Love in Tanzania

Waiting for my ride

It took me awhile to fall asleep, seeing how unexpected my last night in Tanzania had turned out. I only had one beer at the party and technically only half, since Sam accidentally spilled half of the content on me. And I was still thinking about what a great time I had and feeling simultaneously anxious and jittery about seeing him again later. Somewhere between my ambivalence and the anticipation of my Europe trip, I dozed off to sleep. When I awoke, I remember feeling extremely well-rested, and a bit jittery, for two reasons; one, my big Europe trip was about to begin, and second—I was going to meet Sam again, as he offered to drive me to the airport. What I did that particular morning was a bit of a blur. Most likely, I was busy packing, and saying my goodbyes, hugging Eliza, our volunteer ‘mama’ (though she was probably the same age as me, though she seemed much wiser and experienced in life) extra tight.

When the time came for me to go to the supermarket where Sam was picking me up, I called his number just to confirm that he was still coming. When the call went unanswered, my heart sank a little. Was he actually coming, or should I have come up with a plan B? I tried his number a few more times, and with each passing minute, I grew a little bit more nervous. The fact that I was flying solo to another foreign destination with several connecting flights was nerve-racking already, and I couldn’t imagine missing my flight and shifting my already packed itinerary. Should I just call a taxi instead? Or ask the volunteer driver to take me? I was still going over these options in my head, but something told me to just bypass all logical thinking and go with my gut. And my gut said—he’ll be there. So off I went, with an inexplicable faith in someone that I barely knew, and desperately hoping that I would not miss my flight.

And here’s something that still puts a smile to my face whenever I think of this day. Have you ever had that feeling where you could just sense someone’s presence before you actually see them? As I made my way to the supermarket on foot, still wondering if I wasn’t an idiot, gambling my trip on someone who may or may not show, I walked unto a busy street, where cars and buses just zoomed past me in a busy traffic. And then, for no reason at all, I suddenly halted, turned and locked gaze with my former safari guide, who was grinning at me behind the wheel of his safari jeep. Now, if you think this was cringey to read, don’t worry, I felt just as cringey writing it. But the point is, I knew it was him and it was just one of those moments where you take a pause and wonder—was there something that the universe is trying to tell me? Did God have a hand in this?

Ever so glad to see Sam and now knowing that I will make it to the airport on time after all, I gleefully got into the jeep, and we exchanged a smile, and an added sigh for me. When I told him that I tried to call him but he didn’t pick up, I remember him giving a very vague response. Years later, when I asked him about it again, he admitted that—let’s see if anyone can guess it right:

  • A. He overslept
  • B. He was on another date
  • C. He was at the barber, getting a shave
  • D. He totally forgot about me

Write your answer in the comment and I’ll reveal it in my next post!


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