Saturday, December 31, 2022

Day 2: Bus Day (with fun and a few animal sightings)!

Jambo! Today was "Bus Day!" On our way to Iringa, we had some fun, listened to music, and even saw some animals in the National Park.

Jambo! Today was "Bus Day!" On our way to Iringa, we had some fun, listened to music, and even saw some animals in the National Park.

Today was an incredible day for all of the students on the trip. We had planned to wake up at 6 a.m. the night before, and surprisingly, we were all up-and-at'em at 5:59 a.m., Lucy at 3:30 a.m.!

For breakfast we had an array of options, including mango nectar, grape juice, beef broth soup, and flat pancakes. Mia and Morgan ended up connecting with someone who had lived in California, what a small world! They exchanged knowledge about cities and regions and the weather; it truly was wonderful to be up so early.

Then we were off on our way somewhere in between 9 and 14 hour bus drive because of how traffic in Tanzania can be a bit unpredictable, however definitely not nearly as bad as I-94W or Chicago traffic. 

Now, Paul attempted to scare the group into believing that the bus ride to Iringa would be daunting. Thanks to Matt, it was not. Matt initiated the "guess how long this trip will take from start to finish" game, where every student guessed how long the trip would take and only the smartest student of the group, whose guess was closest to the actual trip duration, won a very special coin. Unsurprisingly, it was Aidanne. 

Then, after driving for a few hours, we stopped for lunch at a lovely buffet-stvle restaurant. Interestingly, habanero peppers are very popular as a spice in Tanzania. 

With full stomachs, we loaded back up on the bus and Matt provided the students with the opportunity to test their geographical knowledge of African countries. Today's bloggers received all the prizes for all quizzes, well done Aidanne and Tommy. 

Lastly for Matt's contributions, he, given a minute of thought, determined that his favorite Michael Jackson song was Smooth Criminal. Dangerous move, Matt—you fell right into the students' trap. Ready to be played relatively immediately was a CD of MJ's greatest hits. 

A few more hours passed, and we entered a National Park and got an exciting sneak peek of what we will see on the safari. We saw zebras, giraffes, baboons, lemurs, water buffalo, cape buffalo, warthogs, antelopes, and impalas. 

All of the students would probably describe this experience as "thrilling." We all owe Tommy thanks for us forever associating our first African animal sightings with the great MJ (heh-heh!). 

Upon arrival to the Lutheran Center, Harrison, the most incredible man we've met so far, greeted us with the warmest of welcomes, and the best of food. Ken invited the group to his apartment for a New Year's toast. Ken continued to provide the group with the lore of the regions, let us know when we were being made fun of in Swahili, and take the lead on increasing the element of wonder in our trip. Paul has a lot to catch up on if he wants to graduate "Top Gun." Paul, what's your call? 

—Blog post by Aidanne and Tommy