Monday, January 7, 2019

Day 3: The trek to Iringa; lessons in native languages; review of fluid mechanics

Mambo! Today we made the long trek from Dar es Salaam to Iringa, getting to know each other better along the way.

Ken offered 200 shillings (enough to buy a banana according to our bus driver, Kulwa) to the person who could most accurately predict the length of the trip. Colin won the treasure, guessing within 15 minutes of our official time of 12 hours and 52 minutes! The drive was less than 500 km but we were slowed down by a max speed limit of 50 km per hour and frequent seat belt checks by the police.

On the way, we got to know each other a little better. Here are some highlight facts about the group:

  • Laura and Carly (that's me!) are all about the fresh mango juice served at our hotel in Dar. 
  • Kyle and Melissa's favorite food so far are the chapati that are also served at the hotel in Dar (they're similar to crepes). 
  • Cathy, Marines, and, Daod loved the fresh seafood we ate while looking out on the Indian Ocean. 
  • Ben, Kate and Brandi, are hoping to see some big cats on our safari next week (specifically a cheetah). 
  • Ian and Joey are hoping to spy some lions. 
  • Colin and Alisha are excited for the elephants. 
  • Keane wants to see some chimpanzees. 
  • Derek's first impression of Tanzania is that it's "far out!" 
  • Ken would sum up Tanzanian culture with the two words "friendly people."
  • Aaron would describe Tanzania as "beautifully different."

While driving we took some time for a lesson in Kiswahili and Kihehe (the tribal language spoken in most villages outside Iringa), lead by Brandi, who is working in the Peace Corps in Iringa. Turns out we have some work to do before heading to the villages. We also received an assignment from the trip leaders to review some fluid mechanics for our lesson tomorrow.

Instead of billboards lining the road, we saw many small villages full of people selling various fruits, nuts, and craft work. We also passed through a park where we got a head start on our safari animal spottings, including baboons, impala, wildebeests, bison, zebra, warthogs, giraffes, and elephants. We finished the day with a fantastic buffet at the Lutheran Center and some icy cold showers. Check back in for more news tomorrow!

- Carly D.