Blogs from Iringa, Centre, Tanzania, Africa


Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa July 4th 2019

Our first breakfast at RUCU went similarly to our first dinner; we were told to be in the classroom to start at 8 AM, but when we arrived at the dining hall at 7:30 and strategically Google translating some questions, we discovered that the cafeteria doesn't even open until 8. Class was promptly moved to 8:30 permanently, and we enjoyed the standard breakfast of maandazi (sweet fried dough balls) and very sweet chai. Today was also our first Swahili class; our instructor Paulo is hilarious and knowledgeable, so the hour flew by. In lieu of our lecture period, we all participated in the "selfie challenge," a 2-hour long group scavenger hunt around the city of Iringa. Two hours felt like enough time to get a feel for the small city and I'm now much more comfortable ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa July 3rd 2019

After our first full night's sleep in Tanzania, we were rudely awoken by some roosters crowing in a coop right below the hostel building. Even with this interrupted sleep, the ensuing frigid bucket shower was good enough to jolt us awake. This day was set aside for "orientation," and no actual classwork was to be done - instead, the entire morning was spent setting up our classroom router and personal modems for internet, a valuable commodity. With an otherwise uneventful morning, we played card games until a lunch trip to Neema Crafts and Restaurant, the expatriate hangout in town. This unique establishment has won worldwide recognition for employing only disabled people. The menu wasn't exactly authentic Tanzanian, but the burger I had was very good, and the habanero and pili pili sauces added an East African ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa July 2nd 2019

The next morning started bright and early at 4:30 AM in order to complete our 12-hour cross-country trip from Dar es Salaam to Iringa, in the Southern Highlands. While wrangling 17 college students to wake up before 5 AM is usually a near-impossible task, most of us slept very little anyway on account of jet lag, torn and ineffective mosquito nets, and wildly fluctuating temperature in the rooms. Before leaving, our driver warned us that police stopping buses (especially those full of wazungu) are extremely common in Tanzania (verbatim, "The police in this country are crazy!"), and to make sure we were always wearing our seatbelts; our professors then directed us to predict the number of times we would be stopped, with the winner receiving bragging rights (final count was 7!). While the official purpose of ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa January 5th 2019

We were feeling pretty grumpy when we got to Iringa. Part of the journey had been up a steep hill with many, many hairpin bends stuck behind enormous trucks moving at walking pace. The rest of the journey had been mostly spent travelling at 50kph as that is the speed limit most of the time and people seem to obey it. It was also punctuated by vicious speed humps which caused passengers to hit their heads on the roof and land back down in gaps between seats as there were not enough to go around. The bus didn't actually go into Iringa but to a small drop-off area a few kilometres out of town. We managed to get a taxi straight away and felt pleased with ourselves negotiating such a good price to get to our ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa September 9th 2015

550 km reine Fahrzeit: 9 Std Natürlich frühe Abfahrt (6.30), aber für die ersten 70 km durch Dar brauchte ich trotzdem 2 Stunden - und dabei stand ich nie im Stau (der war in die Gegenrichtung), es war nur einfach dichter Verkehr. Die neugebaute Busspur in der Mitte der Straße war meinem Fortkommen sehr hilfreich, ebenso der Streifen links von der Fahrbahn.... Nach 200 km wurde es etwas leichter, je weiter man von Dar weg kam, desto weniger Verkehr. Die Linienbusse hatten mich fast alle schon überholt, mit hoher Geschwindigkeit. Manchmal konnte ich im Sichtschutz eines großen Busses die Geschwindigkeit von 80 kmh außerorts überschreiten, ohne von Polizisten behelligt zu werden - die Busfahrer wussten genau, wo Gefahr drohte. Im Nationalpark: Giraffen, Zebras, Antilopen, Affen, die anderen sahen sogar einen Elefanten. Dann kamen die Baobabs, die ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa September 28th 2014

Ako se traži različitost u afričkim gradovima one se nalaze uglavnom u nijansama. Tip gradnje je uglavnom isti. Jedna do dvije glavne ceste , puno baraka i poneka velika zgrada koja izgleda slučajno ubačena među njih. Iringa po tom pitanju nije bila iznimka. Ali kao i svako drugo mjesto, uvijek se nađe poneka stvar vrijedna pažnje. Prva je što je tamo smješten hotel koji vode osobe s invaliditetom. Mislim da nije ni potrebno puno pojašnjavati kakav je položaj takvih ljudi u Africi. Posebno Tanzaniji koja još uvijek ima velikih problema s raznim oblicima šamanizma. Primjer toga je odnos prema primjerice albonizmu. Tanzanijska vlada dugi niz godina radi na suzbijanju ubojstava ljudi s takvim ili drukčijim potrmečajima čiji se dijelovi tijela koriste u razno raznim magijskim obredima, Hotel je zamišljen s ciljem da pomogne takvim osobama u ... read more
Iringa 1
Iringa zalazak

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa July 3rd 2014

Distance Travelled Today: 245 km Elapsed Travel Time: 13 hours 24 min Lodging for the Night: Kisolanza Farm This morning was another early morning. We woke up at 5:15 so that we could shower (the water was actually hot today!!), pack up and take down our tent before our 6am breakfast. We had a wonderfully prepared breakfast of French toast and Elysia's team (just her and Matt; team D, or team dik-dik) was finally on a rest day but Mike and Anna (Team E aka The Eh Team - even though Anna is not Canadian) were on clean up duty. After breakfast we were off on another driving day. We only drove 5 hours but of course due to the early wake up, we were all exhausted. We passed through some very beautiful mountains and lots ... read more
This was at our stop to admire the baobab  trees
This was at our stop to admire the baobab  trees
This was at our stop to admire the baobab  trees

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa March 4th 2013

Harbari?! Hope you don’t mind a second blog entry in quick succession? But this time it’s Maff! Hope you are all well & January & February weren’t too slow, cold & wintery? I thought I’d add an entry which wasn’t just about our travels, but about our time here & the things we have encountered day to day in East Africa. We have had an amazing time & we hope it continues until our flight home, albeit, we have only sampled 2 countries (3 if you include the transit through Kenya!) & have 4 left. We have experienced so much, our relationship has grown stronger & we feel our time here has changed our attitude to Africa, not only in day to day life, but also in how to help. We came with an approach of ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa March 1st 2013

Hello good people!! I have been trying to blog for a while now, but limited internet access has been the death of me (plus the knobhead who robbed us last week took our internet credit too – grrr) Well we left Moshi two weeks ago after such an amazing time there. As I explained in the last entry the project was rather challenging at times, both physically and mentally. But we left on a real high, with so much getting completed and even some beautiful sprouting seedlings to take photos of as evidence of all our hard work!! It was really sad to leave all our friends at Hostel Hoff, we met some great people and the group was more friendly, cohesive and more inclusive than we ever could have expected – it really was a ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa November 23rd 2012

I didn’t plan it this way, but spending three weeks learning Swahili outside of Iringa was the perfect introduction to Tanzania. Even though I’ve been to Tanzania before, and I’ve done a lot of traveling, culture shock is always a nasty reminder that I am in fact human and I cannot always predict and control my responses to travel experiences. Since I’m writing this entry several weeks after the fact, I can reflect on how my gentle introduction to Tanzania was a blessing. The Iringa Swahili School ( holds its lessons at River Valley Camp, which is nestled up along the Little Ruaha River and a half hour drive to Iringa town. I spent three weeks there, October 8-28. The Camp consists of stone and tented bandas, little wooden cabins, a dining room, a TV room, ... read more
Woman in the River

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