Saturday, June 23, 2012

06/23 - Arusha

So we arrived in Arusha.  The airport at Mwanza was a real pain.  We had to go through security twice, and then they charged us because our bags were too heavy apparently (odd because we have less stuff...snacks have been eaten, etc then when we left Dar).  It was also a little sketchy because Gretchen told him we did not have as much money as he was trying to up charge us for the bags and he took less.  Everything is a negotiation here.

The plane was a smaller prop plane but the flight wasn't too long (about 1 hr. 15 minutes) to Kilimanjaro airport.  A couple of people attached themselves to us when we were picking up our bags at the airport.  I thought they were with our driver.  They helped load our bags, but then demanded money.

It was about an hour drive from the airport to our lodge.  The countryside here is beautiful.  Parts of it actually remind of TN strangely enough.  There are rolling hills and mountains in the distance.  We saw endless cornfields and more sunflowers growing than I think I have ever seen anywhere.  When we got into town, we took a turn onto a really rough dirt road.

After a pretty nasty ride up the road, we arrived at Moyoni Lodge where we are supposed to be staying for the next two weeks.  It is very beautiful, but we are still not certain it is going to work for our purposes.  We are in the middle of nowhere.  It does not seem to be within walking distance to town and there is no internet in our rooms (I'm sitting up outside the property office right now to type this and check email).  There are also no televisions in the room so we will have no more survival tips from discovery channel for awhile.  Also, waited for 10 minutes before the water became hot and it came out as a drip basically.  We are prepaid here for a week.  After that, we may reevaluate.  It is going to be a challenge to do research for my paper assignment part of this project, but I am going to remain flexible.  I know I sound like a spoiled American at the moment, but it is quite an adjustment for all of us (and maybe a bit telling).  Gretchen has already been calling other places because apparently this is not how the place was billed to us when we booked the reservation.

All that being said, I AM IN AFRICA.  Even after 2 weeks, it is still a strange, but incredible feeling.

Tomorrow is going to be a low key day.  We are going to go into city center and check out the town.  We will begin our work here in Arusha on Monday with our will drafting project.

I will attach pictures tomorrow, but for tonight, I left the camera in the room and its a hike from here.  

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