Anyway, a lot has happened in the 2 weeks since I was last able to write. I was once again blessed with the opportunity to travel a bit around Tanzania with the wonderful Maria! We started our adventure in Arusha visiting her family. Oh yeah, and I got to go to the Ngorongoro Crater again. No big deal...
After a few days in Arusha, we took the bus to Moshi. We spent the afternoon helping a friend and fellow teacher unload a shipping container into her new place there. She is moving there to take over a primary school. Exciting for her! It was great to get to help her because she is a fellow American and had packed her container about 2 years ago. It was kind of like taking a step back home for a few hours. I got to ogle at her Red Lobster and Olive Garden bags, drool over her Heinz beans, and dig around for her jar of Miracle Whip. Afterword she treated us to a late lunch and we got to go shopping. One thing Moshi has that Dodoma doesn’t have is a supermarket… like one with carts… and a machine that prints your receipt… It was amazing!
We spent only one night in Moshi this time before heading on to Dar es Salaam. I had only spent about 8 hours in Dar in my whole time in Tanzania, and they were all in the dark, after a 2-day long flight experience. I was excited to get to see more of it. Boy was I amazed!!
Not only are there infinitely more restaurant options, but there are also shopping malls and supermarkets that stock imported goods. I got to eat Reese’s Pieces for the first time in 9 months! (If you remember my brief rant above about not having non-chocolate options for lent, you will see the importance in this statement,) I also got my first taste of Ethiopian cuisine. We saw restaurants serving traditional Tanzanian food as well as Himalayan, Brazilian, Italian, and even spotted a few Subway and KFC restaurants. It amazes me that such a different world can be found only an 8-ish hour bus ride away.
Even more of a blessing in Dar was a meeting with a friend of Maria’s. She was excited to catch up with a friend she had known as a student at CAMS. It just so happened that this friend is pregnant and due any day, so had been staying with her mother. That has left her apartment empty. She offered it to us, free of charge, so that we could stay and make it seem like someone lives there. We couldn’t turn down such an amazing offer! It became even more exciting as we learned that our return to Dodoma would have to be delayed due to some extreme rain and flooding on the route home. A major bridge between Dar es Salaam and Dodoma had once again sustained some damage and busses weren’t running that route.
We chose to stay in Dar rather than spend the extra 2 or so hours the alternative route demands. This allowed us 2 extra days to explore the city. We took that time to do some more shopping and to pamper ourselves a bit. We stumbled across a spa in one of the malls and Maria took the opportunity to get a massage and a haircut by someone who knows how to cut mzungu hair. I treated myself to a manicure and arm massage that was pretty amazing. The sacrifices that missionaries make…
One more note before I let you get back to your regularly scheduled day. Be sure to check out the Lenten reflections my fellow YASCers and I have been writing. There are some amazing minds out there serving the Anglican Communion! Tomorrow is Easter, so keep an eye out for pictures of Easter celebrations from all around the world! http://yasclenten.blogspot.com