Working in Arusha for 9 months

Trip Start Jan 01, 1990
Trip End Feb 18, 2009

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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I arrived into Tanzania on Thursday the 13th of March after being told 2 days before by my boss that I was required to go, I was currently working in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa at the time, so I quickly booked my flights and jumped on the plane. I was most pleased to get given the opportunity to go to work in Tanzania as I do love South Africa but it is time to get back to the real Africa again.

The reason why I came to Tanzania was to deal with some volunteers and make sure the new projects are running smoothly as Tanzania is our newest destination. Whilst working I have not been getting involved in any sports this time around as we do not have any sports projects in Tanzania. Instead I have been making sure everything is in place and ready for our volunteers and finding new orphanages for our volunteers to work at. I had to find new orphanages that our volunteers can work at and I found 2 which are extremely poor. The 2 orphanages have very little facilities and equipment a blackboard is the extent of it and the children just sit around doing nothing as they can not afford the school fees.

It was nice to get back working in proper Africa again as things are nice and relaxed here and totally different from the western world. Working in Tanzania can sometimes be frustrating but you learn to adapt to everything and work at there pace.

Arusha itself is a town set up for tourism and there are lots of white people or "Muzingo's" as they are called around here. It is funny in Africa people shout white man when they see you and they are being friendly and it is more of a greeting but try doing that in a western country and you would get linched.

As there are lots of tourists in Arusha they tend to be funny as they don't really have much of a clue, they dress all in there safari gear which they think everyone wears when on safari which really they don't. They are also constantly haggled by the touts and people trying to sell newpapers, local crafts or anything else such as puppys. I am so use to seeing this that I don't even talk to people trying to sell me anything I just walk straight past them and hold my hand up to say no. My thoughts on it are if your not going to buy anything why even waste there and your time, if I stopped to give some one money every time I was asked for money or asked to buy something I would not have any money myself. The local transport is also interesting.

I have worked all over Africa so getting minibuses was a normal thing to do. Here in Tanzania they are called Dala-Dala's. I have to get one to go into town to check my emails everyday and this can often be a squash, I am lucky to get a seat and normally I hang our of the side or stand up squashed against everyone which is not to nice as most people don't tend to have a shower that they can use so some of them can smell quite funky. The Dala-Dala's although they might not seem safe get your from A to B very quickly and without major problems. The largest number of people I have had in my Dala-Dala would be 23 when it is suppose to seat 15.

I am generally very impressed with Tanzania and what it has to offer. The people seem to be open and friendly and of course a lot of them will try and charge you 5 times the price because you are white for lots of things but you get use to it and you start to learn what prices are acceptable for what after being here for a while, but overall people are nice and friendly. Tourism is set up here and there is a lot of attractions to see and do and compared to other African countries it is very safe. In terms of Africa I would have to rate Tanzania as in the top 4 out of 12 countries I have seen in Africa.


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