Today I left for Africa! Unbelievable!


Posted by Carrie on Saturday, March 18th, 2006

Today I left for Africa! Unbelievable! I can’t believe the time has arrived! I’m incredibly excited! I’ll be flying out of Mpls and heading to Amsterdam. From there I fly to Tanzania- first to Kilimanjaro, and then on to Dar Es Salaam, the capital city.

I SLEPT MOST OF THE WAY TO AMSTERDAM- NOTHING TOO EXCITING TO SHARE- ONCE IN AMSTERDAM I HAD ABOUT 45 MIN. UNTIL MY CONNECTING FLIGHT LEFT. THE FLIGHT FROM AMSTERDAM TO KILIMANJARO WAS ABOUT 9 HOURS- THE PREVIOUS FLIGHT BEING ROUGHLY 8. I SAT NEXT TO A MAN, BRIAN, WHO WAS ON HIS WAY TO TANZANIA WITH 7 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS FROM CALIFORNIA. BRIAN HAD WORKED IN TANZANIA WHEN IN THE PEACE CORP,THIS WAS HIS FRIST TRIP WITH STUDENTS. HE WAS ABLE TO GIVE ME SOME INFROMATION ABOUT TANZANIA AND WHAT TO EXPECT- FOR EXAMPLE- DAR ES SALAAM IS THE HOTTEST CITY HE’S EVER BEEN TO, WOMEN ALWAYS WEAR SKIRTS, PEOPLE MAKE A “KISSING” NOISE TO GET ONE’S ATTENDION-IT IS NOT SOME SORT OF CONSTRUCTION COME ON- HE ALSO TOLD ME THAT IT MIGHT BE DIFFICULT TO GET TANZANIANS TO TELL ME THEIR REAL THOUGHTS ON AMERICA.

SO, THAT’S HOW I SPENT MOST OF THE FLIGHT- TALKING TO AND GETTING TO KNOW BRIAN,AND ALSO LEARNING A BIT ABOUT TANZANIA- I WAS A LITTLE,NO, VERY NERVOUS AND SPEAKING TO HIM- HELPED ME FEEL A LITTLE AT EASE - LIKE I MIGHT HAVE SOME INKLING AS TO WHAT TO EXPECT.

I ARRIVED IN DAR ES SALAAM AT ABOUT 11PM- LOCAL TIM E- A DAY LATER- GOOD LORD IT WAS HOT! ABOUT 85 DEGREES- AND SO FRIGGIN’ HUMID! I LOVED IT! I HAD NO TROUBLES GOING THROUGH CUSTOMS AND MET DOMINIC RIGHT OUTSIDE. HE INTRODUCED ME TO JACKSON AND OFF WE WENT TO OUR “HOUSE” - ON THE WAY- HERE ARE A FEW THINGS I NOTICED- THE STREETS WERE CROWDED WITH PEOPLE- MUSIC, THE DRIVING IS INSANE! OF COURSE THE PEOPLE DRIVE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD- BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT MEAN- IT SEEMS TO BE A CONSTANT GAME OF CHICKEN- ON TINY STREETS- SOMETHING LIKE UP NORTH CABIN ROADS. BUT THERE IS AN ORDER THAT THE DRIVERS FOLLOW- I HAVE YET TO FIGURE IT OUT AND IF THIS WAS TO OCCUR ON AMERICAN ROADS- IT WOULD BE A TRAFFIC JAM - BECAUSE EVERYONE WOULD BE OUT OF THEIR CARS YELLING AND SCREAMING AT EACH OTHER. AS WE DROVE TOWARDS THE HOUSE I NOTICED THAT ALL OF THE STREETS ARE LINED WITH FENCE- MAINLY OF TREES/SHRUBS, ETC- YOU CANNOT SEE THE HOUSES FROM THE STREET- TO ENTER OUR HOUSE YOU MUST GO THROUGH A GATE- AND THEY YOU ARE BEHIND THE FENSE HIDDEN FROM THE ROAD. IT WAS ABOUT A 20 MINUTE RIDE FROM THE AIRPORT IN DAR (AS IT IS CALLED HERE) TO OUR PLACE FOR THE NIGHT. SO WE ARRIVED AT OUR HOUSE IN ONE PIECE- OKAY- THIS HOUSE ROCKED! HUGE- HARD WOOD FLOORS- BEAUTIFUL AFRICAN DECORATION- OPEN WINDOWS FOR EVENING AIR- IT WAS OURS FOR THE NIGHT- COURSE WHEN I ARRIVED CARRIE, AND JOEL WERE ASLEEP- DOMINIC WAS GREAT TO STAY UP AND CHAT WITH ME- REMEMBER I SLEPT SO MUCH I WAS WIDE AWAKE! WE SHARED A LOCAL BEER- KILIMANJARO- AWESOME! AND OFF TO BED- WE HAD AN EARLY MORNING!

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