First Impressions of Tanzania

I have no idea where to even start on my first impressions of Tanzania. We first got here at night and I was so tired that I didn’t even mind that I wasn’t able to see where we were. It wasn’t until the next day, after some well needed sleep, that I actually wanted to look around and see the markets and people here.

The day started so great with the sun shining bright; I figured I would have an adventure of epic proportions. The Maasai market was fantastic. I found so many things that I wanted to take home with me, but I wanted to just browse the first time through. I was a little overwhelmed with the shops being on both sides of me and having every salesman and saleswoman tell me, “Karibu. Looking and touching is free”. I didn’t know how to say no without seeming impolite, so I went in almost every store! My group and I barely made it to the back of the market before we ran out of time and had to “hapana asante” our way back to the front. I thought the market and the people were fantastic though. Everyone was very friendly and it made me really look forward to the ‘crazy market’.

We then walked on to the conga shop and it started raining. Not going to lie, that put quite the damper on my mood (pun intended). I was attempting to site see while we walked, but the rain made everything muddy, so I had to stare at my feet the entire time so as not to slip on anything and injure myself. I did not originally have any intention of buying a conga and making it into anything, but the trip became worthwhile when I found two of my favorite colors mixed into a beautiful design on a scarf. The bartering part was even a tad bit fun, because the store owners gave someone else in our group two scarves for 38,000 shillings and then proceeded to try and sell the one to me for 20,000 shillings. When I joked with the man at the counter about this and said I wouldn’t pay more than 19,000, he laughed and gave it to me. I know many people have bartered exceedingly well on this trip thus far, but I have yet to buy anything outside of the conga shop, so I’m looking forward to when I actually want something and have to work my way into a good price range.

Overall, the first day (besides the drive to the lodge) went really well. Besides getting rained on, I enjoyed the people and the little bits of scenery that I actually got to look at. I look forward to going to some of those places mentioned earlier yet again and hopefully make a few rafikis along the way.

– Amanda

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