First ImpressionsPosted: May 17, 2013
As we approached the ground in Tanzania it felt surreal and almost as if we were passing through another airport. I thought we were going to be going through the airport terminal but you definitely take stairs off the plane and walk to the airport. It was hard to see anything, as it was dark and very rainy. Inside the airport it was nice, it had wooden floors and conveyer belts, pretty standard for an airport. We all piled into one vehicle and I thought there were not going to be enough seats but the seats definitely folded down in the isle and held about 26 of us in the van. It was insane. It was also crazy how the men who helped put our luggage on top of the van just lift the luggage which each was about 50 pounds and toss it to the man on top of the van. As we approached the next day we went about the town. We were definitely watched throughout the town as we stood out. We went to the money exchange and I was taken by surprise as people came from the streets to sell us stuff. Especially at the Maasai market the first day everything in each shop was unique… which was interesting because everything was the same! It was interesting but very likewise. We also walked to the conga shop, it rained very hard, and I forgot a rain jacket so walking in the rain wasn’t pleasant. It was interesting as we watched many people stay in the city and the rain didn’t affect what they planned on doing for the day. People still stayed under the coverings in the street, still tried to sell us things that were “unique” and spent time together as a community. As in America, many people attempt to get out of the rain and avoid the outdoors as much as possible. I also had a first impression on the driving and streets. The driving is on the opposite side of the road and I get so confused on where to walk! The roads and sidewalks are run down and it is hard to observe the community, as you have to watch every step you take or else you will trip or fall in a hole. I couldn’t believe how nice people were when we arrived, as they would constantly greet us and say, “mambo” or “jambo” and would say “karibu” to the town. It made me feel at home as I began to fall in love with Tanzania as we explored the street more.