Friday, June 15, 2012

06/15 -City Tour of Dar es Salaam

We did the "tourist" thing today and took a city tour with our tour company.  I included a lot of pictures today so I apologize, but there were a lot of things to see.  I also tried to post my first video (group of women who did a tribal dance for us).  

We started off with the fish market.  You could smell the place from a couple of blocks away, but the level of activity was amazing.  There were people yelling and pushing, buying and selling, cleaning and cooking...and the guide said that it was not very busy.  I saw giant barracuda, prawns, lobster, and a hundred different types of fish I could not name fresh out of the Indian Ocean.  

I am still a little cautious about eating local food based on the sanitation conditions.  Not sure I would ever get used to some of it, but my stomach is definitely not ready now.  We were the only obvious tourists that I could see there at the market so we got a few looks from the locals as well.  One man actually became very agitated because our guide was showing us a giant stingray (see the picture below) in front of his area and we were taking some pictures.  He stood up on a box and began shouting in Swahili and waving a machete.  It was very uncomfortable.  People stopped what they were doing to watch.  The discussion escalated and a second person joined him yelling, but our guide was able to diffuse the situation or at least calm them down enough for us to move on.   
Look closely...those are the stingrays on the ground
Squid (I think)

the "shopping carts" for the market

Boats coming in on the beach at the market

Lots of people.  Boy carrying eggs

Kelsey and I outside

Biggest prawn I've ever seen

The roof was on fire!  they were doing a
 bucket brigade up the ladder to put it out
The gentleman in the white hat about
60 seconds before he was waving a
 machete at us and screaming in Swahili
After leaving the fish market, we made our way past the Presidential Palace.  We could see a little of it but not much from the street and they do not take kindly to pictures being taken for security reasons.  I will say though, it was a big white compound and there were peacocks and antelope grazing on the lawn.  

From there, we went to some sort of village cultural history center.  This was actually pretty cool.  They had different huts from a number of different tribes as you would have seen them in the past (and in many cases still today).  Tanzania has over 120 different tribes so there is tremendous diversity.

One of the huts

After we left the tribal cultural village, we went to a place called Mwenge market.  It is a local marketplace a little off the beaten path.  We were immediately spotted when we got out of the car and the shopkeepers all started trying to call us into their individual booths saying "Mambo" or "Karibu" (it means you are welcome).  I bought a couple of small souvenirs (after Gretchen talked them down on the price a ridiculous amount) and they were all happy.  

Mwenge Market

Gretchen and Stefan shopping

We finished up the day at the Level 8 bar on top of the Kilimanjaro Hotel (the Hyatt).  The views were amazing.  I attached some pictures.  It is right on the Indian Ocean with a view of the city from all sides.  The security was intense.  When we pulled up in our van, there was a barricade and a man in uniform walked around the car looking underneath with a mirror on all sides checking for bombs under our vehicle.  It was the perfect end to a long day of sightseeing.  Tomorrow, we take off for Mwenge where we will start our clinic work.  

On the patio at Level 8

Chip and Seth

The group


  1. Hi Chip,

    I love your blog and have been reading it each day!!

    Just want you to know I am keeping you and the group in special prayer asking the Lord's protection for everyone each day, and the work you do be a blessing for the women you are helping.

    Sending lots of love,

  2. Thanks Kathleen! Nice to hear from you. We are now in Mwanza where we will start our REAL work. I am excited. :-) Glad you have been reading. It helps me to write about what I am seeing so I am very happy to share it with people.