Saturday, January 9, 2010

Welcome back.

Landing in Dar es Salamm at 5:30am the morning air was fresh with the smell of drizzling rain. I stepped off the plane and was greeted by a legit airport. Wow, I thought, Tanzania is going to seem like paradise compared to Burkina. After handing over my crisp $100 bill I was given a 90-day Visa and proceeded to find my luggage…all of which arrived safely. (Even my yoga mat. Holler!) I left the airport with my fingers crossed that whoever was supposed to pick me up hadn’t accidentally overslept. My eyes scanned the pieces of paper that greeted me like a sea of stock market traders beaconing to me. On first pass I didn’t see my name. I kept walking slowing to make it appear like I knew what I was doing and finally saw my name scribbled on a piece of notebook paper, with only one minor spelling error. A little sketch. Yes. But it seemed like the best option so I rolled with it.

Walking to the car I took in the scenery. It was so green! And with the smell of the fresh rain I couldn’t help but say to myself, “Now, THIS is Afrrica… (Africa being pronounced with a somewhat rolling “r” accent, like maybe rafiki from the Lion King would say it). As Anne Shirley would have said it, I just stood for a moment to drink it all in.

The driver brought me to the hostel where I had a reservation to stay until the afternoon when another student would be arriving and we would go to Bagamoyo together. I was able to shower and get breakfast which consisted of the most delicious bread I had tasted in a really long time. No offense Ryan, but these ladies know how to make bread… The morning feast was followed by a wonderful 4 hour siesta nap. I made myself get up at noon to start adjusting to the time change. However, my body thought it was 3am and was not super excited about that decision.

Funny story 1: I had lunch at the hostel with 3 Asian dudes who offered me some of their Asian peppers to add to my rice. They looked kind of funny, but then I figured it would make a great story for my blog so I went for it. As I took the first bite I imagined what might happen on the car ride to Bagamoyo if they didn’t agree with my stomach, but at that point it was too late to go back. Turns out they were kind of salty, not spicy at all, and agreed with my stomach just fine. Some might have thought that was not a wise move, but I try to broaden my horizons as much as possible.

Funny story 2: I was supposed to be picked up at 3pm to go to the airport to get my classmate and then onto Bagamoyo. 3:30pm No One. 4pm No One. I get a hold of the other students already at the house and they try and see what is going on. 5pm No One. 6pm the car pulls up. The guy went to the airport first and then to come get me. Thanks for the heads up. I was able to read for most of the time, so it wasn’t all a loss. But I might have planned my time differently if I had known I would have 3 more hours! Okay, so that’s not super funny. But it is true.

It was great to arrive at the house and see the rest of the crew! I’m sharing a room with a girl named Mia. She is great! The house is enormous and its size is accentuated by the fact that there is little to no furniture in it what so ever. All the walls and floors are white and the ceiling in the great room is at least 16feet high. Mia and I have our own bathroom and all the beds have mosquito nets. The mattresses are foam which is pretty common. I thought mine what pretty high density until I realized that the divot formed by my body while sleeping doesn’t really go away. Awesome (sarcastic tone). Hopefully, I won’t have any back problems with it.

Well, I’m over my limit so I’ll finish with the wonderful dinner we had of rice and beans. It was very much like the lunch I had at the hostel which also consisted of rice and beans. Welcome back to Africa. Yum.

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