A brief stop on the way to Haydom

May 21, 2011

So it has been one week since arriving in Tanzania and I’ve barely had time to eat let alone go into town to set up electronics. After spending hours on a plane with less than two thirds of my seat available and an equally long but roomier flight to Kilimanjaro I arrived at 8pm in Tanzania (10 hrs different for the west coast, 7 for east). The first words I learned were “Mambo?” and “poa” (What’s up? And I’m cool), besides the word my dad taught me, kaka which means brother. A very nice man named Carol was there to great me and drive me to Jean’s house in Moshi. He was so interesting and the complete opposite of what I expected. He informed me that I will get to see elephants while climbing the back route on Kili. He was a porter for several months, carrying 30 kilos up to the top every trip!!

In Moshi, Jean and I headed to the lab to make some acid solutions and it gave me some time to google Swahili words, such as asante (thank you), karibu (welcome), etc. We grabbed breakfast of beef samosas and flat breads at a little shop on the hospital complex for a total of 2 dollars, including waters (so delicious). For lunch I ate a mango and a banana, which were both heavenly and only 25 cents. We had to wake up on Monday at 4am to drive two hours to Arusha where we boarded a 12-seater plane. The pilot assigned our seats according to the weight. It was a short flight and we weren’t very high up, allowing us to see amazing views of Tanzania. I flew with Jean, Betsy, Crystal, Caroline, and Upendo (all people I will work/live with).

Landing in a grassy field was a a little bumpy, but not as bad as I imagined. We hoped into a land cruiser and were on our way to the Hospital in Haydom. All the other wazungu (white foreigners) are pretty fluent in Swahili so I missed a bit conversation wise but I’m excited to learn more. I’m having trouble with the internet so I can’t put my entire week in one post.

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