and hunters and the Datoga, gatherers and blacksmiths.
The landing amidst Manyara Lake and hills is stunning. Once arrived, after bargaining with a local fellow, we reached an agreement for a taxi lift until Karatu, the next city that borders Ngorongoro crater in the Arusha region.
From Karatu we took a land cruiser, used as a shuttle to Eyasi by the local people, that is always literally packed and amassed of people. On the way going we were 16, including 3 small kids, plus the luggage and the food loaded on top of the land cruiser. After a one hour and a half of driving along a dirt and gravel road we finally reached the tiny village bordering the Lake where we overnight in a campsite surrounded by onion farms.
Saturday we went for a short excursion around the camp and then we had a great dinner at the camp with grilled goat, soup, salad and a goat stew with vegetables. Everything was delicious and satisfied bellies and minds by the fire, where we singed and played some music before reaching the tents for a sleep.
The next morning we left for the visit to the tribes, firstly the Hadzabe, a 10 km drive on a piki-piki, toyo motorbike, along a gravel road. Arrived next to their settlement we finally encounter the bushmen, a small group that showed us how they build a fire, just using a knife. On the knife they place a piece of wood with a tiny hole, inside it they put a wooden branch that, rotated quickly between your hands generate fire. The Hadza were intent smoking a marijuana pipe, used daily, and were having breakfast with the left over of the day before, a warthog they hunted. The Hadza have been hunters for more than 100,000 years and they move often according with the hunting booty. They live in the deep bush and they hunt with arches and sharpened and poisoned arrows.
The easiness with which they create a fire with the method above is incredible. After we went for a short hunt in the bush with them they placed a dik-dik hunted the day before directly on the fire and we had a small bite of their prey as well. I must say that it was delicious, I tried a bite of the liver of the animal and it was super tasty. All the woman in the group were sitting next to the huts made of wood and ropes and a tiny and cute child dispense smiles to everyone.
We said bye to the Hadza and we were ready to head to the Datoga village, situated just other 7km drive after the Hadza settlement. Once arrived there the village head welcome us and then a woman showed us how they grind the grain that they use to prepare the “ugali”, local porridge. Using an heavy shaped stone and moving it up and down on a stone base they grind the “malindi”. After the visit to the local huts, made of lime, soil and cow manure, they showed us how they nourish the fire with bellows in order to forge the metals they work and mold to create tools and decorative wonderful bracelets and rings.
The journey at Eyasi terminated with a relaxing brunch of fruit by the muddy Lake, enough to get a modest sunstroke, where we ended this enchanting weekend between culture, local tribes and road adventures. Just for the record, the trip back from Eyasi to Karatu took one hour and forty minutes on a land cruiser staffed with 20 person, no kids included, and the trip from Karatu to Arusha has been on a local dala dala, shuttle, packed with 23 passengers, the number of seats is 14. Tanzanian style, compactness and beauty.