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The name Tanzania is derived from the combination of Tanganyika, mainland Tanzania’s earlier name, and Zanzibar, after the two joined in 1964. The nation capital city became Dodoma in 1964, Dar Es Salaam though is still home to the central government bureaucracy. Dar is the biggest city in Tanzania and the financial capital, its population is estimated in 4,364,541.
Tanzania cover an area of 364,900 sq. miles, around 945,087 sq. km; the inland waters includes Lake Victoria, Africa most extensive lake, and Lake Tanganyika that has the greatest depth (1,470m). Tanzania is a land of wonder. It is enclosed in between the blistering equator, The Great Rift Valley – considered to be the “cradle of mankind” – and the incredibly blue Indian Ocean. It is home of Africa highest mountain, Kilimanjaro and the Ngorongoro Crater, the biggest intact volcanic caldera on the planet. The Serengeti alone, one of the world’s most famous national parks, hosts more amazing wild animals than all existing zoos combined. Meanwhile Tanzania’s rivers hide prehistoric reptiles and its plains support truck-sized pachyderms.
Tanzanians are typically native Africans, live in the countryside, and work in agriculture. They can trace their lineage from one of the 130 or so Bantu tribes in Tanzania and have an average life expectancy of 51 years (50 for men and 52 for women). Of the total population of 47 million, 44% are aged under fourteen and 53% from fifteen to sixty-four, there is only a tiny number of elderly. Statistically, Tanzanians are either Muslim or Christian and speak Swahili, a Bantu language with strong Arabic, adding recently some English infusions. Tanzanians are typically literate, despite of this they are unlikely to have completed postsecondary education.
In Tanzania the majority of the poor still lack the necessary skills to achieve any new economic opportunities deriving from the free market and therefore struggle to raise their living standards. Disease, the lack of clean drinking water, and ongoing incidents of corruption at all levels also conspire to prevent Tanzania from surging ahead. Tanzania is a poor country, with a per capita GDP of $1,813 (PPP), which was 32 percent below the average of $2,673 for the 45 Sub – Saharan African countries and ranked 23rd among those countries.

After having lived in Istanbul for five months in 2010, in Swakopmund, nestled near the Namib Desert in Namibia, for 3 months in 2013 and having experience last summer London I’ve been offered a job in Tanzania.
If soul would have a color mine would be half white and half black, if not more black. Having experienced the African spirit and feeling for the first time in Namibia, signed my path and pictured the way I’m following, a spontaneous journey between experiences that are incredibly rich in terms of cultural integration, country adaptation, life rhythms changes and that are as much as I can people focused.
I’m a sociologist, a traveler and also an employee for a tour operator based in Arusha, settled at 1,390 m on the sea level. After having graduated in Tourism, Cultures and Territorial Development last year I’m ready to draw my working career and Africa is where I’m putting myself to the test, all in order to understand living dynamics that our Western world have forgotten and that the people here find so natural and essential.
While here working taking care of the logistic and the expenses for the tour operator and for the camp that we run, helping the management, I’ll be for a while your witness and narrator of this new enchanting life experience. Until March I’ll document my journey over here in Tanzania.
Sambaza Upendo – Spread Love

Not having the pen between my hands feel a bit strange. It’s like going up the stairs with the escalators. It’s too comfortable write with this laptop. Anything that gets too comfy and make me feel, behave and think in a lazy way I always try to avoid. Here in Arusha a new experience started from last Wednesday, 10th of December 2015.
The looks, the glances are curious and profound, the mind is starting to produce positive and stimulating energy and another chapter of my life is being written in Africa.
Glances from the local people are truly interesting, every time I try to interpret their thoughts but, coming from a totally different culture and place it’s too hard.
This is the factor that is boggling my mind, slowly and with all my will I’ll try to understand, live and talk as much as I can with the local people. I’ve started already to learn a bit of Kiswahili, the local language, so far is going not too bad, considering that I’m totally new to it and it’s just four days that I’m arrived here in Tanzania.
I’m starting to feel this new African breeze and the incredible diversity around me. I walk between people, I’m the observed, I’m the diverse, I’m the curious element around sometime, I’m ready to share new vibes in a spontaneous way in another cultural dimension.

