Anania manning the lounge!
How we found him, came by him, I am yet to learn but there he was standing in front of us and we didn’t recognize him. True. At first we had no clue who he was or just how talented and loyal he could be.
We were packing camp at Arusha on our way to Seronera, that’s when both Sangee and I first noticed him. He meant little to me then, till i saw the way he held himself. Proud and humble. Polite and confident. Ally Kea informed me that he would be part of our team at Seronera, working under Captain David. He was hired as outside help, a maintenance and setup man.
The advance truck left a day earlier to get the permits sorted and unload. We arrived the next day and started to set up camp.
That’s when i really noticed Anania in a service industry way. His demeanor was perfect to be out in front manning the lounge and the dining tents. His training started, not that he needed much as he was a natural.
Anania has become an integral part of our camp ever since. He was there when the buffalo rolled in uninvited and for the lion charge. He was there as the elephants drifted into camp and when the rhino tripped over a rope.
Finding trained staff that are used to the needs of the service industry is tough in both rural India and in far flung places of Tanzania. The “Colony” was always packaged to perfection in British East. For centuries it’s been the British way. Training was also moulded around that need. Tanzania was German East where the German’s had a small presence compared to the British in Kenya. The majority of the people in Tanzania never did have the opportunity of seeing a white man let alone meeting him. Never having the opportunity to move on with the new world, they stood with time in their own proud and unique manner.
Most of you will not know this but Tanzanian culture is very unique. It places huge emphasis on social graces and on respect. If you do not go to the funeral of your fellow villagers, or attend their weddings and ceremonies, you can be rest assured that you will walk alone in your time of need. If you do your bit for society, your fellow villagers will give all they have for you in return, including their lives. The people of Tanzania trust with abandon and its this one attribute that pulled me to spend the rest of my life amongst these beautiful people. Anania to me defined the Tanzanian. Proud and trustworthy. Respectful and willing to give you your space yet being there for you when you need him. There really is no challenge in moulding a Tanzanian to the eco-tourism industry. He is born and bred to serve with dignity and respect. He will not be servile yet he will be a part of your life, a member of your staff, that you could never live without.
I am sure you will enjoy meeting Anania and speaking with him when you visit us in the Serengeti. We are proud to have him as our core team member.