Today (Friday) is my second to last day in Tanzania. Sunday morning I fly to Cape Town, South Africa where I will reside for ~2 weeks, working from an apartment and the South African Astronomical Observatory. I will miss this place like never before, for here at the base of Mt. Meru I have found a new home. Rev. Majola, Chairman Thomas Mbise, and astronomy ambassadors Elineema, Eliona, Pandaeli, Zacharia and Eliatosha have become good friends in addition to colleagues and conspirators in all that we do to improve science education in this country. We have become a team, accomplishing what was surely impossible in an impossibly brief twenty odd days.
Last night we stopped and looked around us at the elegant, functional, profoundly unique “spaceship of the imagination” we have created and realize that nothing like this exists anywhere in East Africa. The Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory is more than just a building, it is a place for exploration of the unknown. In the coming years we will say again and again “I don’t know!” and then work to find the answers together.
Asante sana to the late Chuck, Sue, Mponda and the OSEO board of directors for making this possible, to the students who delight us in their enthusiasm to learn and never stop asking questions, and to my new friends for welcoming me to your part of the world. This is just the beginning!