Citizen Jane

My Latest Letter...

Letter from Tanzania
1024px-Mt._Kilimanjaro_12.2006
Listen Up. This is a women’s story. Plural.

I’m here in Tanzania to visit women’s groups working on sustainable agriculture and livelihood initiatives. As you may know, Tanzania is a country in East Africa within the Great Lakes region. Bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the West; Zambia, Malawai and Mozambique to the South and the Indian Ocean to the east. And, always, the view of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, providing poetic inspiration to Tanzania’s population of some 47 million people.

While here I spent time with Loyce Lema, the Founder of Tanzania Envirocare and whom I had previously met at a Women and Climate Change Convening in Bali. At Green Camp, where we were staying, we’d gone walking together along the track and saw the river. Loyce had grabbed my arm and said, “I haven’t seen a river flowing for a long, long time.”

As we walked onto the bridge with the river below us, Loyce stopped again and said, “Close your eyes, Jane. This is the sound that I have missed in my heart. The sound of a river running free.” In Tanzania, permanent rivers have become seasonal rivers and many have ceased to flow….

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Annie Wright & Jane Sloane - © 2014 Bowerbird Photography

Photo courtesy of the wonderful Ariel and Sam of Bowerbird Photography