[Lana del Ray – Video Games]

Its better to know people in places then places.
In Zanzibar I know Omari.

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Omari has become my angle point of sanity. Between an NGO with great concept and goodwill and somewhat sometimes questionable procedures and decisions on one site and the Zanzibari situation and people on the other site all my knowledge, half-knowledge, assumptions, intentions and prejudgedices can mingle into quite a messy chaos. So I try to lift my view and see the waves that are rocking my boat [1], try to see the bigger pictures to disolve frustrations and demotivation.

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The sometimes very loud held discussions present me with pieces to the puzzle. And it feels like he is taking a liking to those exchanges as well. Yesterday he started to quote the Koran verses to express his feelings after a long dispute over salaries. He is a devote muslim and prays five times a day at the mosque. Quite a few times he stopped on the way to somewhere to exercise his spiritual routine leaving me in the car alone with my thoughts about what was said earlier. But this is the first time with me he expresses himself through his religion.

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We just had a long dispute over the fact that a relatively good salary does not mean someone is able to sustain a life from it. Let alone lifes, in case of a family. And most government employees for example earn the minimum wage of 150,000 schilling (ca. 75 euro) per month. At that stage corruption is not a choice anymore. It becomes a dire necessity to survive. Of course these aspects are just elements of a far more complex situation. So after talking and shouting our way past selfish government leaders keeping the island poor and uneducated, rich hotel businesses that pay nothing but labour taxes spending their money in foreign countrys instead investing in Zanzibar and western ignorance and neo-colonial policies there is a silence.
Omari sings a koran phrase. If I understand. I do not.
If god has decided something who is to oppose his will.
I am not sure if this is god’s will. This has human stupidity written all over it. But I remain silent.
Omari misinterprets my silence.
If god has put clouds in the sky who is to remove them. I try to out-nerd him.
You know they can manipulate the weather and dissolve clouds by shooting salts in the atmosphere.They did it on a large scale during Bejing Olympics.
Omari is not impressed. If god has decided to let the sun move from east to west who is to change its path?
I smile. Then the rest of the ride we make a to do list for the next day. That we can do.
I have no bad intentions and Omari seems to see that. I am just ignorant. I really am.

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I thought I was educated but I am shockingly misinformed and indoctrinated. And even being open to new experiences doesn’t protect you from yearlong culturaly formed assumptions and prejudices that slumber in your subconscious. I am grateful having at least one person that patiently helps me making sense of it all. Even if that sense seems so senseless. The boat is rocking heavily and my ego is getting seasick, throwing up, vomiting all that manipulative propaganda. I feel empty.
We might not be able to change the path of the sun from east to west but we can reconsider what we define as east and what as west.

“Noam Chomsky:
It happens all over the world. It’s one of the reasons NGOs are such dubious contribution: not all of course, but many. […] They live totally differently, differently to local people. They are eating at fancy restaurants, driving nice cars, while people are starving.
Andre Vltchek:
This approach, “us and them”, also explains the spite with which the European and U.S. invaders have been treating local population during the incursions and annexations.” [2]

“What I think – you know – awakening really involves is a re-examination of our common sense. We have got all sorts of ideas build into us which seem unquestionable, obvious, and our language reflects that. […] Our common sense has been raped. So we feel strangers, aliens in this world. And this is terrible plausible simply because we are used to it.” [3]

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[1] Chapter 15 – Waves
[2] On western terrorism – from hiroshima to drone warefare, Noam Chomsky, Andre Vltchek
[3] The ultimate question, Alan Watts

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