Posts Tagged ‘travel

Blogging is tiring… The last few days have been quite eventful. This post wont be long because I would rather facebook creep with my internet time rather than blog…. pole.

So Friday night we went to TGT which is this restaurant in some really western hotel with tourists who probably dont see the real Tanzania…. besides the animals and kili of course. The food was great!!!

Saturday in the day I went to Masai Market and bought a lot of things, it was a fun bartering experience “rafiki price” came in handy, especially when I brought it up. I will definitely be going back soon.

On Sunday A few of us went to Saki’s (the security guard) Masai Village which was a3 hour drive, an hour and a half which is off roading. It was an amazing experience, they welcomed up with song and dance, and I was able to join in on one of their dances. We got to tour where they live, the females and children live all on one side of the hut, while the male lives on the other. Only when they are having sex the female is allowed to sleep in the males bed. The females do all the work, while the male literally does whatever during the day. There was a ceremony for killing and eating a goat, which I did not partake in. I understand why they do it, and know they utilize the goat’s every orphus, I just have a weak stomach… Apparently it tasted good though. It was an amazing experience to see how they live, and awesome to meet Saki’s children

Monday we woke up and found out the Dala Dala’s are on strike…. which means it is impossible to get to my placement in a cheap manner… so instead I went into town looked at Tanzanite and got a hoodie from the second hand market for safari. Apparently there is tension between the police and dala drivers because when the dala drivers are stopped they are forced to give money to police, and if they dont then they are arrested, and they are fed up with how they are treated. Which is fair. We heard that one of the girls from the homestay was pulled into a store because of the Dala Dala mobs and there was tear gas…. The next day we thought it was better because some Dalas were working, but we only made it halfway to placement… there was extreme tension between the Dala drivers who wanted to drive and the Dalas who didnt… Today is the same and I am just laying low before SAFARI TOMORROWWWWW



Posted on: July 22, 2011

So I am really not good at this whole blog thing…. getting to a computer is just not high on my priority list, and I would rather hang out or go into town….

This post will be a bit shorter because I don’t have my real journal with me so I don’t really remember what went on… Tuesday was the first real day of placement, and it was good, but long. Many of the children have abandonment issues because of their situation, so constant attention is given. We feed them breakfast (if  we make it there on time haha) and lunch, and they are pretty well fed. Since Cradle is so well funded, these kids are very privileged, which makes me wonder what their lives will be like after they are too old for Cradle. I asked Claire, one of the workers, what happens and some children move onto different orphanages (where I am assuming are up to Cradle standards, since Cradle moves them) or back with their parents. This worries me, because these children are pretty much spoiled as they get 3 full meals a day, have plenty of toys, attention and clothing. I think they will have a culture shock when they are to be moved.

On Wednesday, we went to placement again, and I went to town to exchange money at the bureau- which is always an adventure. In the evening some of us went to Africafe for some dessert (I obviously had ice cream). Africafe is pretty much a starbucks but with more food options, and in Africa….. Some people went to do Karaoke after, but I surprisingly declined..

On Thursday when we got to placement, they needed adults to take some of the babies to the clinic, so I volunteered to do so. The clinic was about five minutes away and very nice. It was a free clinic, and the facilities were legit, with proper scales etc…. And while you are waiting they hand our packages of cookies and juice. The babies needed to go for HIV testing and checkups, but we only had time for one baby to actually get tested. Sometimes testing can be a more than one time thing, and this baby, Irene, had her last test, and she is negative! We left early that day because the babies went to sleep early, which meant there was nothing for us to do, so I slept. At night was Social Night which is when all of the volunteers from homestays come have dinner at the volunteer house, it gets really crowded, but the food is awesome. I had like 4 Chipati…. all I eat here is carbs, and I have had to ignore my intolerance to wheat/gluten because it is barely possible to eat otherwise… I have come to embrace the burn.


Today we dropped off our diapers and hand sani at placement and they werent as thankful as I would have hoped… maybe because it was at a bad time. Today was nice because we got to play outside with the children, which made time go by fast. We left, but this afternoon they are having a Birthday Celebration for all of the July birthdays, and by the set up, it looks really cute.

Tonight there is talk about going for Pizza, so I will probably do that! Tomorrow some of us are going to the Masai Market and Second-Hand market for some touristy things as well as clothing for Safari…. apparently 13 years of camp didn’t sit with me while packing for Africa. Oh well. And on Sunday I am probably going to the Masai Village of one of the security guards at the house… I am excited but not too sure how I feel about seeing a goat being killed (I will shut my eyes probably). I understand it is their culture, so I am not against them doing it, I am against myself watching it 🙂

This was boring, Pole.


p.s. if you want something from the market and have the balls to text a Tanzanian phone number…. then text me 🙂


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!

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


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)


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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!







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.


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


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