My First Week in Tanzania

7 Jun

Well, I made it!  The flight to Dar es Salaam was long but pretty comfortable.  Unfortunately, the next day, I had an all day delay in the airport to get to Mwanza where I am working.  It was long but at least the Dar airport had Wifi! Otherwise, it would have been a very long day.

Here are some highlights (or things I found hilarious) from the first week:

1.  Watching people drive here is initially terrifying.  First, they drive on the opposite side of the road than in the US.  That in itself gives me minor heart attacks.  Secondly, the entire transportation system is like a very well executed, yet intense, game of Frogger.  In Mwanza, I have seen one stop light, which means that people have to dart across the road where there are openings like on Colfax in Denver.  This combined with the slightly insane driving of vans, cars, motorcycles, and bicycles makes it a very intense experience.  Especially if you are also dealing with remembering which side of the road the cars are coming from.  All that being said, it’s very well executed.  I have yet to see an accident or anyone hurt.  Very impressive. 

2.  Lake Victoria is so beautiful!  I have an amazing view from my hostel so every evening when I get off work, I come home to the sun setting over the lake. Pretty epic.

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Lake Victoria from the Hotel Tilapia where I got a drink and some fruit!

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3.  I have Internet! This will make me sound like an old person, but I still can’t believe that I can plug in a little USB thingy with a SIM card in it and get Internet.  It’s amazing.

4.  I’m staying at a Catholic hostel in Mwanza, and in my first week there were three weddings and receptions.  Man, do they know how to party!  It has sort of hurt my sleeping but it’s oddly comforting to hear people having fun and partying from my room.  In the last wedding, it sounded like they were wrapping it up/cleaning up and all of a sudden I hear “How am I supposed to live without you” by Michael Bolton.  MICHAEL BOLTON! They listened to the entire album before closing it down.  Hilarious.

5.  The fruit here is amazing, but I’ve only been able to eat out twice (and get fruit) because of work and needing to get back before the sun goes down.  Other than the fruit, the food is not really for me.  Lots of fish, other meat, and white rice.  Luckily, the other night I bought some peanut butter, honey, and bread.  I feel much better now.  Below is a picture of my first dinner at the hostel.  The fish was staring at me…so I made it look like I ate some and decided to do dinners on my own from there on out.  I cannot wait to eat at my hipster vegetarian restaurants when I get back.

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6.  I think the roosters here are on USA time because I’ve heard them crowing at all hours of the night.  C’mon man, let a woman get some rest.

7.  Kids here are cute and always want to talk to you.  Mainly because I am a “Mzungu” or “foreigner”.  Okay, so maybe everyone wants to talk to me because I’m white (mainly dudes and kids).  I’m a weird celebrity here.  Being a celebrity is tough, especially when there are weird stalking experiences by a “gang” of teenage girls.  As I was walking up the steep hill to the hospital for work, a group of girls on the opposite side of the road called out “Good morning!” and “How are you?” multiple times.  It’s funny because kids here say “Good morning!” to you regardless of the time of day.  Again, very cute. I replied respectfully, but apparently I had not given them adequate attention.  They proceeded to cross the street, which is not always an easy feat, and follow me the entire way to the hospital serenading me with “Old McDonald Had a Farm” and constantly saying “Good Morning!” and “How are you?”  I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or be afraid. I mean, teenage girls are scary.  I used to be one.

8.  Living in close quarters with insects has been a transition.  Thank goodness for the bednet.  It’s like a cocoon of safety, although I have already gotten a couple of bites just from going to the bathroom, brushing my teeth, etc. in my hostel.  Those sneaky little bastards.  Hopefully, I don’t get Dengue or Malaria, but I’m not sure what else to do about it except try to avoid them and wear bug spray as much as possible.  Image

I miss Colorado in the summer, but it’s comforting to know I’ll be heading back pretty soon!  I’m working hard and trying to suck the marrow out of the whole experience.  I’ll keep updating as much as possible!

In Health & Happiness,

Kacy

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2 Responses to “My First Week in Tanzania”

  1. Shirley June 8, 2014 at 7:53 AM #

    Kacy, what an adventure and such memories to be made! Stay safe…can’t wait to hear to hear about your next experiences. Aunt Shirley

  2. Kelly C June 9, 2014 at 7:16 PM #

    Kacy wear long sleeves and pull your collar up to keep from being bit. Also, Cigar smoke will keep mosquitoes and insects away. Sorry, acting like a Dad.

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