Living in Mtwara can get a bit lonely, and thus, the two things I miss the most are
in that order. Take that friends! I love you mommy, daddy, and big brother. The third thing i miss the most is:
3. Intellectual vigor.
I have had the honor to attend Macalester College with some of the brightest minds. The friends and professors that I have interacted with always challenged me to think deeper and develop my mind further. A pensive thought that began as a tadpole in my brain grew into an awesome multicolored dragon once it was bounced off a couple of brilliant minds.
Prior to coming to Mtwara, I had certain visions that such vibrant cranial activity would continue, and packed books like Orientalism and Seeing Like a State. Unfortunately, whether in the Saba Saba office, or with encounters with other volunteers, I was not able to have such lively discussion that I expected. Once I used the maze-like streets of Stonetown to explain an idea from Seeing Like a State, but received no significant reply. It's a shame, because I find that the volunteer experience poses many questions about identity and development in a globalizing world. I miss the intellectual vigor so much that I could put it above the fourth thing I miss the most:
I could confidently say that I am enjoying my time here, and it is both extremely rewarding and challenging. But because of the four things that I miss the most, it is not perfect and rosy one could imagine.