Africa: First full day.

Today I got up for the second time a little later – around 7 or 7:30 I think and headed over to breakfast.  Lots of tea (yay!).  That’s definitely part of the familiar.  No milo, unfortunately, but there is some other chocolately drink that I haven’t yet tried, that I’m bound to eventually.  Breakfast was good.  First I was brought a plate of fruit – pineapple, watermelon, papaya and cantaloupe.  No complaints.  Then I got asked if I wanted eggs and such.  I got some eggs with some veggies, some kind of sausage (not my fave) and something between bacon and ham (yum).  They brought this out with some breads too.  It was a lot and covered me until much later in the day.

After breakfast I went back to the immigration office at the airport.  Daniel – one of the guys who works at the airport with me went and assisted and talked to everybody and helped me get to who I needed to see.  I need a special stamp to do volunteer work here, and last night in the middle of the chaos of arriving, everyone I asked seemed not to know about this stamp.  And today, they did.  So all was well again.

When we got back to the hotel, I explored a bit.  There are two shops here – one specifically that sells Tanzanite (I’m gonna have to get some before I leave) and one that is a general gift store.  Both are definitely geared for tourists because they are expensive!!  The gift store wanted a dollar a postcard.  I figured once I’m settled close to Moshi I can do some more comparison shopping and some bargaining (preferably not in US dollars).  The gift shop had some beautiful things though, and I can’t wait to get at a market and really see what all is out there in terms of handicrafts, etc.  I saw some beautiful bracelets today that will be helpful in covering up my tattoo and some great malachite bracelets that mom would go gaga over.

The hotel grounds are pretty big, so I went exploring.  There is constant noise – birds of all kinds and colors calling to one another and having conversations.  Some other noises too that I can only assume are insects or reptiles.  There are plumeria trees, bougainvillea and some familiar plant life.  There’s also a lot of cacti which is fun to see and have around.  There are also tons of aloe plants all over the place – at least on the grounds here.   There’s lots of lizards on the rocks and paths as well – a little bigger than what I’m used to at home, but nothing too big.

When the heat of the day comes on, it is HOT.  Not unbearably so, but just hot in that oven kind of sense.  Not much of a breeze, but any kind of shade is good respite.  Whenever I’ve been in my room today, I’ve not used the aircon, and found it quite comfortable  – even for taking a nap this afternoon, after finishing the book on technology.

I’ve got a few Swahili podcasts to listen to and practice for the rest of the day.  Maybe a little more reading and socializing with the hotel staff and then a little later tonight two people who I will be volunteering with will be arriving and I will get to meet them!


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