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Head shift (another one)

Our life in Dodoma has got a pretty good rhythm now. For the time being, I mostly know what to expect. We’re feeling pretty well together and not isolated. There’s tiredness, but no shell-shock.

I’m always casting around for new experiences; it’s part of what drives me. I’m always animated by innovation, exploration, and the possibility of discovery. And, after a couple of months living here in Tanzania, Swahili lost its newness — so I automatically started fishing for something new. I continued with my regular practice of navigating trends in Australia and USA. I continued reading a lot, mostly online, most of it funnelled through social media; most of it, in effect, headlines.

‘Your head’s not really in Tanzania,’ noticed Tamie.

Although I’m living in Tanzania with daily Swahili tutoring, my mind has been elsewhere. It’s not that I’ve been slacking off. It’s just that contextualisation involves different stages. There are many layers to be transformed. It’s a bit like conversion. Someone’s beliefs might have changed, but their thinking will be next; a person’s conduct might have changed, but their wallet needs to follow.

It’s time for the next step towards being more fully present in Tanzania — in both mind and body. I need to put some interests on ice in order to be more a part of this place.

Currently we’re still in a half-way house, without much in particular to offer Tanzanian students, but it’s time to get constructive: after several years trawling hot topics, it’s time to put down some more groundwork for missiology and student movements. I’ll be reading about postcolonialism, discipleship, classical Christianity, global theology, African ethics, and vulnerable mission. Exciting stuff — but, God help me, more connected with life here. It’s time I returned to books in earnest, so I’m pulling back from social media. I won’t have gone far, but I’ll be publishing rather than reading and commenting.

(There’s still some other stuff I’ll be trying to sort out along the way, like: to the extent that ‘evangelical’ is a viable identity, what makes one?)

Thanks for being part of this with me!

Categories: Tanzania Written by Arthur

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Arthur Davis

Arthur Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at

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