Daniel LOVES Tanzania. We’d been prepping him for weeks about how we were going to go on an airplane to Tanzania and he was so excited. The morning we left, he woke up and asked to go to the zoo (like he does almost every day) and I told him that we couldn’t go to the zoo, but that it was the day to go to the airport and go to Tanzania. His eyes got wide and he said, “Go on an airplane to Tanzania!!”
The weather in Tanzania this time of year is hot and sunny. Daniel loves being able to play outside and would really appreciate living in a place where he could easily play outside all year. This is a dry season and he found lots of dirt to play in – in the yard around the house where we were staying, at the market and any time we walked down the road. We had to enforce “walking time” when we were in a hurry to get somewhere and he really couldn’t stop and play in the dirt every five feet. He was pretty intrigued by all the noises too – “woosters” crowing, cows mooing, lorries bumping up and down the road, pikipikis (motorbikes), music playing, the metal cutting shop nearby.
|Playing in the dirt|
Daniel has adjusted so well to everything – and he’s usually a kid who takes a while to warm up and be comfortable with new things. When we first arrived, I was asking God to give Daniel a real love for Tanzania too if this is the place for us. Several times I asked him if he liked Tanzania and if he thought it would be a fun place to live and he replied with a very enthusiastic, “Yeah!!” He did really well greeting people and responding when people greeted him, though he usually needed a prompt and for a while he was using a very funny voice any time he was speaking Swahili. In Tanzania it is important to greet people and be respectful towards elders, so I really wanted him to be friendly and polite.
We had the opportunity to take a day trip to a nearby national park and Daniel had a wonderful time driving around and seeing lots of animals, especially twigas (giraffes) – his favorite. He associated the tarmac road with going to see animals and any time we were on a tarmac road after that he asked if we could go to “the zoo” to see the animals again.
We also met up with several other families with small children so Daniel was able to play with some new friends. At one point, we had three boys three and under rolling around on the ground at a playground – completely covered with dirt. We found out about a lot of fun things to do with kids around Arusha as well as various school options.
Another thing I really appreciated about having a small child in Tanzania is that people nurse freely – there’s no shame about it and no one is offended like in the U.S. I wasn’t sure how it would be nursing an older toddler, since, I’ve mostly seen young babies nursing, but every time I did, the women around were so supportive – “Just like an African!” they would say.