Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hello from Moshi

Hi Everyone! I'm in Africa! I still can't believe it. I'm at a coffee shop in Moshi, Tanzania where Caitlin lives. We got here last night after staying in Nairobi for two nights. We had very gracious couch surfing hosts  and were able to catch up on our sleep. The three of us met in Nairobi- Julia flew in from Cairo after spending a week there, Caitlin came in from Atlanta, and I from New York via Amsterdam. I had 12 hours to walk around Amsterdam. It was a sunny warm day and I walked and walked amongst the winding canals and beautiful architecture. I got lost a lot (which is not too typical for me) and quite often walked the in the exact opposite direction I thought I was going in. I stayed in a sweet little hotel with a view of a canal. I found Dutch people as amazingly beautiful as the city, but I didn't feel very welcomed by them. Maybe it was just my jet lag or I'm possibly rusty with this whole traveling in a country where you don't speak the language, but I felt a certain negative attitude toward my existence. Needless to say I was happy to move South past the equator. 

 View from hotel window

It's been so amazing to be with Caitlin and Julia again! The three of us met while studying abroad in Paris our Junior year and shared one of the best years of our lives together. It's so nourishing to laugh together again, sharing our recent stories (while being jet lagged in a apartment in Nairobi or on a long bus ride from Kenya to Tanzania). On our night in Nairobi our hosts invited us to go see an African Slam Poetry competition in an Ethiopian bar. It was an amazing experience that quickly gave us a feel for Kenyan culture, expression, music and art. Half of the performances were in English and half in Swahili. There were a lot of hilarious American pop culture references, some of which were even too current for me. It was the perfect thing to do when you have one night in a Nairobi. 

 Groceries in Nairobi: mangos, avocados, little bananas, honey, bread, tomatoes, cookies and cheese

 Julia and Caitlin

A little boy who asked me to take his photo

So yesterday we took a six hour bus to Arusha where Caitlin's business partner Jafari sweetly picked us up. Another two hour drive and we safely made it to Moshi. Dad, you'll be so glad Jafari was driving. He drove slowly and cautiously and even signaled to let people behind know when it was safe to pass or not (something all drivers were doing and just symbolized to me how nice Tanzanians are). So here we are! This morning we slept in, had a lovely breakfast of tea, avocado and bread and the most delicious mango I've ever eaten! Seriously, the best. We did some yoga to restore or sore bodies and ate a home cooked Tanzanian meal with our hands (rather right hand only-thanks Dad for the heads up). It's incredible to be here and I can't wait to see more. 


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