Back to square one...
Where to begin, after 3 weeks of virtual absence and so much to write about. I think I start with the positive side and my 2 weeks of vacation. After almost 6 weeks in Dar es Salaam, with all it’s noise, traffic (especially traffic, I have to say), dust and litter, it was extremely nice to have a break of 2 weeks, and to get out into true African nature. A visit in Mikumi national park is a real experience, and can only recommend it – despite the harsh prices. The variety of animals you can see, almost at arms length, is amazing. And the looking into the eyes of a buffalo at 3 meters distance is somewhat scary, even if the car door is in between. But except from the Polar bear, Mikumi has about everything Zurich Zoo has, except that they are in real wilderness and not in a cage. After the Safari I took off to Zanzibar, which is another amazing place, just 2 boat hours away from Dar es Salaam, and has some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen (apart from Strandbad Männedorf). It really looks like the Kuoni catalogue, with turquoise water, white sand and some palm trees that offer you some shade to read your book in. Once in a while, my new best friend “Captain Fruit” comes by and sells the most delicious mangoes or coconut or passion fruits to bridge the afternoon until soon after it is already time for a beer again.
Back at the orphanage however, you could say it’s back to square one. So much has happened in the meantime that I almost don’t know where to start. Most importantly, we still don’t have our license, and without such – at least according to the office for social welfare – we are not entitled to have children at our orphanage. Obtaining the license thus is our absolute main priority, which means struggling through the jungle of bureaucracy. The thing to get used to as a European here is definitely the fact that it is a “face-to-face business”. This means E-Mail and or telephone is basically non-existing (even though everybody possesses at least 2 mobile phones) in business life. Also apointments as such are impossible to get. The way to do it is simply driving there and hopeing for luck and the person needed really is there. Otherwise it means waiting. But since driving there means going through Dar es Salaam traffic, one is very much used to waiting anyway…. Anyway, hope is still up, and I am positive that we will be in possession of the license very soon.
Also, our team here has changed quite drastically. Our holiday guests Chris and Rafal have left for Switzerland again, and unfortunately we had to dismiss our Mama Glory due to some unpleasant events. More importantly, also Laura has decided to quit her job as the Center Manager and will have her last working day today, so I am left with Patrick, Grace and Abel once more.
Hope to be back with some better news and real progress next week, so long