Tony has spent a week in Dar es Salaam – the morning call to prayer is haunting and musical against a backdrop of city noise. Tony likes this place! He likes the chewed up ashphalt in the alley that takes him to his not-so-four-star hotel. He likes the the open air cafes around the corner that offer up a variety of exotic fare prepared on open BBQs. He likes the fact that he can speak English and be understood. He likes that the streets are not cluttered with stray and abandoned dogs that can break his heart. And he likes his continental breakfast of half a banana, a slice of watermelon, a cup of coffee and two slices of dry toast with margarine!
And he loves the people he is volunteering with who hail from many places including Canada, Uganda and Kenya.
Bottom line – He feels good about being where he is! He has spent the last week in an orientation with the CUSO-VSO staff. After a whole week(!) he is still impressed with the integrity of this organization.
However, as the saying goes, the only constant is change and change is on the horizon . . . .
Next week he is off to the countryside to learn some Swahili. And aparently his assignment has changed from a central Tanzanian location near the capital of Dodoma to the northeast part of the country near Arusha. He’s not sure why, but does the tail wag the dog? – nope! So he will follow along and head to a more touristy part of Tanzania.
Transportation in Dar es Salaam has been interesting – and possibly a little crowded. Tony and his co-volunteers lined up to take the bus. First of all they stood out like sore thumbs because they are mostly white. And then the transportation company needed to ensure its survival by having as many fare-paying patrons in the bus as possible . . . . Tony was sure that 8 more people could NOT fit in. You guessed it – wrong again! I’m not sure why or what the connection is, but Tony said he “loved it!” Might have something to do with hot sweaty bodies but he did make a reference to it like being in Bryan and Linda’s hot tub! Should I KNOW something Linda? Bryan?
And then of course the dallah dallah. You don’t know what the dallah dallah is? Well it is a small van that someone like Tony crawls into with head skewed against the ceiling and knees in someone’s backside all because it only costs a dallah there and a dallah back! Tony will do ANYTHING if it’s cheap. Believe me!
Tony’s adventure is off and running. The major glitch for him is internet access – he is working on it!! If you have written him any emails, I suggest trying both his accounts: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org . Or simply post your greetings and comments here – he will eventually get to read “his” blog! He hasn’t been able to read any mail in either of his email accounts. He will persevere as he always does. He’s sure he’s onto something that will work in the near future.
Greetings to all from Tony! Jambo!