We’ve arrived in Dar Es Salaam. Dirty, hairy (my face), and with a little girl on our lap (Randi’s lap). Now that I’ve had a shower, a decent night of sleep, and gotten a shave at the local barber, I guess it wasn’t that bad (and actually, the longest ride goes to the thirty-hour Kenya-Ethiopia trip, and worst was probably the four-hours-on-a-bumpy-ass-dirt-road-stop-in-every-village Malindi–Lamu ride Sara and I took in 2007). Our bus from Moshi — the main backpackers’ town near Mt. Kilimanjaro — to Dar Es Salaam took longer than we expected, and by the time we arrived last night it was late and we were tired, hungry, and dehydrated. We must have been not too-bad off (or just in survival mode) because I still managed to navigate us to the YWCA hostel where Anique and I stayed last year. For future reference, out-of-town buses will drop you off at the bus station. As soon as you get out a million taxi dudes will be harassing you. Tell them this: “Wee, bwana, dalla dallas zipo mingi! Siwezi chukua taxi!” (dude, there are so many dalla dallas. I can’t take a taxi!). Just grab your bags and follow the locals outside the bus station and pay your two or three hundred shillings to get to the city center.
Woo, long journey! I arrived in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali last night. Holy crap, this place is clean, organized, and there are bananas everywhere. Sureel and I entered through the Tanzanian border at Benaco and then walked across into Rwanda. After some shady deals exchanging our Tanzanian money we bought some lunch and paid for a bus to Kigali (three or four hours). We had been traveling for something like thirteen hours since the morning, and when I finally took a shower the water was brown from my dirty hair.
Last night we had dinner at our hotel and sat next to a Rwandan and a Ugandan. We talked African politics for about an hour, had some laughs, and got some tips about Kigali. The people here are very kind, honest, and like I said, this place is clean, organized, and beautiful. Oh, it’s really freakin’ expensive too. We had to visit several hotels before we found one with available rooms, and the prices range from like $30/per night to $70… Ahh!! I will hopefully get some pictures to capture the green hills surrounding the city. Most of you know I hate to appear like a tourist :) Continue Reading
What’s a teacher supposed to do when class is over, final exams have been marked, and final grades have been sent in? Vacation! So I’m off to Uganda with my friend Sureel by way of Tanzania and Rwanda starting on August 1st. I have about three weeks before I have to start teaching again, so if I fanya haraka (do it fast) I can be back in ten or twelve days. Half of the adventure is the journey, I know, but I do have a few specific stops in mind:
- Mwanza province in Tanzania to eat some fish and see Lake Victoria which, in addition to being the source of the Nile, is 26,000 square miles. Wow!
- The genocide museum in Rwanda.
- Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda (where the infamous Idi Amin had a house).
So don’t freak out if you call me in the next two weeks and my phone is “disconnected,” I’ll be back soon! Adios, amigos!