My first week in Tanzania has already offered me some of the greatest experiences of my life. Simply going to Tanzania was such a landmark event as I had never traveled outside of the United States before. Ever since we landed in the airport in Dar Es Salaam, I have never felt so welcomed in a community before. Everyone in Tanzania is just as excited to meet new visitors as we are with them, so I have been accustomed to the Jambo’s (Hello) and Mambo’s (What’s up?) that greet me and my group of peers as we have traveled throughout the city of Dar Es Salaam.
As we have gone to restaurants, to museums, and to even a cave, our group of 20 has soon started to become a close knit family. This statement could not be any more correct when my group gave me my first swimming lesson in the Indian Ocean. As my group leader Carly and my friend Luke led me into the water with my life jacket, the rest of my group soon joined us, cheering for me and circling around me to make sure I felt safe. I was and still am amazed at how supportive this group is to the rest of each other and I am so happy to explore even more of Tanzania (including our homestays and the safaris!) with them for the rest of this journey!
Recently we have traveled from Dar Es Salaam to Tanga with a seven hour bus ride. Many of the us such as: Rita, McKinley and I stayed up late and barely got sleep. The next morning was super tiring but the wait was better. After our long travel we went on a tour in some of the caves located in Tanga which was super fascinating due to the fact that a lot of the rocks took shapes of modern things such as angel wings, rhinos and the outline of Africa. Bats lived all throughout the caves and we had to go through narrow spaces that people like Jerry wouldn’t fit through being 6’0 and all but that more connections were strengthened for the best.
Our experimenters discussed social issues with Tanzanian youth.
Working with the local fundi was an amazing experience. Our visit consisted of trying our hand at carving ebony and gaining a greater appreciation for the hard work put into every piece. Together our group and our carver were able to carve an elephant from the ebony, while learning about the rich culture behind this trade. We were also able to contribute to these fundis by buying some of their work. From paintings to carvings and keychains there was something for everyone. This experience has been one of my favorite yet, and although our visit was short it made a lasting impression.
Sara, an experimenter, learns wood carving from a fundi
Our 4th day in Dar Es salaam we went bike riding it was absolutely amazing ! We’ve encountered so many foods and learned about what people do on Sunday since not a lot of markets and local shops were open. We ate Cashatas, a sweet treat made up of peanuts and sugar bundled together we ate this with coffee. On our biking tour we visited so many different villages and got to explore various important people from these villages that help keep the people happy and active. The bike ride was absolutely beautiful and it was fun doing it with my groupies ?.