Spontaneously young girls say a sweet “hi” to me, unknown men and women smile to a foreign face without hesitating and without any thoughts, and so do I.
For the first time yesterday I pushed myself into the roads and the people of Arusha. Walking through the Nairobi road you find an incredible mix of people keeping themselves busy doing something, piki-piki, typical motorbike taxi drivers, waiting for the next customer, street food sellers, local bars, everyone find a way to make a bit of daily bread.
After a really pleasant and therapeutic walk I reached the Nakumat, the main town shopping centre, where I met Brian, local fellow that spoke a good English and so on we went talking and I invited him for a coffee.
After the coffee break he guided me through the local second hand market, an incredible mess of clothes, shoes, socks, any type of clothing you can imagine that stretches up for 1 km, local business men and women await, laying down on the clothes they sell, and when they see a “muzungu” (stranger – foreigner) like me, their eyes start blinking like a jackpot machine and they try to bump on you, in a really calm way, in order to find their daily deal. I was in need of a pair of sandals and so I finally bought a pair of nice and comfy ones, after bargaining on the price, always an needful attitude to have in between of this local markets, and I went on with Brian to the local fruit and vegetables market.
The eyes of local seller all on you, like the queen in England when is passing through the streets, someone gives you smiles and someone looks at you like the most strange thing they’ve ever seen on our incredible world. A wonderful and colorful market is the Arusha fruit and veg market, an immense variety of fruit, diverse varieties of bananas, mangos, local oranges, avocados, plenty of veggies, bitter tomatoes, red tomatoes, beautiful onions, ginger and any type of local spices, a joy of colors and perfumes. Interesting the very last area of the market, entirely dedicated to bananas, finger bananas, normal ones and green bananas, the large type, that can be eaten frying or boiling them. At the borders of the market typical are the music shop, playing local Swahili music, a nice musical background that stimulate thoughts.
The Tanzanians are really friendly and a common thing is to find some improvised tour guide that will come with you around. That’s what happen, I was with Brian still at the market, when another man approached me and started following us, with the attitude typical of a tour guide, explaining me the different stalls and the products sold, as though he was the market director. I could have told him to let us going without disturbing, but I just like to go with the flow and let things happening naturally.
That said, I knew that at the end of the “tour” he would have asked a contribute, as Brian did, and even if many could find that silly and annoying I find it pleasant sometime, it’s a way to explore a new place, feeling more secure together with a local and helping this guys with some money, instead of spending them inside a mall, owned by a Kenyan company, Nakumatt.
Walking together with a local is what I find truly interesting, catching their opinions on places and cultures they’ve always lived with and asking them what they think about our western culture and people.
This is just the beginning of the adventure I just started, “Karibu Tanzania”, which translated is “welcome in Tanzania”. New places, new people, new culture and a new language to learn, the Swahili, feeling the different one, observed, being at the same time a good observer.

“Them belly full but we hungry! A hungry mob is an hungry mob!” sings Bob Marley, today I’ve this song in my mind and feels so good singing it. Good vibes coming inside and bad energy going out. Here in Tanzania poverty it’s diffused a lot but almost everyone find something to eat every day. A simple cuisine made of simple ingredients like “ugali” (maze porridge), chapati (local bread) and nyama choma (grilled meat) together with amazing fruit and vegetables helps the bellies to don’t feel empty. A tropical feeling is moving inside myself and slowly I’m starting to adapt myself into this city.
Yesterday I finally went for the first run here in Tanzania and it was great. I really enjoy going running everywhere I am around the world, you can appreciate perfumes better, you can see things in a different way and the most important factor I like, you can clear the mind from any daily thoughts, and then filling it with air and consequently new thoughts. It feels good, it connects you to a place and its people. Running up from the road where I live, in the Sakina neighborhood here in Arusha, the path goes up steep, passing by local houses and crop fields. Young kids yelling at me “Muzungu” (foreigner), I know I’m the emblem of the Muzungu, with blue eyes and long blond hairs, are the background to my run, some of them say hi to me and spontaneously start running with me up the road for a while, then I continue until reaching a really stunning point in between of cultivated fields, from where you have a nice view of the Mont Meru.
As the first run in Arusha I’m satisfied, 4km along an heavy pending road, after a while I haven’t run, a good way to start to acclimate myself into this new climate, quite hot in this period of the year, with the summer that just started.
In the next days I’ll go in town to check if I can find a second hand bike, in order to be more independent and able to move around Arusha. It also reminds me of the great time last summer in London, curiosity and diversity arising and still growing, everywhere I go.

