I’m sitting in our comfortable bed in the Sleep Inn Hotel in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania’s capitol), with an air conditioning unit providing a cool environment while I watch Kung Fu Panda on a flat screen television. We have come a long way from Karagwe, and have enjoyed traveling along the tourist track followed by thousands of visitors each year in Tanzania.
The past several weeks have been filled with many activities and obligations. We have spent our last few weeks tying up loose ends for this semester, and preparing for our upcoming adventure and next semester. Before our final goodbye on Monday when we are scheduled to leave, we decided to have a going-away party Friday evening here at Misha Guest House. We invited 40-50 of our friends and colleagues to thank them for welcoming us Karagwe and to say goodbye. Caitlin made a sign which said “Amizade tunawakaribisha. Asante sana kwa urafiki yenu!” We had lots of food and drinks. The meal was prepared by Mama Roja who has prepared all of our meals here in Karagwe and of course it was delicious! Everyone seemed to enjoy the food and company of one another. Caitlin wrote a speech in Kiswahili on a napkin, and thanked everyone for their friendship and hospitality. Our student, Sarah, had the great idea to play musical chairs, and we had a great time teaching the game and playing.
We were all ready for our break in Bukoba. The students were excited to do something new and leave their studies behind for a few days. Paul and I were happy knowing our budget would allow for some exciting adventures. We set out on our journey from Misha walking with our backpacks ready for adventure. After waiting for the Bunda bus to arrive in Kayanga, we boarded and were off to Bukoba.
Over the past 2 weeks the Tanzania semester students Carly, Isabel, and Sarah have been volunteering 6 hours a week;…
After a long week in Kampala it was time to return to Karagwe. We picked Isabel up from the airport…
Our hotel is a nice respite from the chaos that is center city, Kampala. We have ventured into the heart of the city twice now, and even the students admit it is difficult to explain the experience in words only. People are everywhere, vehicles are everywhere (on the road, on the sidewalks, in the shoulders), and there is much to take in. Personally, I will feel much more at home in Karagwe where the most common sounds are those of farm animals… cows, goats, chickens, the lone roaster crying to wake up everyone when the sun rises.
Yesterday was our big day of travel from the Karagwe district of Tanzania to Uganda’s capitol, Kampala. Travel in East Africa is typically exhilarating, scary, frustrating, and cause for great laughter all wrapped in the same journey, and rest-assured our day did not disappoint.
We have been staying at The Mavuno Project compound for 12 days now and have become used to the amenities, pit latrines, cold showers, three square meals prepared by Mama Kennedy, and the occasional howling at 2:30 a.m. from the local dogs. Staying at the Mavuno compound with us are three individuals. Two are from Germany, and the other is from South Africa. It has been nice to interact with other visitors on a regular basis and to share stories and experiences that cover three continents. Their time here is short but their work is very important. All three individuals are in some fashion working with Mavuno on the Water tank projects.