Mambo – What’s up!!!
After a day’s travel we have successfully arrived in Arusha town, Tanzania! The trip was probably one of the best I’ve taken as far as long flights go. With only about an hours worth of sleep in the 24 hour span of traveling, I wasn’t the least bit tiered as we were greeted by the very welcoming and patient CPAR staff (they had to wait an hour for us to get through customs). When we landed the realization that we did it, we are actually in Tanzania, was overwhelming, and I quietly had a moment to myself to appreciate the significance of this. Having been here less than 24 hour, my senses are exploding with new sights, sounds, and tastes. Just last night I learned my first lesson when we all sat down at the hotel restaurant for a beer and a bite to eat. We ordered promptly but had to wait nearly 2 hours for our meals to arrive, but it was worth it. First meal in Tanzania: Zucchini soup (Zucchini are in season at the moment) and a baked potato with a side of vegetables. As we waited for our food we become better acquainted with each other, swapping stories and going over the itinerary for the next two weeks. While talking we saw our first bit of wildlife, a tarantula, walking calmly across the floor of the open concept restaurant. Our Tanzanian friends didn’t bat an eyelash and told us that it would be the first of many but not to worry.
My first night in Africa was interesting. Mallory and I shared a room. Two twin beds side by side covered in a mosquito net fit nicely in a small room in its own building. There is a separate room inside the building for a shower and a sink, and a small “water closet” for the toilet. The twin bed seemed to be more comfortable than my double at home, and though I went to bed feeling pretty awake, I soon drifted off into a deep sleep. My first night’s sleep in a new place is always filled with dreams that seem to make it hard to distinguish where I am and what time it was. Though I woke up frequently and was confused as to what time it was, it felt good to have slept at all. I awoke to the greeting of a rooster crowing before dawn, a definate first for me, and later I awoke to the sounds of people getting up and starting the early morning chores. Birds twittered and some sort of fruit fell on the roof akin to that of a gun shot giving me a bit of a start, and dogs barked nearby. These sounds are sure to build a sound track to Africa in my mind.
Its all about easing into Africa today. We will take a 2 hour drive into Karatu and check out a few markets. Today is the start of my memories of Africa. So far so good, and here’s hoping that it only gets better. It has been a strong start for our journey, and the lessons of African culture are everywhere and I’m eager to learn. I over heard one of the hotel staff say to a guest who was chatting to him about his work say, “Work is like a game, when you enjoy it, it’s going well.” He smiled and they all chuckled, but its message was not lost. What a wonderfully simple yet impactful message. Lets all look for some small ways to insert play into our work and drown the complaints about having to work at all.
This wraps up my first in-Africa post. Stay tuned for adventures to come.
– Jacklynn –