After arriving in Tanzania only yesterday our heads are still spinning with the culture change. Feeling full of mixed emotions. Very sad to leave all our wonderful relatives & to say goodbye to the school friends, teachers, neighbours & kindy staff that we became so close to. Trying to think of it as only a 'see you soon'. I really felt the italian in my blood & living in italy & speaking italian every day (or at least trying to!) was a dream come true.
Our first full day in Africa has been really great. We are staying in a hotel for the first week or so in town whilst we sort out our voluntary work, visas, house,car, phone etc, etc....just a bit to do! By sheer luck, our hotel is walking distance to the hospital that I am hoping to volunteer with. We went there today, and I was able to finally track down the Australian occupational therapist that has helped set up the outpatient rehab clinic & tomorrow we are all driving out to visit it. I had lost a lot of hope that it would happen as I have not been able to contact anyone in the last few months despite many attempts. Feeling really excited now... Of course getting a visa to volunteer will be the next hurdle.
Continual blackouts with loss of internet & phone are proving to be a challenge- especially for Adam's study. Poor thing has several assignments due so will start his work in a fortnight. They have the generator on tonight though which is great.
The kids have amazed us at how well they are coping with all the changes & the travel. Little champs! They are very popular here and get drowned in affection by all the airline & hotel staff who don't hesitate to scoop them up for cuddles, kisses & tickles.
Everyone is very friendly & helpful here. Our hotel is very basic & very noisy but clean & with lovely food. It has a stunning view of the nearby Mt Meru & the stadium. We have been people watching all morning from our room & were treated to a view of several great performances in the stadium... Maasai dances in full dress complete with jumping, bouncy african dance acrobatics (that z & z are trying to imitate!) & of course soccer! Outside the stadium though, the poverty is very evident with people sleeping on cardboard outside & begging on the streets.
Reminiscent of our time in Ghana, there are people balancing all sorts of things on their heads, women with colourful patterned head-dresses, enthusiastic street vendors, & cars with megaphones attached to the roof blaring out the day's preaching. Thankfully, on the malaria front, there's not been a mossie in sight.
Worlds apart from Italy...the next stage begins!