africalana

So I am currently updating my blog via gmail because the wordpress site is taking forever to load! Tanzania is Great!!!! Sorry I haven’t written sooner…. I don’t like being bound to a computer and I am lazy… So here is a long update!
The flights were good, except for one seat neighbour who was a bit obnoxious… ok, extremely obnoxious… but I dealt with it……
When I arrived I noticed the lack of lines and more of like a huddle? I squeezed my way to the front of the visa line (haha). Elizah, the Volunteer House Manager picked me and another volunteer up, and we were on our way! It was about a 45 minute drive to the house, and arriving was probably one of the most overwhelming experiences… On Thursday nights the volunteers have Social Night, where all the volunteers from homestays come to the house and have dinner than go out if they choose afterward…. we arrived during the drinking portion of the evening…. not going to lie, we stayed in the car for a couple of minutes because we were so overwhelmed. Everyone for the most part ended up being friendly and introducing themselves, so it wasn’t bad afterall. The house is very nice and has space for over 30 volunteers. I live in the female back room, which is 12, now 14, beds filled… feels like camp!!!! If we are lucky we have water… if we are really lucky, we have hot water. The shower comes out of a faucet that is low, so showers are done in sections; first the hair, than the limbs and body. The food is good and pretty standard, bread (or toast if we are lucky) with peanut butter, marg, jam on top and I bought nutella…. as well as mandazzi which is like deep fried dough, which is awesome… Lunches vary and I don’t really eat them because I usually am not home for them… and dinner is interesting combo’s of food… either way I leave dinner full.
Friday morning I had IVHQ orientation which was a lot of paperwork and a tour around Arusha. Arusha is bustlin (is that a word?). We then went to the Masai Market which I will definitely be going back to because it has the coolest things which are both authentic and touristy. Friday was a lazy day afterwards, and I went to bed at like 8pm.

Saturday morning about 11 of us went on a waterfall hike. It is at the base of Mt. Meru and the hike begins after about a 30 minute walk, or as I like to call it, another hike. The hike was strenuous, but the hardest part consisted of these mud steps we had to walk down. They were so steep a few of us fell (I survived that part). We then got to like a river bend, which was where we were to put on our sandals. I heard flipflops were ok to wear, but boy was I wrong! I fell in the water a few times, but luckily my camera didn’t get wet!!  The end result was beautiful and very worth the pain I am still feeling two days later… when I have more patience I might upload some pictures. In the afternoon that day, a few of our group went to town to look for random things. It became chaotic and a couple of the people tried being heroes and pretended to know where the Dala Dala was…… nope. they didn’t. Finally someone stepped up and asked. At night a few people went out, but the rest of us stayed in and watched Mean Girls (I would say that is a perfect night).

Sunday I wasn’t going to do anything but then last minute I decided to join a group to go to Shanga, which is a bead factory that employs Tanzanians with disabilities. It was very cool looking and reminded me a lot of that scene in Harriet the Spy with all of the bottles…. I took a picture so I can prove it. We payed 20,000 tsh for lunch and it was phenomenal. I want to go back and will try to. In the afternoon we just came back and laid outside, it was so nice and relaxing!!

Today I started my placement at Cradle of Love Baby Home, which was hectic at first. The person who was assigned to show us the way wasn’t actually going there, so we (another volunteer and I) had to wait until 11 to go. We take 2 Dala Dala’s there and its about 45 minutes away on a good day. The babies are adorable but we were given no instruction at first so we just did whatever. It is very well funded so there a lot of staff, so the volunteers are just extra help. I already fell in love with like five different babies and I was only there 2 hours. I will usually be there from about 9-2 everyday.

I feel like I should explain the Dala Dala’s….. they are this minivan that is meant to sit 12 but usually sit at least 16. They are all named and many of the names are about God (like God is Power, Jesus Power). They have broken my comfort zone, but now I am used to people climbing on me… They cost from 300tsh to 500tsh and get you to where you probably need to go. The one I was on just coming from placement backseat was broken and, yep, I sat on it! haha.

The currency here is tsh (or tanzania shilling) and roughly 1500tsh is equal to 1 dollar… so everything is extremely cheap, making me even cheaper than I already am! I cringe when I spend over 5000, but that is really like maybe $2.50….

Everything else is good so far! had a health scare this morning, but pepto solved that one! I am going on a Safari the weekend of the 29th, and could not be more excited!!!!!

I am going to try and go to the ICTRs but I hear rumours that they are closed for now 😦 I am not sure if it means closed session or closed for good… I will find out!
POA SANA
Alana

ps if you care to text me my number is +255 075 443 1268

Tutaonana Winnipeg, Habari Arusha!

 

Nasema Klingereza…. but in a month I hope Nasema Kidogo Kiswahili.

 

Leave tomorrow morning. freaking out.

 

Words of wisdom???

 

Alana

AHHHHH!!!!!!

I leave a week today, and I am beginning to feel overwhelmed…. Not so much nervous, more so I have plenty to do before I go, and would rather just do nothing…. (procrastinating as usual). Last week I was out of the city, so I lost a week of preparation, but the place I was at was worth it, so it’s ok! I found out where I am volunteering and I am very excited! It is called Cradle of Love Baby Home and it serves babies/toddlers from 2 months to 4 years of age, who have either been abandoned, their parents couldn’t care for them, or their mothers had died of HIV. It will be pretty powerful, but I checked out the website, and the babies/toddlers are adorable 🙂 When I received my placement, I was told that COL is in need of disposable diapers and hand sanitizer… so if anyone would like to donate some, it would be much appreciated! I will probably go and get Costco sized ones!

Cradle of Love (go here for more information).

This is all for now!

Thank you (or in Swahili Asante Sana)

Alana

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WHO

Posted on: June 15, 2011

I just wanted an excuse to post…. Here is the World Health Organization’s page on Tanzania, if anyone is interested to see what presents I may bring back for them. Just kidding, this website is actually super interesting. There hasn’t been a disease outbreak since 2007, so I should be okay!

Tanzania

 

 

 

 

 

Chik Fever

Posted on: June 15, 2011

Chik fever… also known as Chikungunya fever originated in the lovely country of Tanzania. Does this mean I am more susceptible to contracting it?! I hope not! Although not life threatening, it seems like a pain to deal with, it is one of the many illnesses one can contract from those pesky little mosquitoes.

Anyways…… Today I met with the travel nurse (which was stupidly expensive, by the way) to learn about Chik fever and all of the other fun things I can contract. I went in knowing I needed my Yellow Fever shot, but apparently one needle=an hour speech. I guess it is important to know what to be careful of. I am not worried though, I have all my shots, I am not stupid….. although mosquitoes do have an affinity for my blood.

I go in 29 days (pretty much 28) and I couldn’t be more excited. I ordered a Kindle online, and it came in the mail yesterday, so that is exciting because instead of lugging books upon books, I can lug around this little toy. I also got a cover for it that makes it seem like I am holding a book, so whoever thinks that the Kindle ruins this experience… think again my friends! Journey’s travel has so many fun travel accessories, I will most definitely be going back before I leave.

Alana

p.s. I go out of town for 10 days next Friday, so that is going to make time go by extremely fast, yay!

 

Quickie

Posted on: June 11, 2011

My internet is back to normal speed yay! Therefore I can post videos after watching them and not judging their credibility just by the title!

32 days! Just an update because I wanted to share this link:

Arusha Times

this is the online newspaper for Arusha, enjoy!

Alana

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