Saturday, January 4, 2020

Day 2: Traveling to Iringa

Hamjambo! Today, January 4, was a travel day with a 7 a.m. departure from Wistas Lodge in Dar es Salaam headed to the Iringa region.

Hamjambo! Today, January 4, was a travel day with a 7 a.m. departure from Wistas Lodge in Dar es Salaam headed to the Iringa region. Before departure, we had a delicious breakfast of pasta, tortillas, eggs, and fruit.

The journey was expected to be long and to make it a little more interesting, Ken Smith proposed wagering guesses on how long the duration of the trip would last. These ranged from 11-12.5 hours. All 17 members packed onto a single bus and set off.

The first several hours involved many games of catchphrase as the bus weaved through the crazy traffic of Dar es Salaam. We are forever indebted to Sam Mader for bringing this entertainment, making him our Person of the Day. Congratulations Sam. At 10:30 a.m., each member of the bus was asked to rank their happiness level on a scale of 1-10, 10 being that the ride was going as good as possible. Morale was high with an average score of 8.45. Peter was on cloud nine with a rank of 10.

At 11:45 a.m., we stopped for lunch at Glonency Hotel which provided a buffet. The grown adults took to the hotel playground after lunch to burn some energy and confuse the locals. After lunch, the group was polled again, receiving an average score of 7.95. Morale was slipping as we realized we weren’t even half way. Paul Strykowski decided to test the group geographical knowledge of Africa, with which many in the group struggled, especially Will. Later, we drove through Mikumi National Park, and saw a glimpse of the animals that we would see at the end of our stay in Tanzania. These included baboons, giraffes, gazelles, elephants, wildebeests, warthogs, and zebras. This was the highlight of the bus ride.

We soon exited the park and began to ascend into the mountains. The ride became rougher as we drove the winding roads with speed bumps that were seemingly every 25 meters. At 2:48 p.m., the average morale had fallen to 5.79. Afterwards, several people fell asleep in an effort to pass time. Literally nothing eventful happened from then until 5:37 p.m. when Vail polled the bus, concerned for their well-being. The sleep and hearing Catie laugh brought the average score up to 7.26.

We arrived at the Lutheran center in the Iringa region at 6:23 p.m. The journey took a total of 11 hours and 22 minutes which meant our beloved Professor Paul had the closest guess with 11 hours and 21 minutes. Unfortunately, the leaders of the trip did not understand how “Price is Right” rules work so they accidentally gave Britta the prize of 200 shillings and the admiration of her peers. Congratulations Britta.

At dinner we met students from the local university who will be joining us on our visits to our assigned villages. The weather is much cooler in Iringa with temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The students were split into rooms for night with running water and beds with mosquito nets. Tomorrow, we will be touring the city and getting a lesson in Swahili.

Peter D.