Welcome to my and my friend Tova´s travelling blog in Tanzania. We are about to take of for a four-month period in the beautiful countryside of Karagwe in northwest of Tanzania. There we will live and work at a boarding school called KARASECO (Karagwe secondary school). We are sent from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) via Church of Sweden and specifically Diocese of Västerås, which is a sister Diocese to Karagwe Diocese that will be our hosts. On this blog we will continuously update you about what we´re experiencing and reflections on things we see and experience.
And who am I then? My name is August (or Ngwato if you are from South Africa) and I am a quite multidimensional person with many balls in the air. I am born and raised in Uppsala, which is where I come from. But the first thing I did after finishing secondary some years ago was to move where I have my roots, in south of Sweden. I found peace in myself down there which made me wanting to explore the world and my surroundings even more so after my time there I spent a spring in Florens, Italy learning Italian. I took a trip across Europe during that summer and when the fall came, I travelled to South Africa through the exchange program Young in the world wide church. That was last autumn and this year I have lived in Västerås studying, working and giving lectures about my experience in South Africa. And now another adventure lies ahead in Karagwe.
My relation with God and the church has oscillated through my life from something I was almost forced to have, to something I hated, to something that is my life. Many people from the culture I come from dislike church, God and spirituality. My opinion is that, at least spirituality is necessary for a happy life. It doesn’t necessarily need to be religion but it facilitates to be able to connect with people independent who you are and where you come from when you can do it through God and religion.
Another thing that can connect people from different backgrounds, status and so on is football. That silly sport where 22 people hunt and kick a little ball has given my life so much peace, strength and happiness. I would not have been who I am if it wasn´t for football, my coaches and my teammates. And as the plan looks now, a big part of my job in KARASECO will be connected with that silly sport. It is almost like a dream to occupy myself with the two things in life I love most, football and Christianity.
Why do I like meetings and connection with people so much? I am sure that the world becomes a much better place after every humble conversation and meeting, especially with the people one think is different. At the school I attended grade 7-9 I had quite a tough period, especially in the beginning and many of the bad things I was exposed for were made out of immigrants. If it was not for that I had three of my best friends since earlier being immigrants my brain had without a doubt concluded that immigrants are bad people. I am forever grateful for those three people and all my meetings that have made me understand differences a little bit better.
I tend to draw things in the greater perspective, and sometimes I believe that I philosophize more than I actually do things. But I still hope that I contribute to some people’s well-being. And as long as I can do that I will remain happy.