Thursday, October 13, 2005

Leaving Arusha tomorrow

We are leaving Arusha tomorrow morning at 6:30 am for Lushoto. Let me tell you it was quite an experience trying to buy the bus tickets. There is no "bus station" per say. Instead the central bus station here is more like a huge market and the "wuzungu" are fair target for every tout hanging about. My sister, mother, and I went there to get tickets for the six of us, and just about had to get physical to make it out alive. Actually my sister did have to do some shoving (brave girl). We ended up going back to the hotel (barely escaped alive) and found some help from a local tour operator who escorted us, bargained for us, and basically ran a block for us so we weren't quite so mobbed. Even he was given a very hard time though and it looked like a fist fight was going to break out at any time. We were very grateful for his help.

Lushoto is a much smaller place than busy, bustling Arusha. It is supposed to be very green and beautiful (and hopefully quieter and less polluted). There are no vehicle emission controls and as a result it is very stinky here.

I am not sure what the internet will be like coming up, so if there are no posts, it will be because the internet is too slow and unreliable.

I have been suffering a little bit from some kind of bug here. I think it would be very difficult to travel in country such as this without getting a little something. It does make it a bit more difficult as public toilets are few and far between and when you do find one, it is not always in the best condition. So far though it has been okay.

The food here is quite good. Lots of fresh bananas, papaya and watermelon. The beef, lamb and chicken has been very delicious. The vegetables are okay, lots of cooked spinach, squash, tomatoes and green pepper. We take advantage of the market whenever possible for fresh fruit.

The people here are very friendly and welcoming. There quite a few different "tribes" such as the Chagga, Meru, Masai and Arusha. The children are happy to see you, especially in the smaller villages. They laugh and giggle if you try to speak to them in Swahili or Masai, and all of them ask for pencils and paper (I wish I had known).

My swahili is improving and I have learned a few Masai words as well. Hopefully the locals will forgive my mispronunciations, for the most part they are quite pleased at my efforts and giggle lots. They all like my hair very much and like to touch it alot. (I have cornrows and braids). I am very glad that I had it done as I have very little upkeep, it is so easy.

I will sign off for now,

Seraina (good bye: the spelling is most likely wrong)

1 comment:

JB said...

It’s so good to hear from you and to know that you’re enjoying yourself. Wow, I just read about your climb up Kilimanjaro and I must admit that I’m envious. It sounds as though you had one of those rare, special moments. The things you must be seeing! I can only begin to imagine.

But I can’t wait to hear more about your trip and I hope, when you get back, that you’re able to post pictures, too.

You’re so lucky. :)