Monday, October 10, 2011

Africa - 2008

In July 2008, Robbie and I travelled to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We have friends that work at an international school in Dar, so a group of us went and hosted their high school and elementary aged summer camps. Our trip lasted three weeks, so we were able to visit different parts of the city and go on a safari in between the camps. Added bonus: I experienced the Tanzanian health care system because Robbie broke his arm while we were there!
Being in Tanzania really made me feel small. It opened my eyes to just how big the world is and how many people are on this earth. The people were extremely friendly and warm and the landscape was immense. Since Tanzania is in the Southern Hemisphere we went during their winter, yet the weather could not be more perfect. As we exited the airport, I instantly felt like we had landed in Hawaii. There was a sweetness in the air, and a cool breeze waving through the trees. I can count the number of times I wore a sweater on one hand. 
The irony...
One of the three weeks of our trip was spent along the coast at a place called Bamba Beach, where we held the high school summer camp. I loved it because it showcased Dar es Salaam's raw beauty. The ocean's tides would change dramatically, the windows only had screens, and the plumbing was not anywhere near "western" standards!
This was my shower
  • Safari. Going on a safari is hard to describe because the feeling is surreal. The animals are amazing and the landscape is beautiful. I remember sitting on the roof of our jeep, watching the sunrise and thinking, "This is exactly what I am supposed to be doing. I am discovering the world and this is exactly where I'm supposed to be".
  • The Indian Ocean. I love diving into a warm ocean and the Indian Ocean was just that. It was wonderful. Side note: there were hundreds of tiny jellyfish swimming among us, stinging our legs as we moved through them. It felt like razor burn.
  • Be smart while traveling. Don't let fear hinder you from experiencing the local culture, but don't completely ignore concerns either.
  • Respect cultural norms. While on our trip, I learned that a woman's bare legs and thighs in Tanzania are the equivalent of a woman's bare breasts in the States, so long skirts were a staple. Also, it is unusual for men to expose their legs by wearing shorts.  
  • If you barter the price of an item down, it is a courtesy to purchase it at that point. If you walk away, it is considered rude and disrespectful.  
  • Alcohol of any kind is looked at very differently than in the States. According to our hosts, drinking alcohol in Dar is for those that are lazy, and not contributing to society.
  • Try different kinds of food. This is a great way to experience a new culture and most of the time it is delicious! 
Outdoor food market
The Crew

Have you ever travelled to Africa? What were your favorite parts? Do you have any recommendations?
(All photos taken in Tanzania in 2008. Special thanks to Patty, Sarah K, and Sarah H!)


  1. I love that hippo picture. Every single person that was at that pond was waiting for the hippo to open its mouth, and somehow you were the only one standing over there when it finally did. Then you yelled, "YES!!!" at the top of your lungs. That was a good day.

  2. I love the hippo picture too! I guess I was just at the right place at the right time. And then I totally ruined the perfectly peaceful moment. Typical Stacy.

  3. If you ever go to Morocco, go with someone who speaks French... Unless you go to the northern part of the country. In which case you should go with someone who speaks Spanish... and while you're at it you should visit southern Spain. It's pretty awesome there.

    -Lemon Triangle

  4. Haha. I think Citrus Geometric Shape is looking for some travel buddies!

  5. that hippo picture is AMAZING. i also love the group shot on top of the jeeps. swimming in the warm ocean sounds like a dream. Can't wait to read the rest of your travel posts this week!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Short Story Long All rights reserved
© Blog Milk
Powered by Blogger