Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tanzania Time

You quickly learn here that the "Manana" time in Mexico has nothing on Tanzania time.  Twice we waited two hours for meals at restaurants.  If they tell you the water  will come back on "in awhile" it could be ten minutes or two days.

We were supposed to leave for Lushoto Saturday morning at 9 and were all packed up and ready to go.  We eventually found out that the transportation manager had some "personal issues" and had not arranged a bus for us.  His boss said he would get us "a car" that afternoon but nothing appeared.  Luckily noone else was booked into our rooms, so we tried again the next day for 9 a.m.  At 11, the driver said he was at the ministry trying to get money for the trip.  He finally showed up at 2 and we left shortly thereafter.  We did not make it to Lushoto by dark, and instead of going up the twisty mountain roads we stopped at a hotel overnight.  We left the next day at 6:30 a.m and finally got to Lushoto Monday for a late breakfast.

We are in a compound run by a German nurse, Sabine, who came here in 1992, married a Tanzanian, and stayed.  They have four guesthouses with four beds apiece so we just fit.  She is known locally as Mama Deborah, after her daughter.  Her head cook is Mama Danny, named for her youngest son, who is usually seen swaddled on mama's back.  Sabine gives us three meals a day plus afternoon tea, cooking lessons, Swahili lessons, and HOT WATER!  Our field director, Ashley Crawford, gives us lessons in teaching English as a second language every day.

Melinda learns to cook Ugali, a cornmeal staple here

Ashley, head of WorldTeach Tanzania, in the classroom

Breanna Timlin, who will be my roommate for the year, gets a birthday cake for breakfast on her 25th birthday

Baby Danny gets a bath

Tanga province is in the northeast corner of Tanzania and this area is famous for it's hiking.  Yesterday one group was doing a five hour hike to Irente viewpoint and I didn't want to slow down the 20 year olds so signed up for a one hour hike to a farm.  The cook's son, David, is 12 years old and we followed him for 2 1/2 hours and found ourselves at Irente viewpoint.  After about 15 minutes the "long hike" people showed up.  We enjoyed the view and then walked back to the hostel.  My "short hike" ended up being five hours of almost continuous walking and I never saw the farm.  The area is beautiful, though, and it didn't rain.
View from the Usambara Mountains

WorldTeach volunteers conquer Irente Viewpoint

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