The dull moments
Someone asked me recently, somewhat facetiously, if there is ever a dull moment in Dar. In between weekend trips to Rwanda, riding whale sharks, climbing the highest mountain, and getting hit by a bus on my way to work.
There are no dull moments in Dar. Not yet. Not for me. I’m still turned upside down by the beauty of this place, by the bright blue ocean, the flashes of colour on the street, the pineapple season that never ends. And lost in the crush of the heat, the electricity that doesn’t work, the pipes in my apartment that are bone dry.
My life in Dar is punctuated by the extremes. All at once I am happy infuriated thrilled angry upset. There is beauty in the familiar, but that is not the beauty of my life in Dar. There are no moments in between.
I have yet to settle into the rhythm of the seasons. When I arrived in September, the temperatures were starting to climb into the upper range of stifling. There were months of unbroken heat. And then, two days ago, perhaps in response to a signal I am not yet able to hear, my neighbours started preparing for the rainy season, sweating under the midday sun to clear summer weeds and a season of garbage from the gutters that line the streets.
It rained last night. This morning the sky was iodine blue and the air smelled like water.
I haven’t seen what comes next. After the oppressive heat rolls away and the sky changes colour. Maybe if I was here next year this scene would unfold again, the blue of the sea would no longer be a surprise, and I would learn to navigate the maze of things that don’t work. Maybe my life here would become a pattern rather than a series of Staccato notes, with the dull and the predictable alternating between the joyful and the frustrating.
But I won’t be in Dar next year. I have one month left here, which is not enough time to watch the rains fade back into the heat and to be able to know what comes next.
My internship officially ends at the beginning of April and I’m planning on spending the next five months working remotely and traveling around Africa. On my own.
My first stop is Uganda. The second is Madagascar. I don’t know what comes after that. But I don’t think it will be dull.