Wednesday, May 14, 2008
TANAPA, AtoZ & Pres. Adams!
Especially after dinner tonight, I can confidently say that this was my favorite day in Africa thus far. We started the day with a two hour drive to the Tanzania National Park Center. Though long, the ride was beautiful, and we all enjoyed getting to know each other better. At the park center, a lady talked to us about the details and conflicts that arise when running the Tanzania National Parks. She gave us pamphlets with amazing pictures of Serengeti and the other national parks, and it furthered our excitement about our future trip there. Afterwards, we met the other UGA students for our first meal not provided by our hotel. We had a quick picnic at a beautiful lake outside of Arusha before we rushed to our next destination-the A to Z Mosquito Net Company. This company has a monopoly on all mosquito net manufacturing in Africa. It is a very philanthropic organization as it provides around 1200 jobs to the people in Arusha as well as partnering with governments to subsidize gifts of these malaria preventors to the people of Africa. It was also interesting to see the pocess of manufacturing these nets that we get tangled in every night.
Dinner was wonderful and such a festive event. We drove to the lodge where the other UGA students are staying and ate a delicious candlelit meal under a tent on white tablecloths. I had the pleasure, along with all the girls and Dave, of sitting at a table with UGA President Adams. You could tell everyone else was jealous. We enjoyed exchanging stories about our adventures in Tanzania thus far. During the meal we were entertained by African drummers, singers, and dancers that were inredible! The dancers would leave after every song and return in different costumes. We must have seen them in at least five different outfits! Then after dinner the dancers invited us to join them for their last dance. All of us, including President Adams and the Provost, circled up for a traditional African dance that kind of remembled a Congo line! This was a wonderful end to a great day!
As President Adams put it, sometimes you just have to pinch yourself to remind yourself that you are dancing with native Tanzanians in the continent of Africa! Amazing!
Also, check out another BLee's blog at www.tanzania-brittany.blogspot.com