Friday, July 23, 2010

Karibu Tanzania!

July 21, 2010

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it! I am in Tanzania! What a beautiful place I am in right now…mountains, trees, goats, and friendly faces. The air is cool and dry – what a welcome change from Florida. We had a crazy few days of travel, leaving Ft. Pierce at 3 a.m. Monday morning and arriving in Dar Es Salaam Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. Our travels were relatively easy. We had a smooth flight from West Palm Beach to JFK and all but one of us got our bags on the Emirates flight to Dubai. It was raining “cats and dogs” in New York and we had to walk outside with all of our luggage from the baggage claim to our terminal. By the time we got to the check-in we were mostly drenched and some of us had the time to change our clothes to dry ones. The flight to Dubai was nearly 13 hours, but somehow it went pretty quickly. There were so many movies and games to choose from I almost wished I had more time! We had a quick layover in Dubai which was an interesting experience – women dressed in black from head to toe, bathrooms with just a hole in the ground, and shopping! The airport was quite elaborate, but I didn’t get to see much of the city. We soon boarded a plane to Dar and 5 hours later I was stepping on African soil.

Dar Es Salaam was basically a big city in a developing country. Lots of cars, vendors on the street, and markets for fruit, calling cards, and tools. Our hotel was a pleasant surprise and the bed was a beautiful sight. After 18 hours in a sitting position it was really nice to be horizontal. We checked into the hotel and chose our roomies for the night. Sukuman and I dropped off our luggage and went downstairs for a dinner of rice, chicken, fish, and beans. The food was good – I think I am African! I took a shower and was asleep before Sukuman was out of hers. The room was nice – and fewer bugs than Florida! We woke up at 6:30 and cleaned up before breakfast and departing to begin our journey across Tanzania. We are headed west towards Iringa. Right now we are stopped in Morogoro at Sokoine University. We have met Harrison and Professor Rudovick Kazwala who will accompany us for the remainder of the trip. They are both Envirovet alumni and are so welcoming and friendly. Africa is about what I expected – maybe even a little better. I love being here and I am looking forward to meeting more people, taking more pictures, and learning more Swahili!

Karibu Tanzania!

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