Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hakuna Matata

Greetings from Arusha's internet cafe!

Today has already been a long day of walking and shopping, so I tried my hardest to find internet for some relaxation and "peace of mind".

Let's start with yesterday:

After 20-something hours of traveling, I arrived in TZ around 8:45 pm (their time). Fortunately I met up with 2 other girls who were also part of SIC and we all went through customs together. We found our Impala Shuttle driver who was going to take us to the hostel, and loaded our very heavy backpacks on what looked just like the truck you ride on in Disney Animal Kingdom's Safari joke!

It was about a 30 minute ride to the hostel and that drive was probably one of my favorite moments yet. I can safely say...I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MANY STARS IN MY LIFE. The sky is glamorously paint-splattered with shining stars that make you believe you can see into 3 galaxies. It was (hands-down) the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I cried. Literally.

At the hostel we greeted our SIC coordinators and staff, and they showed us to our room. 11 girls sharing one room....haha total fiasco! It feels just like summer camp. We knew once it got dark outside we couldn't leave, so all the girls were trying to keep ourseleves occupied with silly games and stories. I won over a few people by bringing scrabble! We each have our own beds with fairly comfortable mattrasses, quilts, pillows and bednets. I kinda liked sleeping in my bed one could see in it for the times I drooled on myself as I slept. ;)

We woke up around 7 am and there was certainly no need for an alarm clock at the hostel. At 4:30 am a friendly Rooster actually crowed when the sun came up. (Carolyn: Rockadoddle? Perhaps?) Then around 6:30 I woke up to the beautiful sound of a man singing. Apparently every morning the nuns have a call to worship and are awoken by this man's song. It was very peaceful and I quite enjoyed it.

Complimentary breakfast was served at the hostel and I had some good tea. Yes, Colin...I enjoyed my tea. It just felt good to be drinking it with my breakfast in this exotic location. Speaking of exotic...all the plants are exactely what you'd dream of. I hate to reference disney again, but it looks just like adventureland in the Magic Kingdom. I'm so lame.

After breakfast I entertained my roomates with "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?" electronic game. We failed 3 times at second grade questions. This coming from Harvard, UCLA and BU students hahahahaha. It was a blast! Who knew that Lake Ontario is the smallest of the great lakes? I mean come know your first guess would've been Eerie.

So we hit up the SIC office for a little health and safety class around 10am. It was hysterical because the first thing they did was pass out this massive and neaon-colored dildos as an ice breaker. These are the same dildos we will be using for condom demonstrations in the villages (and no matter what, everyone will always it's good to get it over with now). We passed around the dildos as "talking sticks" and introduced ourselves. SUCH A GREAT GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS. These are going to be some amazing new friends.

The rest of the day has been spent wandering through the markets and making new Tanzanian friends. Out of the 3 new Tanzanian friends I made, only one asked me for money and that was after he translated for me and wanted a tip. Our coordinators told us about how [on weekends] when most Tanzanians are not working, they love to wander around the city. In order to practice their english, they strike up conversation with Americans. Harmless questions like: "do you like swimming?" or "how do you say _____ in english?". It's actually fun! Then we generally ask them questions about how to speak in swahili. Then when we get to a certain intersection and they've walked enough, they'll hoot "kwaheri!" which means "goodbye".

I bought soooo much fabric today to make skirts. Unfortunately the tailor is closed, so I won't be able to wear them until next week. Carolyn and Mom can look forward to some Africa skirts when I return.

Tonight is opening dinner. Apparently all our meals have BREAD! :)




  1. Sara,

    This sounds INCREDIBLE already! I've been telling everyone about how amazing all my friends from home are, and I always mention YOU and how you're in Africa right now, totally changing lives.

    I love you and miss you, babydoll.

    Have fun and stay safe. <3

  2. Hey kiddo, this is your mom again. Colin is looking for cheaper calling cards on line. He said that he had to look for good calling card prices on line while he was in Australia and will try those sites.

    When Carolyn was in Portugal the only way I was able to keep from missing her too much was talking to her on the phone, so I am bound and determined to make the calling card thing work.

    Maybe I can figure the cards out better than blogging....

    I know you won't be available to use the internet much after you leave Arusha in two weeks, but at least we can still post messages for you to read when you do get to a computer.

    Love you - goodnight

  3. Sara...I think I have my own google account to talk to you now. Carolyn told me how to do it.

    Carolyn says hi. She's not sure if she will be able to call you when you are available since she works until 6:00 at night and doesn't keep her cell phone on her at work. I told her she can text you because of the change I made with verizon (not too much between you two though - I could go broke!)

    Love you - have a good day

  4. This is so cool... I can't believe it's actually happening.

    Also... I totally want a skirtttt. Jealous!