Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Arusha Readers

Visiting Arusha is always a treat. There are many people to meet, places to visit, and things to do. One of my joys is meeting my readers. There are quite a few: Americans, Europeans, Tanzanians, and others.

This summer, I spent several days in Arusha. I met my friend, Thomas Ratsim. He and J.M. Tours, the company he works for, have been steadfast fans of my Africans and Americans book. Many American travelers with J.M. Tours have heard about this book from Thomas.

The guys in the photo, taken in the Tarangire National Park during my Hemingway course, summer of 2008, were all with J.M. Tours. They had read Africans and Americans, and they regaled me with tales of how it helps them deal with tourists.

I visited the Arusha Times, which once carried an excerpt of my book. I met Linda, an American fan of the Africans and Americans book, whom I have known for some time, and who offers cultural orientation for foreigners in Arusha. Knowledgeable and experienced, she urged me to write a sequel. Thanks to readers like her, I am working on one.

I met Ingrid, a European teacher I did not know before. She works with school children and likes story telling. She was familiar with my Africans and Americans and Matengo Folktales, and she shared some interesting perspectives on both teaching children and cultural differences.

There are other places I would have liked to visit, and other people I would have liked to meet, if I had more time. One is the Peace House School, where I once gave a talk on the issues I raise in the Africans and Americans book. There, Africans and Americans work side by side. The director thought it would be a good idea for them to have on-going book discussions as a way of learning about their cultural differences.

I would have visited the office of the Global Service Corps, an American organization that sends volunteers to Tanzania and recommends Africans and Americans on its website. I have visited their office several times in the past and seen copies of the book there, for volunteers.

I wish to thank all my readers. Their continuing engagement with my work both inspires and sustains me.

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