(My letter to Gem....which has taken nearly an hour to process so I have decided to use it as my blog entry!...I am learning what the word patience really means! T.I.T. This Is Tanzania!)
Jambo! (A frequently used shortened version of Hujambo which essentially means: How are you? To which you reply Poa=Cool! If someone said Hujambo you would reply: Nzuri, Sijambo?= good, and you?... To which they reply Nzuri. Asante. = good thank you...No-one is ever not good!!! and you always reply as it is seen as bad manners not to!!)
You sound busy and getting organised.
I'm glad you aren't bringing your IPhone. It's just not worth having anything of value in Dar in particular! I assume you will be moving in larger groups and it is the bigger groups of mzungus (white people) that the theives target. A money belt is great. You purchase EVERYTHING with cash. It's strange carrying Tsh 100,000+ but when I am at my own place I will be able to modify how much I carry on me. It seems expensive when you buy a meal for Tsh 5,000 but Tsh1,000 = Aus 75c so food etc can be very cheap and wholesome. Be prepared to totally change your diet. I think I will be very much a vegetarian here. Rice, Ugali or potatoes are their staple but there a lots cheap eggs, bananas, mangoes,avocadoes, cashews (I think of Col whenever I eat them!) and peanuts as these are the foods grown aplenty ...heaps of vegs, which need to be washed and usually soaked in Milton for example to be sure any potential eggs are removed...lentils/bean dishes....Indian, Chinese, etc...and some Mzungu food!
Regarding dress, most mzungus wear 3/4 cargo type pants and if they wear sleeveless tops, carry a wrap and/or a kanga which you will be able to buy very cheaply everywhere to either cover up or ward off the mosquitos later in the evening. Have a look at my blog to get an idea of what I mean.
Sunscreen, mossie repellent and alcoholic hand wash are all essentials to carry. The weather here in Dar is getting humid and maybe low 30's which I don't mind but the others find it exhausting. Morogoro and Dodoma are cooler but will get more humid as the wet season approaches. Because you are moving you will have a range of weather but it will still be much hotter than Victorian weather atm!
I am easily able to adapt to adversity so the dusty, uneven roads; the overcrowded daladalas; roadside stalls and uncovered food don't worry me as I have learned what to buy and what not to eat etc....It's been a huge learning curve but as I have been with people who know Africa, they have been so helpful in teaching those of us who are new. I'm sure your guides will do the same for you. . I just make sure I have my phone, money etc well under my control.
I am really enjoying piki training as I now have my confidence back. It will be interesting when I get back to Morogoro. I will practise lots before I go out on the road but I know I will be fine eventually.
I'm pleased about your car...it does make sense for Leroy to buy it....cuts out the mucking around. Give him my love. Have you heard anything about Trav? I'm not worried if you haven't because I know Stuart will take good care of him.
I have changed my phone number: when you are in Africa you will only need to dial +255778255104 but I think you need to use another code to get out of Australia....Is that right?
I can't remember whether I left my swimming gear at Mum's or in Trinity but if Gran has my goggles, rashtop and Speedo onepiece I would appreciate you bringing them but don't stress as maybe it will be easier to post them.
I was moved into a room on the 5th floor of the Econo Lodge when Wendy left but when I got back last night it was a sauna!!!!!! The afternoon sun had been pouring in all afternoon. The curtains had to be shut because my room is at eye level with the apartment directly opposite and when I awoke the first morning having left the curtains open to allow air flow, the man in the opposite apartment was standing staring in at me!!!
When I arrived back yesterday I had a shower to wash off the dust but was dripping so much as I got dressed, I was nearly sick...This is not something I, the frog, am used to! In response to this I have moved rooms this morning down to level 1- out of the sun, the rising heat and hopefully into a cooler, more private environment.
I had to laugh because after I had changed rooms I came to this internet cafe to spend an hour in the air conditioning however, the room I am in isn't air conditioned!!! Oh Well! It is nice not to have to rush off anywhere this morning. We don't have Piki until 1400 - 1600 after which I am going out to Mwenge to stay with Tracey, Bruce and the girls (Canadians) for the night.
I miss you heaps Darling but am really looking forward to Christmas...as short as our time together might be...it will be precious.
Nina kupenda. I love you,