Karibu Tanzania (Welcome to Tanzania!)
After nearly 25 hours of travel from Chicago O’Hare to NY JFK Airport to Amsterdam Schipol, I finally landed at Kilimanjaro Airport last night. After getting our bags and walking through immigration (I don’t think they actually looked at anything), we boarded the buses and got to MS-TCDC, our training center where we met our Homestay families.
My homestay father, Antony, and his daughter, Stella, took us to Makumira, the neighborhood where we are staying for the next month. Along the way, I took the time to admire the nightsky. Because there are no huge cities with major skylines, there is little to no air pollution, and I was gifted with an unimpeded sight of the heavens. I saw literally hundreds of bright stars in the night, even the Milky Way! I hadn’t seen a sight like that in a long time, and it was an amazing way to start my adventure in Tanzania.
When we got home, Nabil and I put our bags away in the tiny room we were offered, with a small indent for clothes and a bunkbed for us to share. After setting up the mosquito nets and blankets, we had a small meal. While the meal itself was just rice and meat, I noticed that my HS-father (shorthand for homestay father) was very picky about our hands being clean. At one point, there was a grain of rice that was stuck to the side of my wrist that I hadn’t noticed. Upon noticing, he immediately whisked it away with a napkin. Interesting cultural (and good healthy) thing to keep in mind.
While I didn’t expect a 5-star accommodation, I was a bit disappointed by the fact that my bed was a little short. Normally I’m okay with letting my feet stick out the other side, but because of the mosquito netting, I had to stay contained within the bed. I finally found that sleeping diagonally helped me stretch out my body. Small inconveniences.
If you want to send me messages, e-mail seems to be fairly reliable for the next couple weeks or so. Hope to hear from everyone!