Week 1

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June 25th 2011
Published: June 25th 2011
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So, the beginnings of my travel blog and entry from week 1!
After arriving in Nairobi, we had to wait around for a few hrs before getting our 5.5hr transfer to Arusha on Impala bus which involved a border crossing between Kenya and TNZ, a police official check, ensuring there were no stowaways and a quick pee stop along the dryest, straightest road extending into the distance, dotted along it with Maasai villages - it was interspersed with v.bumpy diversions. Once we arrived in Arusha, a large town in Northern Tanzania - we were greeted by Dan, an SIC coordinator - piling onto a truck we headed off to Centrehouse, our hostel for the next 2 nights - where Parker and I shared a room with Peggy and Princess Daisy, 2 other volunteers...
We all walked to the SIC office to meet all the other volunteers from the US - a few namegames and icebreakers later we went for our first meal and the beginnings of many a rice, beans cabbage esque dish...hello rice baby!

It was here we met our TNZ teaching partners - local university students from Arusha who underwent the same application process, apart from they are incredibly talented - 12 were selected from about 500! So, the best of the best, some liking Justin Bieber and Beyonce...


Wake up 7am - so after breakfast we all walked off as a big group through Arusha, volunteers and teaching partners towards the hills and local villages. Weather wise, definately no tanning - mostly drizzle, trousers and raincoat on! Frizzy hair yes!

Passing through local villages we were joined on our walk by local children shouting "MZUNGU" which literally means ..."hey check it out, a white person!!" One stop for green oranges and we continued towards the alleged waterfall, meeting everybody in the group - both volunteers and teaching partners. Everybody everywhere seems to love MAN U, David Beckham, Kanye West and Beyonce - great things in common!

The rain really contributed to my falling and slipping potential down some of the slopes within the forest- good bonding for everyone helping each other down precarious sections. We reached the river in the valley, reminding me of the jungle river walk in Ecuador - most probably because I cracked out my sexy river sandals again! We reached the waterfall, but instead of opting for a chilly dip, I decided on watching the crazy americans while taking photos instead!!

We returned to Arusha along the same route-n climbing up the muddy path before a well deserved lunch, even if it was heavily influenced by the US contingent! Peanut butter and jellly.... We came back looking very muddy and bedraggled, going onto supper at a street restaurant bbq for more talking - Wessex Hockey circles and Harvard soreities being some topics of conversation.....

Part 2 coming up.... Clare xx


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