In 2003, the Belgian Government honored me by appointing me Ambassador to Tanzania, a post in which I served for 5 years. My family and I had lived in Vienna, Austria before moving to Dar es Salaam – clean, obsessively well organized, with a long history. Moving to Tanzania provided us with a fundamentally transformative experience. I had lived in Kenya for a little while as a child, so I had some idea what East Africa was like. But neither my wife nor my sons had spent any time there. The climate, the poverty, the lack of social structures – but also the simple joys, the youthfulness and optimism so prevalent – helped us understand better the diverse world we live in.
Photo credit: Melanie Quinn Photography
My work in Tanzania was varied: political, commercial, consular work and also quite a bit of attention to development