Waves of smiles are easy to collect going around Arusha. There is no need to fill up the mind with too many thoughts and worries when you’ve a smile on your face and you go through the day slowly, “pole pole” in Swahili, living the moment with consciousness.
Obviously there are some preoccupations passing through the minds of the local people, with a tremendous level of poverty, lack of education and an increasing population. Despite this issues that could torment moods, people here choose to smile. I believe it is a choice, deciding to face the day with a smile and don’t let anyone or anything interrupt your soul peacefulness.
I don’t want t say that people here are not serious, because you can be smiling and be serious at the same time, it’s just hard to interpret a smile, and more often disturb to see someone happy, that’s the sour truth.
Whenever you see someone smiling, happy you should think about the beauty of a smile and answer with a bigger responding one. Do never be jealous or irritated if someone is smiling at you and you interpret the smile, for a second, as a laugh at you. It’s spontaneous judge it sometime but just take it as a gesture, one of the most beautiful gift that we have, the smile.
Best way to live in harmony and use a smiling mind is forget about our ego, our proud and open to positivity and people connection.
Running through the banana fields, the atmosphere is just stunning, the birds talking enchant the moment. Green spaces all around, then marvelous Mont Meru shows up all of his beauty in distance.
I decide to explore a new path and I see in distance one little kid, waving at me, trying to attract my attention. I stop and he starts running in my direction, screaming out loud the names of some friends. In just a while a group of six little kids start running in my direction and surround me. Joy and beauty of live all around, curious smile and harmonious minds, I can feel such a great energy coming from them. I stay there for a while in contemplation, I took them a picture and then I start running back home, all of them starts running next to me, a run of love, a run of freedom.

Clouds for Christmas Eve in Arusha, not the usual atmosphere that you feel in Italy, USA, or any other western country, but it’s this unusual Christmas that is fascinating me and it’s letting me experience this festivity into another cultural dimension.
Obviously I will miss that familiar atmosphere and warmth that is found within all the Italian families and I will probably miss the usual ravioli and other delicious food. I will instead meet with pleasure with new friends, inside another country, I’ll be part of a diverse Christmas, trying to spread the most important ingredient that any Christmas must have, love. Christmas without love for what we all are, love for what we all share together, love for the most enchanting and divine gift, LIFE.
The beauty of sharing it with the people that we love it’s remarkable, an injection of positivity and affection. Sharing it with people that you just met in the last two weeks, eating unusual food and feel an African Christmas atmosphere it’s something new to me, it’s diversity attracts me and as long as there is shared love, I’m sure it will be special.

Two days and we will be in 2015, a new year at the doors and everyone hoping for something good to come, wishes and desires arising and blowing in the air.
If asked to ask for a wish I would say that I want to live the moment with consciousness always, enjoying all the experiences that are awaiting me with openness and curiosity. It’s too easy to require something material, it’s far more hard to think about something immaterial and work hard to make it happen, not waiting that the sky will rain it down on you.
A calm breeze is in the air today here in Arusha, an heavy rain yesterday night and a short shower today has refreshed the minds and has cooled the temperature.
For long time I’ve thought about the worries of the people over here and around Africa, the conclusion I got to is that they are continuously seeking for relax and are avoiding all the worries and stress brilliantly.
When you can count one the mind spirit and a powerful smile it gets really hard to become stressed and everything just flows down. This mental status help to live the moments with distension, a fundamental component of our lives and it should be taken as an example from the fast-moving and hard-working Western countries.
I’m sure that going slow, as the Black President Fela Kuti was singing, would help people to focus a bit more on the important factors of life and less on the new arising problems that are affecting society nowadays.
The right rhythm and the mind attitude are strong capabilities of the Tanzanian people, often you need to address them on the right path, or to tell them when to accelerate just a little, to achieve the target
Firstly you need to enter inside their way of thinking and then you can start working with them, that’s what I’m trying to do “taratibu taratibu”, slowly slowly.

Mattia Confalonieri