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vagabond_africa
12 June 2007 @ 06:12 pm
http://vagabond-africa.blogspot.com/

New Blog...ill be posting there from now on.

James
 
 
 
vagabond_africa
14 May 2007 @ 08:55 pm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benin

No more Tanzania, headed to the West coast...crazy story which ill explain in my next post

Heres what I can look forward to:

"This tiny country has the highest concentration of attractions in this part of West Africa - fetish markets and voodoo culture, the remnants of the mighty culture that fed on the slave trade, and architectural anomalies such as stilt villages and mud fortresses."


!

James
The Flexible Jaguar







Traditional dance to honour the king.
 
 
 
vagabond_africa
I dont know why I always wait until its so late (early?) to update...

Just a quick note...if anyone wants my mailing address (at least for the 3 months of training), shoot me a message here, and ill give it to you. Cant post it here for security reasons.

Tips on ensuring your letter gets returned in turn: send me a SASE...itll help me out.

James




Im tired, like the lion...get it?
 
 
 
vagabond_africa
03 April 2007 @ 08:15 pm
I havent been updating as much as I would like to be, but I suppose that this has a lot to do with the amount of stuff that has been/will be happening ove the coming weeks.

27 days: Undergraduate classes over
31 days: Graduation/Spiderman 3 (yes, I feel that it is important enough to list)
71 days: Orientation
73 days: Tanzania


When I look at the number now, it seems like its so far away still, but I know that the time is going to fly by. My biggest concern now is trying to fill my time with my friends and family, although work/school are making that increasing difficult.


I have been doing some serious philosophical thinking over the past few months, and I think that doing so has helped me come to further grips with everything that is coming up over the next few months. This instance in my life has been running through my mind during this time:


When I was about 14, my family and I took a trip up to New York to visit my grandmother for her 75th birthday. Since there isnt really too much to do in upper-state New York, so the entire male order of the Reimann/Sigler clan would play horseshoes. Since I was not the crazy 300-styled ripped self that I am today, I was having trouble trying to find the best way to toss my horseshoes (which, for those who havent tried before, can be very heavy).

Anyways, as the trip was nearing its conclusion, my Uncle Bryan pulled me aside and told me that, no matter what anyone tells me, I should always toss my horseshoes the way I want to.


Im not sure if he meant anything deeper than what he said, but I have always held it to a higher regard. Horseshoes, like life perhaps, needs to be thrown in the manner that best suits the thrower?


Additionally, I have been thinking about the ideals of the "social mirror". Im not sure if this is an original idea of mine (much too smart to be my own probably), but it is still something I have been thinking about:

We, as people, are a reflection of the company we keep...and I feel that I am a better person because of the people I consider close to me. Without my friends and family, I wouldnt have been able to accomplish the things I have in life, and would have no drive to accomplish more...Something that I value deeply, but can not put into words a way to thanks those special people.


Yea...this post didnt have anything to do with Tanzania...better throw something in to make it relevant





James
 
 
 
vagabond_africa
21 March 2007 @ 02:52 pm
Sigh...


Its nice to finally have a free moment to sit down and make (attempt to make) a 'real' post...

I am amazed how many people have stumbled upon my journal, and how many people are going on the same trip as me. Although I only know a few of you from the little information we have exchanged online, I cant begin to say how excited I am to meet everyone. I must warn everyone though, I have been trying to learn a little Swahili, and it looks like I may have to lean on someone to help me understand the finer points of the language :P

I guess Ill have to start making these post to consider a larger audience...ill start with a little about myself (for those people I have yet to meet) and then go into more about Tanzania (for those I know, and those I dont).

Name: James Reimann (im on facebook, but trying to find me may be rather difficult)
School: University of Central Florida
Major: History B.A. (Graduate May 4, 2007)

Dont really know what else to put here...if your curious about more, feel free to ask me.


Tanzania:

-Some of the world's oldest known pre-human remains have been found in Tanzania (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/humans/humankind/d.html)

-Typical home (something I may be living in): Cinderblock or mud brick, with roofing of corrugated tin or thatch. Outdoor bathroom and water drawn from wells.

-Tanzanians place a premium on "politeness and courtsey":
*Handshakes are often held throughout an entire conversation, and are essential in all social encounters (including asking for directions)
*Don't eat of pass things with the left hand (thank goodness im right handed)
*When entering a house, be sure to call out HODI! (greetings)
*Avoid criticising the government
*Recieve gifts with both hands, or with the right hand (left hand holding the right elbow)

-Religion:
*35-40%: Muslim
*45-50%: Christian
*10-20%: Traditional religions (varying)


Sweet...

