Friday, August 14, 2009

Jambo means hello!

Chalula Community Library, Mvumi, TANZANIA

By the time I post this, I will be in central Tanzania. My husband and I will have flown New York to Dubai,and Dubai to Dar es Salaam. Then we'll board a luxury bus (luxury means it has windows that open) for a 9 hour ride to Dodoma where a man with a pickup will take us on a dirt road for about 2 hours to the mission of a New Zealand minister - who won't be there, but has instructed his cook to feed and shelter us.

We'll stay for about a week as we visit the Chalula Community Library. This is a library that we helped to build with the assistance of some very generous friends - and have tried to fill with books including some donated by Barnes & Noble, and The Random House Children's Group.

We try to go at least once a check up on things, to bring or order books in Dar. This time it'll be meet with African publishers who mwill be attedning the Pan African Reading Conference and to figure out how to help our (part-time) library coordinator who just lost his full-time job.
Woody Allen said that "90% of life is showing up" and someone paraphrased that statement recently on one of the mystery lists. I would add, showing up is nice. Participating is even better. Making something out of nothing is pretty terrific.

So whatever you're doing this weekend, show up. Participate. And if you make something out of nothing -whether it's pasta or prose - that's pretty terrific.

Have a great weekend!!

Rosemary (If anyone would like to learn more about the Chalula Library, please visit my website,


  1. Awesome work, Rosemary. I spent a year each in Mali and Burkina Faso, and while people were always appreciative of assistance, I often felt I learned more from them about staying positive in the face of incredible hardship. Too hot, not enough food, not enough rain (or too much rain at once), your babies dying, long dusty bumpy rides to get anywhere, hard physical work just to get dinner cooked - and yet people smiled and sang and were generous. It made me feel kind of sick to come back to American affluence and waste.

  2. When I had a conference job in Cape Town, we extended the trip to do some touring. The contrast between city life and what looked like a National Geographic documentary was astonishing. Thanks so much for sharing and reminding us to get out of our cozy nests once in a while.

  3. Keep up the good work, Rosemary! I look forward to seeing you in Atlanta for the Decatur Book Festival on Labor Day weekend and hearing about your latest adventures--and triumphs.

  4. Rosemary, I am so impressed with this endeavor. I wish you all the best.

  5. Sounds wonderful. Have a great time and please write all about it afterwards too.