My first week in Tanzania
So finally the time has come, and I’ve set foot to the african continent for the first time. I’ve been picked up by Laura, the center manager, at DAR airport and with the “brandnew” second-hand car we’ve driven what is going to be my home in Mbezi Beach (a Dar es Salaam suburb) for the next 3.5 months. I kind of wondered why Frank has mentioned the traffic situation, since we easily drove home. I should figure it out next morning. We set off to Kariakoo market in central DAR. After 1 1/2 hours stop and go (actually more stop than go) and “parking”, we finally made it. The market offers literally everything one might need. The “project” of the day was curtains, curtain rods and lamps. What would be a 1hour task in Switzerland (driving into Ikea, select and pay the stuff, leave again) can easily turn into a full day of running around, negotiating, bargaining and sweating. In between (aparently especially towards month end) the policemen and -women try to stock up their wallet and eagerly try to find reasons to hand out a fine – without a receipt of course. Luckily (or necessarily, I guess) we had Patrick with us. He is from Malawi, but speaks Swahili perfectly and is our gardener, nightguard, carpenter, painter, chicken-farmer…. or whatever we need. But without him it would have been completely impossible to find our way around Kariakoo, or if, we for sure would have been greatly ripped off… In any case, we returned without ticking off all our items from our tasklist. Since it was at the same time my first real day as well as Laura’s visitors last day, we decided to have a nice dinner at the beautiful hotel Mediterraneo near our home, which is set by the beach and has great food and a cosy atmosphere. The orphanage consists of 2 buildings, the “main” building, hosting the kitchen, Laura’s room (and office), the rooms for the orphanages and what is currently my room. In the other building, Patrick lives with his wife Grace and their son Osman. There are 3 more rooms, where the “mamas” will live. Two further highlights of the week were the visit of the office of social welfare, which gives us good hope that we will be able to welcome the first kids at our place. The other highlight was that we were able to sell all the remaining 87 chicken we had for a decent price that even covered the investment for the actual stable, plus a further little investment for a second stable where we will also buy some egg-layer chicken. So after cleaning and desinfecting the stable, we already bought 100 new young chicken, which we will try to sell again in about 5-6 weeks. Since last Friday Laura is on her well deserved vacation, so i am trying to work myself through the huge tasklist she left for me :-). Unfortunately, we also had to visit the hospital – Osman, Patrick’s son became sick so we checked him for Malaria, which fortunately he does not have. But importantly, he’s much better again. All in all, i had a great first week here, and I am very much looking forward for the ones to come.
Until next time,