Day 4 in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam Travel Blog

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Hotel Mediterraneo

So this is turning out to be much more of a city trip than I expected, which is good for a bunch of reasons, but I'm really itching to see some wildlife. Upon arrival, it was raining, as hurricane Bongo was in full effect off the coast of Mozambique. The city is not travel-able by foot, unless you've got some serious walking legs on you, and Dali Dali's are packed full. I feel very fortunate to be chauferred around everywhere by TravelMate, which is a really great company owned by the groom's brother.

The humidity has wrecked havoc on my skin, but luckily, pharmacies are well stocked and I was able to buy some cortisone (for $1!!) and Claritan ($1 per pill). I am staying at the Hotel Mediterraneo, which is beautiful, but far from the city and lacking in some comforts.

The fisherman outside Hotel Mediterraneo
(Internet, for one, a good mattress for another - I can feel the springs jabbing my ribs). Otherwise, the food is delicious and they take great care in sanitation. The rooms are equipped with a necessary air conditioner and a television. And wouldn't you know it, freaking Grey's Anatomy is showing at 7:30 tonight - how funny!

I think it was tonight that I finally began my acclimation. I had previously been so afraid of the elements, of the humidity and somewhat homesick despite the hospitality that I received from Louisa, who generously kept me company for the first handful of days, and Ale's mom and dad, who always had kind words to say even if they were in languages I couldn't really understand =) Thinking back on my time in Dar Es Salaam I have to say the only things that I really missed were all my gadgets and my double pillowtop queen size bed.
Ale covered in Tangas from the bachelorette party!
Other than that, I really found my way down the path to happiness.

I relied heavily on my journal and my DVD player to keep a sense of time and familiarity as I don't wear watches, and rely heavily on my cell phone to keep time. Disappointingly, Verizon service is purely domestic U.S. and was completely useless to me in Africa, and wouldn't even give me the time. I therefore had no sense of time passing, nor was I ever able to set an alarm! In the evening, in order to wind down, I watched an episode of the Sopranos season 6. =) Because everyone needs a little bit of violence before bedtime =)

I wish I was more hardy. I had a bad rash from the humidity and now I have Montezuma's revenge. Along with the Malarone, I am taking something like 4 pills this morning. I am hoping today is easy and less stressful because I have cramps just walking around.

Dancing at the Bachelor Party

I can't wait for the wedding, the weather was frightful when we arrived, but it's slowly clearing up nicely and I think it's going to be perfect for the wedding.

I do wish there were less bugs here. I haven't really been btiten too much by mosquitos, but a good day is when a fly doesn't land on my food after 1 full minute, just to give you an example of the environment - fosters lots of insects.

I have taken lots of pictures in the city, which may or may not be interesting, but I hope to go to Mikumi on the 29th and bring back some pictures of wildlife. So far, in terms of animals, all I have shots of are a lovely yellow butterfly and a strange lizard with a yellow head and a green body who was very camera shy.

Ale entering her traditional bachelorette party.

The people here are really wonderful, hospitable, and gracious. They are always willing to help and very kind. Even the people peddling goods that I was warned about were not really overbearing. They would approach you, and if you shook your head or said no, they would just leave you alone and smile at you. Really wonderful people.

I somewhat lost track of what happened when at this point - all I know is that Ale had a traditional Tanzanian bachelorette party where the women danced and presented her with Tangas and presents. But we also went out together for Mahimbo's "bachelor" party which was basically just clubbing at this fantastic club with great music. Beer was like 40 cents, the club was well ventillated, and the DJ had a variety of local and american music. I asked Mahimbo to ply the DJ to play American Hip Hop and I got to dance like a mad person to some Tupac and Sean Paul - woohoo! =)

I had started off the day rather ill and had almost skipped the bachelor party. But by the end of it, I was thrilled and still riding high late into the night.

Amanda says:
It's funny... 12/27 was my first full day in Venice Italy - we flew out on 12/25, and arrived late at night on 12/ we woke up on that morning of 12/27 to experience Italy - Venice specifically - for the very first time... It's funny to read this posting of you in Tanzania at the same time I was in Italy, when we live in Phoenix and LA, and think about how different our lives were for those days... although your trip was way cooler than mine - Tanzania is a HUGE dream for me!
Posted on: Apr 09, 2007
enniferjay says:
hey jen hsu, we'll be off work on tuesday 1/2 in recognition of the national day of mourning for former President Gerald Ford. so you can sorta take your time in coming back!
Posted on: Dec 29, 2006
enniferjay says:
hey jen, finally able to check out your site and get updated on your tanzania trip! man, sounds rough, but i'm sure v. neat. can't wait to see pics!
Posted on: Dec 28, 2006
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Hotel Mediterraneo
Hotel Mediterraneo
The fisherman outside Hotel Medite…
The fisherman outside Hotel Medit…
Ale covered in Tangas from the bac…
Ale covered in Tangas from the ba…
Dancing at the Bachelor Party
Dancing at the Bachelor Party
Ale entering her traditional bache…
Ale entering her traditional bach…
Ales spoils from her bachelorette…
Ale's spoils from her bachelorett…
An auntie and her friend.
An auntie and her friend.
Ale and Louisa in the seats of hon…
Ale and Louisa in the seats of ho…
Dancing at the Bachelorette party
Dancing at the Bachelorette party
Mama Mdoe, Auntie Rosa, and anothe…
Mama Mdoe, Auntie Rosa, and anoth…