First ImpressionsPosted: May 9, 2013
Our first view of Arusha was walking off the plane at night and into the airport…in the pouring rain. It really wasn’t that bad though! I kind of got caught up in the moment of finally arriving in Africa (after 24 hours) and was too busy looking around to notice that I was soaking wet. We then got our luggage and walked out to the trucks to take us to the Outpost.
My first impression of the people is that they are all very nice. All the people in town stared at us as we walked around Arusha the first day and we had a ton of guys come up to us and try and sell us things (like paintings and bracelets). In the last few days, we have had time to actually talk and have conversations with some of the locals, which is really cool. They are just as interested in our culture as we are in theirs. They also love to teach us Swahili, which is a blast!
My first impression of the city is that it is more developed than I thought it would be. I honestly thought we would be seeing a lot of shacks and collapsing buildings in the main part of the city. Instead we saw a city that had traffic, restaurants, and stores. It wasn’t until I walked to school the first day that I saw a part of Arusha that looked like what I thought Africa would look like. We saw shacks that people lived in, run-down buildings, and trash in the streets. It was a really overwhelming sight and it still hasn’t sunk in that this is life for people who live here.
Overall, it has been an eye-opening experience so far and we’ve only been here for 3 days. I can’t wait for what we will see and learn in the next 3 weeks!