On September 25, I wrote: My continual discomfort here in Dar es Salaam, the haven of peace, is rather disconcerting. In many ways this city is inhospitable to the foreigner – the language, the lack of electricity or running water, the lack of service, the attitude, the inconsistencies, the paradoxes, the noise, the dust, the traffic, the accidents, the malaria, the desperation. Until you familiarize yourself intimately with these issues, you are made vulnerable, disappointed, confused, hungry, dirty, and highly self-aware. I feel sedated. Inactive, incapable, sterile, stagnant. So this is what it means to survive for the sake of survival. This is existence insufficient in motivation, energy, passion. I need to exercise my brain my body and my spirit. Now I understand why I’ve been sick ever since I arrived. I have no reason to live a dead life. It’s time to create.

The reality is that my greatest frustrations and deepest melancholy came with me from home. Living here, or anywhere for that matter, is otherwise easy.

The truth is that I’ve made a concerted effort to lead a righteous life, and respect the tenets by which I have chosen to live. But somehow I’ve forgotten how to love in the process. The fiercest wars are fought within the confines of the mind.


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