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!
- 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!