Monday, June 19, 2006

Greetings From Tanzania

I think I’m long overdue for an update. We arrived in Arusha, Tanzania Saturday night (June 17) after two LONG flights. It was worth it, though - it feels so good to be back in East Africa.

There are 15 students in our group and they all seem very nice, although it’s a little weird being with a big group of Americans. We had an orientation yesterday and part of today, that included all the essentials we need to know about the training center where we are staying and an overview of the Swahili course. This afternoon we had Swahili interviews with the instructors so they can divide us into groups of similar level for classes.

Yesterday we went into Arusha town. It’s actually a lot farther away than I thought it would be. We’re about 18 km (11 miles) from town. I thought we were within walking distance or a short bus ride, but we’re not exactly. That means we won’t be able to get into town as much as I expected. We’re a little secluded at the training center. There are a lot of Kenyans and Tanzanians here too, though, who are taking development courses. That makes it a little more fun and interesting. This afternoon a couple other girls and I left the center and went for a walk down the road a bit. It was really nice to greet lots of people in the road and to just be out in normal life. We spent a little while talking to a few school children who were on their way home.

The training center is really nice (see picture right). Beautiful trees and nice people. We even have electricity and hot showers. There are little monkeys that run around in the trees - kind of like squirrels in the U.S. When I see one with my camera, I’ll be sure to post a picture.

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