Monday, May 12, 2008

Nzuri = All is well!

Emily E.
Today started off quite early because there is a mosque near the hotel, and the first call to prayer commences at 5 am. Thank goodness I was able to go back to sleep until the rooster woke us up at 7. Granted, it is so neat to say that I was awoken by a rooster. I also will say that it was very nice to have a bit of hot water for a shower this morning. Dr. Dale regretted to inform us that we needed to turn on the hot water heater the first night! Thanks for that!

Our first stop of the day today was the University in Moshi. It is a business university that offers several different dimploma and certificate programs. It was so interesting to hear about the University and how it operates. For example, it is a school of 1500 students, of which only 25 percent are women. This new statistic just makes me further count my blessings to be a woman in the U.S. where I am able to start a business without immense trouble, as well as attend a school that has more of my gender than the other. Overall, the University was quite an experience. For an institution of higher learning that only began in 2004, they seem very advanced, and are quite excited to be teaching business to their fellow country men [and women].

Following our visit to the university, we stopped at the police headquarters in Moshi. I think this was the first time I really realized that our fearless leader Mama Moshi (the head of the Tanzania study abroad) has friends in very high places. Of course, my first clue should have been that we were escorted through customs as well as to our hotel that evening. I must admit, I kind of felt like a celebrity! In addition, when visiting with the police chief today, he made it quite clear that our safety is at the top of their priority list. This should make our parents at home quite happy!

After our active morning we proceeded to free time, i.e. the pool, and then to lunch. The food here is actually pretty good! My hopes of losing spring semester weight have been dashed! However, they did plan some exercise into our schedule for today. We hiked into the kili foothills to a beautiful waterfall. Everyone went camera crazy, and of course we even had a few students fall into the water. Definitely a great time! Oh, and I had a true African experience as I had to go to the bathroom during the hike, and there was just a hole in the ground in my stall. That was one of the few times in my life that I wished I had been a boy!

Today we also had our first official Swahili lessons. The language is complicated but it is so fun! We also learned that you never say anything bad is going on in your life. Everything is fine and perfect all the time. Must be nice!

Anyways, today was a great day and a lot of interesting stuff has happened! I'm certainly getting a great first taste of Africa. I hope everything back home is going well!

Added later:
I sent in my blog entry in before dinner so I did not get to include one of the best things of this trip. It was my 21st birthday Saturday and I spent the whole day on the plane. My friends were so sweet and actually made it feel like my birthday by getting the KLM flight attendants to sing as well as give me really neat gifts. Then, today, my Tanzanian family helped me to celebrate my birthday AGAIN and surprised me with a cake and ice cream! I cannot help but to count my blessings, as I'm obviously so blessed to have friends like this. I could not have pictured a better way to bring in my 21st year of being alive than in Africa with new and old friends that are so dear to my heart. I just thought all the parents and friends of people on this trip that are reading this blog should know that this is a wonderful group of people and we are all so blessed to know every one of them.

1 comment:

Barrs said...

Emily--Happy late birthday! Love you and miss you! Also, I called 43208 people at NYU and confirmed that, yes, we all will be living in the same suite at Greenwich. Yay for us. I had to tell them you had anxiety problems but it didn't seem to matter much, I think they were going to let us be together anyways.

Chris--Sorry I never responded to your message...by the time I got it, you were on the plane. Just remember, 'Stop, collaborate, and listen...' Miss you!

Brit--Glad we got to G-Chat it up this morning. I'm cheering on the Dawgs with you!

Sarah--love the Gala pics...hope you're having fun!

Dr. Dale--I'm hoping that you can keep all these crazies under control on this trip...or maybe they need to keep you under control? Y'all be safe!


To everyone, I miss y'all, have so much fun, and remember me when you are negotiating prices in the market. Wink wink! Lots of love,

Lauren