Update #23: Radio Tanzania t-shirts and mixtapes and videos, oh my!

Hello, brave followers!

We know you are all eagerly awaiting your rewards. Thank you for your patience.

I remember the first time I flew over the deep indigo water of the Indian Ocean on a short charter flight from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar island. From a few thousand feet in the air, the water looked like a sheet of glass, shining under the sun. The only clue I had that the body below me was ocean were tiny white breakers and spots of lighter aquamarine where the water was more shallow. How peaceful it looked!

Then, from the coast, where the water laps against the sea wall in Stone Town, the waves seemed bigger. Birds circled overhead and sometimes dived below the surface. Seaweed floated in clumps at the top. Still, watching the water stretch to the horizon, sparking uniformly, all seemed calm and steady.

The first time I went scuba diving and plunged below that placid veneer, however, a brave, frenetic new world greeted me, brimming with life and energy, abounding in flashing colors, swerving schools of fish, sinister shadows, unnameable creatures scuttling across the ocean floor. I was astounded. I have never looked at waves from above the surface the same way again.

Can you guess where I’m going with this? We’re far below the surface now with this project to digitize and revive the Radio Tanzania archives. From afar, you might assume all was calm and quiet. But the beautiful chaos below is dancing, rushing, cajoling, adapting and ever striving to become. The archives are waiting, and when I return with equipment (and hopefully full funding) in May, we will begin the painstaking work of conversion from analog to digital.

Since I returned from Tanzania, I’ve spent a week in NYC to meet with producers, designers, and fundraisers. I then spent a week in New Orleans for the Idea Village’s Entrepreneur Week, networking, learning, and being inspired by entrepreneurs and innovators. Then, this past week, I have been back in Athens, spending hours burning CD’s one-by-one, sorting T-shirts, and preparing to ship your rewards to you. Benson, Nils, and Erasmus, our Tanzania team, finished the NGO registration process in Dar. Bradley Ferreira, a new an invaluable RT team member, has been improving our website. Also, in case you missed it, we were featured in the Christian Science Monitor’s Global News Bloghere.

Today we sent surveys to those of you who haven’t already provided us with your shipping and contact info. Please respond as soon as you can, and we’ll get your rewards to you!

Below, you’ll see a picture of our T-shirts, a picture from a concert with Carl Lindberg (wonderful Athens musician) where I wrote ‘thank you’ notes on CD’s and put them in envelopes, and a video of Leo Mkanyia performing in an alleyway on Zanzibar during the Sauti za Busara festival.

As always, thank you for your support!

Pamoja kwa muziki (together for the music),

Rebecca + the Radio Tanzania team

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