James


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
 
 
 
vagabond_africa
18 March 2007 @ 09:38 pm
1.Didnt realize so many people could be able to find my livejournal...cant wait until I have time to talk to all of you!

2. After reading my Peace Corps manual, I have broken about 14 rules already that I need to fix...bummer

Ill post as soon as I can...been so busy lately

James
 
 
 
vagabond_africa
08 March 2007 @ 03:01 am
Just some interestng random things about Tanzania, since I forgot to bring my info booklet to the office tonight...





The green colour in the flag represents the natural vegetation present in the country.
The Golden colour represents rich mineral deposits of the country.
The Black colour represents the native swahili people of the country.
The blue colour represents the numerous lakes and rivers and the Indian ocean.





The Tanzanian Coat of Arms comprises a Warrior’s Shield which bears a Golden portion on the upper part followed underneath by the Flag of Tanzania

The Golden portion represents minerals in the United Republic; the red portion underneath the flag symbolizes the rich fertile soil of Africa; while the wavy bands represent the land, sea, lakes and coastal lines of the United Republic.

In the Golden part of the flag there appears a burning torch signifying freedom (UHURU), enlightment and knowledge; a spear signifying defence of freedom and crossed axe and hoe being tools that the people of the Tanzania use in developing the country.

The shield stands upon the representation of Mount Kilimanjaro. An elephant task supported by a man and a woman, with a clove bush at the feet of the man and a cotton bush at the feet of the woman indicating the theme of co-operation.

The United Republic motto – Uhuru na Umoja – is written in Kiswahili and it means ‘Freedom and Unity’.



Popular Bantu words in English language:

Banjo - the musical instrument
Bongos - the musical instrument, also means "brains"
Bomba - African derived musical form
Candombe - drum-based musical style that influenced the tango
Conga - tall, narrow, single-headed Cuban drum of African origin
Gumbo - spicy, hearty stew or soup
Jenga - derived from kujenga, the Swahili verb "to build"
Jumbo - the elephant; name means either "hello" or "chief"
Kalimba - thumb piano
Kwanzaa - matunda ya kwanza, meaning "first fruits"
Mambo - "conversation with the gods"
Marimba - musical instrument
Rumba - dance style that originated in Africa
Safari - overland journey
Samba - the dance style
Simba - "lion"
Ubuntu - humanist ideology from Sub-Saharan Africa (Linux took the name from this)
Zombie - the dead dudes


James
 
 
 
vagabond_africa
01 March 2007 @ 02:34 am
To anyone who plans on reading this Livejournal (and I can only assume that the number is small at this point), I apologize for the delay in updating. Since finding out that I have been accepted into the Peace Corps, I have been mega busy with so much stuff...A lot of it not even related to my impending trip.

However, this blog (what the hell does "blog" mean?) wasnt created as an outlet for me to complain about how busy I am, but as a means to keep those who care enough to read about my adventures updated with relevant information. I suppose the most logical place to start is with the research that I have been doing about Tanzania, and the steps I have taken in regards to the Peace Corps.


Since being accepted, I have had two major tasks to complete:

*Apply for my Peace Corps passport (valid for the time I am away) and Tanzanian visa (as I am a guest of the government and worker in the country)
*Send my resume and Aspiration Statement (what I plan on doing/taking away from my experience) to the Tanzanian government.

Both took considerable amounts of work, but were completed quicker than I expected.

The next few post will be about Tanzania, and the aspects of the Peace Corps that are relevant to the country...



My assignment:

Country - Tanzania
Program - Health Education Project (HIV/AIDS education, in a nutshell)
Job Title - Peace Corps Volunteer Health Education
Dates of Service - August 15, 2007-August 14, 2009*
Orientation Dates - June 13-15, 2007* (In Washington D.C.)
Pre-Service Training - June 15, 2007-August 14, 2007* (In Tanzania)

*=dates subject to change

Government:

The United Republic of Tanzania was formed on April 26, 1964, by the adoption of the Act of Union between Tanganyika and the islands of Zanzibar. The nation is governed under a Constituation formulated in 1977.

Chief executive - President Jakaya Kikwete (elected to 5 year term)

Economy:

The economy of Tanzania is primarily agricultural. About 80% of the economically active population is engaged in farming, and agricultual products account for about 85% of annual exports. The country is the world's largest producer of cloves, while also producing tea, coffee, cashews, sisal (an agave that yields a stiff fiber used in making rope), timber, and cotton.

Per capita income: $336 per year (ranks 164 of 182)

That means they are mega poor...


Guess thats all for now, ill keep randomly updating with interesting facts about Tanzania and my experiences for the next few months before I leave.

James


 
 
 
vagabond_africa
So much to write...promise to update with some fun info tomorrow (today for those who sleep at night)


James