Saturday, May 17, 2008

Not much today . . .?


We were on the move today from Moshi town to Dar Es Salaam, a much larger city on the beautiful Tanzanian coast. We were all excited to venture to a new location but after becoming close friends with our staff at Springlands Hotel it was sad to leave them behind. In order for our group to show our appreciation and thank the staff for all their generosity, we took them all to Club La Liga last night for what you would call a Bon Voyage celebration- now if only we knew how to say that in Swahili! After a 15 minute bus ride through maiz fields and villages we followed the spotlights to what seemed to be an oasis in the middle of nowhere. The glow from the neon lights could be seen from outerspace. We were the only ones in the club for a couple hours so we pretty much owned the dance floor all night. La Liga staff quickly became aware of our American dancing in their Indian club in the middle of Africa-see friends, this is truly an intercultural experience.

When we woke up this morning we said our kwaheris and asante sanas (goodbyes and thank yous) and left for what seemed to be an easy 8 hour drive to Dar... However, TIA (this is Africa) and we've learned that nothing goes as planned here. About 2 hours of ipod listening and napping later we stopped for lunch and got news that the other bus had broken down somewhere unknown.

So there we sat for 3 hours with 39 people and their luggage and only 3 large Land Cruiser vehicles. At this point every "leader" (i.e. "Cook in the kitchen") had come up with an escape plan. Meanwhile, Mama Moshi had already arranged for 2 rental vans to come retrieve the Maymester group. When the vans arrived, fully equipped with crushed velvet seats, plastic headrest covers, and not to mention the sketchy "Jeepers Creepers" written on the side. We all piled in and were finally on the way to Dar. In these situations you can only laugh but pray that it never happens again.

Our trip was fairly productive though, we did come up with a new marketing strategy called "Kamikaze Marketing" - send the kids into the street with corn husks and oranges in hopes that a random vehicle will stop alongside a major highway to buy dinner. We also learned there are clearly no driving laws as public transportation buses passed our caravan several times at outrageous speeds.

When we arrived in Dar, a delicious meal had been prepared for us including: mac and cheese, french fries, and yummy desserts, all classic American cuisine. The good food and especially the AC put smiles on all of our faces.

For what was going to be a rather long and boring ride to Dar turned into another improvised yet comical adventure in Africa. And I thought I would have nothing to blog about today...

1 comment:

tracespace said...

who was the author today? also, i'm dying to change the color of your blog page to an african colorful pattern or symbol. what designs have you seen in the marketplace?