yale yaleeee! ----- VijanaFM Blog Im always excited to come back home, Tanzania. And this time around, I was especially excited because I was moving back home. After eight years of living abroad, with two degrees and three years of work experience, I felt it was time to go home and contribute to the development of my country. So, I did just that. But like anyone moving back home, I had too much luggage to take with me on the flight, so I sent my additional 45kgs of personal goods (two suitcases filled with my used shoes, handbags, clothes and shoes, and my flat screen TV) via cargo. Big mistake. First, I was informed that the airline misplaced my TV, and that I should wait for a few days to get it. Once they said it arrived, off I went to the Dar-es-salaam Cargo Airport and thats when reality hit me. Our country, although I love it with all my heart, has a long way to go. And I dont know if we will get there in my lifetime. I spent 12 hours at that airport trying to get my stuff out. There is such a long process in getting things out. Youd think that the government would put into place an efficient structure for people like me, Tanzanians who are living abroad and are coming back home to serve their country, so that we would want to come back and not face such ridiculous processes. How can it take a day and a half to get personal effect goods out? And why should I have to pay to bring my personal and used things into my own country? Things that are going to be in my room, not things to be sold. And why is the process of getting cargo goods out so complicated, not transparent and full of loopholes? As an individual, you need an agent to get your stuff out, which means paying about $100 in agent fees alone. Not only that, but you are taken from window to window, from office to office, to pay this fee, to sign this receipt, to photocopy this document and to write this letter, and throughout the way, of course, you are reminded of the different shortcuts you could take by simply bribing someone to make the process go by faster. Secondly, my TV was still reported missing and after making noise in every office I visited, and with the help of the airline, they took me through their large storage room where all cargo is kept. Im taking about all kinds of large and small boxes, some tagged, others not. I went through each and every box until I found my own box, which was tucked away somewhere because someone didnt pay close attention and put it in the wrong section. Really? Should these mistakes still be happening in our time when we should be able to track everything? Why on earth would I ever want to send anything via cargo now, especially after this incident of a reported lost TV, when actually it was right here, but someone along the lines just shoved it in some corner without paying any attention? Whats worse is that there was no apology from the handling company. Nothing. Whats worse, after paying about $500 to fly my things to Tanzania, I was frustrated to have to pay about $250 to get my things out. I was charged all kinds of fees, from handling, storage, documentation and taxes to agent fees, inspection and other additional fees that I dont understand myself. I love my country unconditionally, through its good moments and bad moments, through bad roads, water shortages and random power cuts. After all, home is home. But there are some things that are simply unnecessary, there are some things that should not be condoned, things that could be better organized. But as Tanzanians, we have this pole pole mentality; we are passive in nature, we dont like to express ourselves too much or sound too annoyed or frustrated. We cant let this define us anymore, I am tired of keeping quiet and watching ridiculous mistakes get made. We need to be more vocal about issues and not say this is your country, this is how things are done here. That can no longer be an excuse. We need our country to be more efficient in all ways possible. And where there are loopholes and mistakes, those in authority need to stop, listen, reflect and take action rather than just shoving aside the opinions of those who actually have a valid point! For my Tanzanians living abroad, be warned. This is the reality back home. For a minute when I was at the airport this afternoon, I regretted coming back home to deal with this. But as I reflect, I realize my frustration comes from my lack of Tanzanian-style patience that is needed to survive here. So my question to you all is, how much more should we take and when do we say enough is enough and change is necessary? When will our government realize that they need to establish and implement proper policies that will attract people living abroad to come home to a welcoming environment? How can we get rid of this inefficiency that is slowly but surely defining us to this extent? Change is needed. And if it doesnt happen anytime soon, this country will lose many people, people who will never want to come back and settle here because they cant stand the bureaucracy! From: My welcome home; why did I ever come back again?