First Impressions!Posted: May 8, 2013
Before entering Tanzania I was not expecting much. I thought we were going to be walking around the rainforest, eating grains, and living in log cabins. I was defiantly surprised on how developed the town of Arusha is. There are buildings, restaurants (that are an open concept), people walking around, and cars zooming by. There are some differences though. For instance, our first day walking around it was pouring rain. Despite the rain, there were a lot of people on standing next to buildings just hanging out.
As much as I wanted to take in all of my surroundings, I also had to be very cautious of where I put my feet. There are sidewalks but for the most part they are not paved. It was more like broken cobblestone and dirk mixed together. There were also trench-like ditches between the road and the sidewalk. This would make sense because during their rainy season they get a lot of water. A lot of running water on concrete will eventually erode away the concrete. For this area it is a good invention.
As we were walking to lunch at the Blue Herron, exchange our money, and then to the Massi Market people seemed to be very friendly (rafikki!!). People would say jambo or mambo. We were trying to get the correct response back. Like it would not be proper to respond poa to jambo, you would need to respond se jambo. You would use poa to respond to mambo. We also learned to say “no thank you” because a lot of people would try and sell merchandise to you. They would keep persisting. It was almost exhausting saying “no thank you” to them.
At times it almost felt like we were on parade. We definatly stand out because we are “white people” or mozungos. I don’t feel different because we are a large group of people. To be frank Arushians are people too. To me what sets us apart is the color of our skin. I am sure we think differently because of the area or country we have grown up in.
All in all it was an overwhelming day of new experiences.