Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Nimekutana na Mdau wa Miaka Mingi

Leo nimekutana na mdau wangu wa miaka mingi, Dr. Barbara Poole Galyen, ambaye anaishi California. Kwa siku chache hizi za Krismasi na Mwaka Mpya, yuko hapa Minnesota kwa ndugu zake. Kwa kupitia facebook tuliwasiliana na leo nilikwenda mjini Lakeville alikofikia.

Dr. Galyen na mimi tulifahamiana mwaka 1995, wakati nilipokuwa natafiti masimulizi ya jadi na tamaduni mkoani Mwanza. Utafiti huo ambao nilifanya tangu mwaka 1993 hadi 1996 uligharamiwa na shirika la Earthwatch. Dr. Galyen alikuwa mmoja wa watu kutoka nchi mbali mbali waliokuwa wanakuja Tanzania kushiriki utafiti wangu. Yeye alikuja wakati wa utafiti kisiwani Ukerewe.

Kwa kauli yake mwenyewe, huu ulikuwa mwanzo na msingi wa yeye kuipenda Afrika, hadi akaenda kufanya kazi Kenya katika United States International University, ambapo nilimtembelea mwaka 1997. Hatimaye alianzisha kampuni ya ushauri kuhusu masuala tamaduni ulimwenguni. Shughuli hizi, ambazo zinafanana na zangu, zimempa fursa ya kuzunguka sehemu mbali mbali za dunia na kujenga mtandao wa kimataifa wa washiriki.

Leo imekuwa furaha kubwa kuonana tena baada ya miaka mingi, kubadilishana mawazo na kupiga michapo. Nilimchukulia nakala ya kitabu changu cha Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences, ambamo nimegusia mambo yaliyotokana na utafiti wangu wa Earthwatch.

Dr. Galyen mwenyewe katika ukurasa wake wa facebook, ameandika kuhusu kukutana kwetu leo:

I enjoyed a wonderful visit with Dr. Joseph Mbele who was the one who originally introduced me to Africa in 1995 on an "Earthwatch" adventure. I give him credit for changing my life completely after I moved to Kenya as a result of our fascinating studies on a remote island in Lake Victoria, TZ. Born in Tanzania, Dr. Mbele is currently a professor at St. Olaf College in MN where he continues to work on special projects around the world! He's inspiring me again to get more involved in heart-felt projects globally.

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