On May 5, I attended the Amani Festival in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. I have known about this festival for over 15 years and attended it several time in the past as an educator and cultural consultant.
This year was not different. I had a table, displaying some of my books and had great opportunities to talk with many people who came to my table. These included an American lady who had worked as a volunteer in South Africa for three years as a volunteer as well as a young woman who told me that a friend of hers was going to Tanzania as a Peace Corps volunteer. These conversations were very meaningful. I was touched in a particular way by a reporter who interviewed me and later wrote about the festival in The Sentinel.
My table is always colorful, attracting people. Approaching my table, the lady on the left pointed at a copy of Matengo Folktales and said, "I have read that book!" Completely surprised, I started talking with her. She said that she had bought the book and had me sign it years ago. I think this might have been 2005. She said that she and her husband belong to a church that has a partnership with the Konde diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.
I was not able to move around and visit the many vendor booths--about 70--but I had a busy time talking with people at my table.
Some of the dances were performed by students of Harrisburg High School shown in the four photos here.