First Impressions of Tanzania

After being in Arusha for almost a full 72 hours I can safely say that I am not in Kansas anymore. We arrived about 10 pm, Sunday night to pouring rain. There wasn’t much to see on the drive from the airport to The Outpost because it was so dark and there are not any lights besides a few outside houses and from other vehicles. One of the things that everyone noticed was the bumps in the road and the small rivers forming on the side of the road. Since I was exhausted from traveling I went straight to bed without noticing anything else.

The next morning began in a haze of remembering that I was actually in Africa and thinking about what was still to come. After we all finished breakfast we headed out for our city tour. I have never been greeted so many times, by complete strangers, while walking down the street. Once it started to rain I felt like a parade of ducklings following our guide through town. We went to the Maasai market, through town with all of the street venders and then to the Kanga shop to buy material so we can have things made in a few weeks. All in all I would say that Tanzanians are the friendliest people to have in a culture that you know very little about.

Everywhere we have gone so far has been fantastic; one might say it is like being in a whole new world. Besides the few cars on the street, the wind blowing through the trees and the animals there are no other sounds while trying to sleep at night. This trip will definitely force me to try new foods, learn to love rice, and be more patient. I knew before I left that this was going to be a life changing trip but I obviously have no idea the extent to which it will. My assumptions have been way off and I am learning to not assume anything. As this trip continues I cannot wait to see what all of my students have to teach me as I try to share a portion of my knowledge with them.

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