This blog is entitled “life on the mountain” and it is perhaps time I updated this to reflect the changes in life that have happened and what is about to happen from here on in.
I no longer live in Marangu. I am however, still in Tanzania, and the mountain still plays a big part in my daily life; when I go to the toilet in the morning, its pretty much all I can see out of the window. This getting up in the morning has changed somewhat as well, I now cannot sleep for the life of me, and have been waking up naturally at 6.30am every day and getting out on my bike to enjoy the morning, and start each day with some exercise and a good deal of fresh air to go with it. I generally do about 20km first thing, down to TPC, get a cheap coffee from a little duka down there, then head back up through town up to shanty, and back down to Rau where the house is and where the shower sorts me out. I’m in the garden with my morning coffee as everyone else wakes up, and so my day has already began. From here on in is the freelance part of my life that I am now enjoying so much, I am free, I can choose where I want to work and what I want to work on. I get a couple of hours of UK work in, which fits nicely into an “out of hours” time for them, then its off on a bus up to Marangu, check in to the Hotel and work on their server and infrastructure, then back up to Mshiri for lessons with the kids, see friends, walk in the forest, then back to Moshi for the evening and all the fun that goes with it. Living with other westerners is actually far more relaxing than I ever anticipated. For a start, there is nobody who interrupts my sleep. Unfortunately, sleep is naturally interrupted by the sun and the general heat in Moshi, but otherwise, I live in a private space that gives me freedom as well as security and a social life. My dreads have never looked better, they are clean, get washed and dried by the sun twice a week now, and are starting to look after themselves now that I am looking after their wellbeing. I have lost a lot of weight, perhaps because I don’t eat enough, but mostly because of the extra exercise that I get each day, and the heat that really takes it out of you if you’re not careful. This tied in with a rather lovely Zanzibar suntan is the new me that is heading back to the UK in a couple of weeks.
When I get there, some soulsearching needs to take place, and some rather big decisions need to be made: What am I doing with my life? Where am I going with this festival idea? Do I really want to live in East Africa?
Coming home has always been an unknown, from the first time when I came back all depressed, banging on about how wasteful we all are and how life in Africa is so simple and pure, blah blah… the reality is much darker, and the second time was a flying visit, with a reason to be there, as I helped my mum move my grandma to the retirement home and just worked for money. This time I have a purpose, I think, and as long as I don’t drop the ball, it should be a productive and useful trip, where I finally show everyone who I have become, and what that person is now capable of.
I feel like this time I cannot let any of my previous emotional or social ineptitude stop me from speaking to who I want to speak to, and being who I want to be. What I have learnt from my week on Zanzibar is that the picture you have of yourself in your mind, isn’t necessarily what everyone else sees, and with that in mind, I am ready to paint a better picture of myself for all to see and know. Without a dream it is hard to envisage a future without getting stuck on the daily rituals of work and displeasure, but with a renewed sense of vision and a real goal to work towards, I have all the tools available to me to be the Craig I can be, and prove myself wrong, that I am not the loser I have been lamenting lost time over, but the man in charge of his life. Even without money.
That last point sadly isn’t something I can just ignore though, it is unfortunately a huge part of what makes the future so bright. A sudden change of heart with regards to how I make my money, how I spend it and how I refill the coffers when things get low, it’s a time to consolidate my winnings and bring together the favours and opportunities in front of me to better understand how my own life and that of those around me will improve as a result of my hard work.
Chasing money and idiots who don’t want to pay aside, I am looking forward to closing off my time in Tanzania with a bang. DJ duties continue, as do the networking and socialising that make up what Moshi is to me right now, but what I am feeling above all else, is the ability to see the road ahead, and clearly too. I know what is expected of me, what I expect of myself, and I will be thoroughly disappointed if after all this change and direction finding, if I don’t end up on the beach in January 2015 surrounded by people who’s lives are being changed as a direct result of my hard work. We’ll see, for now, its time to pack the bags, drink the last safaris, finish off my work here, and get my brown tanned ass back to cold-land and see what father Christmas has for me this year!