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The Karibu story
- by Wolf -

... I do remember one time in 97.

I came to RF alone, and with only one appointment to meet a friend of mine from my home town. My hopes were high, but expectations were low. It was quite late at night, pitch dark, and getting quite cold. I was to meet him at the main entrance. I got through the gate at , and I decided to just hang around. I didn't want to put my tent up before I knew if he had saved a place for me at their camp. As I stood there waiting for him, I had a look at the messages on the boards and fences. I was drinking some beers and tax free stuff and getting in the good party mood, really hoping that my friend would be there soon.

Suddenly I saw something that I recognised. One of the signs had the big letters "ISM" all over the top. That's the name of the school I went to in Tanzania (International School of Moshi). I had a closer look at it, and it gave a brief description of where to find a small ISM camp. I thought "Hey, this could be fun. Even if I don't know any of the people there (which was very likely -it was 10 years since I had been at the school), it would be nice to just say hi and get to know them. I decided to try to find it the next day. It would be quite impossible in the dark and with me not exactly sober...

As I had feared, my friend didn't show up. At around midnight I decided to go for the ISM camp. I was now in a shitty mood. You know when you're prepared for a real party, just in the right mood, getting a bit tipsy, and then you realise your party mates forgot about you? And I was certainly not expecting to find the ISM camp that night. So I went off in the direction described on the sign. I was cold, sobering up, disappointed and without hope for the night. Then I saw a tent very much like the one described. It was a big orange house-tent, tall enough for a man to walk around in, with windows and a big door. I shouted "Hodi, hodi", which is the Swahili equivalent to knocking at the door (they don't have doors in Africa, you know...), and someone answered "Karibu" (Welcome) like it was the most natural thing to say at a Danish festival in the middle of the night.

I stepped through the door and was warmly welcomed by a bunch of happy party people into the cosy party tent. It had a big party table in the middle with party chairs around... There was a fridge, a gas burner and plenty of food, beer, vodka and other stuff. Inside were some of the nicest people who had ever been to ISM! I knew two of them from before, but the others had been there after me. When I said my name, some of them got very surprised and happy. It turned out that my reputation at the school had stayed long after I left, and they had heard about me, and said they were happy to finally meet me... (I wonder what they had been told...).

I asked if there was room for me to put up my tent, and they said that I wouldn't have to because there was already an empty tent up. I could just take that one! Needless to say I was really happy, and after putting the back pack in the tent, I joined the party. Cheap Dutch beer and vodka was there for everyone to enjoy, and we laughed and told gossip about other ISMers and basically had a really good time the whole night. The rest of the festival was extremely wet - some of you remember '97...