Leah Todd


Leah Todd

Traveling to Dubai, Tanzania, and Zanzibar this summer!

Africa July 14th 2009

Mambo! We are writing from a nice, air-conditioned Internet Cafe in Stonetown, Zanzibar, literally a 30 second walk away from the beach. It's hard to believe that tomorrow we leave already...this adventure has positively FLOWN by! We left Tanga on Sunday to stay with a friend in Dar es Salaam for a night (we actually ended up watching Transformers 2 on the LARGEST SCREEN IN EAST AFRICA!!! Can't get much cooler than that in Tanzania, even though the screen itself was slightly smaller than our beloved and almost antique "Findlay 6" Cinema!). Ferry to Zanzibar Monday morning, and somehow we ended up in first class! Our friend was doing the price-haggling for us in Swahili, so we weren't really even a part of the ticket-buying process... Zanzibar is an island about 22 km off the coast ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » East » Tanga July 11th 2009

Hello to all! We've had a VERY eventful past few days after returning from Moshi. Wednesday and Thursday afternoons were packed full of bonding time with our beloved girls at the orphanage, and on Wednesday evening Tom and I actually bopped over to Popetlal Secondary School to check out what we heard was a pretty vibrant Ultimate Frisbee culture here in Tanga, and we weren't disappointed! Such good fun just chilling with the locals and internationals who came out to play, and I even went again last night! Thursday and Friday mornings we volunteered at Burhani Primary School, a new private school that has only 50 students. We organized and catalogued the small library there, and taught the kids basic computer skills. The Toledo International Youth Orchestra had donated two violins to the school, and even ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » North » Moshi July 8th 2009

Hellohello! A quick blog update now before we have lunch plans with another wonderful Rotarian... Monday and Tuesday we made an excursion to Moshi, TZ, which is a little market-town at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. The 6-hour bus ride was outrageous in every way but the price - only 11,000 Tsh, or about 8 USD - truly an African safari adventure! It was cloudy on the drive in and as we checked into our hostel (Kili is so huge that it literally creates its own weather for the surrounding area), so Tom and I were feeling a little frustrated that we couldn't see it. We stopped to have lunch for about a half hour, and on our way out we were debating whether or not this mountain really exists when a quick glance over my ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » East » Tanga July 5th 2009

What a day!!! Yesterday was a full day of festivities for Tanga's Rotary Club. First was the opening of a new footbridge for a school whose students were crossing a 50-foot ravine on a bridge made of wood and rope...incredible...then to the opening of the two new classrooms and a teachers' workroom at Majenga School, which was unbelievably powerful. The building is BEAUTIFUL! I can't wait to put up pictures of this new school area - it's crazy to see this shiny new building next to the old buildings (which, until now, were crammed with up to 170 students per classroom...granted, these kids are small, but to be packed in to a room like sardines in the blazing African summer heat is outrageous!!). A full ceremony unfolded...Tom and I even had seats of honor in the ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » East » Tanga July 2nd 2009

Finally! Another blog post. We've had some Internet problems...Tuesday night we didn't have a chance to update, and last night there was a brownout in the city, so our region of Tanga had no power. (It's Africa - we go with the flow :D) Our past few days have been absolutely phenomenal...our favorite memories have DEFINITELY taken place at The Stehmann House, which is the orphanage we work at each day. So far we have spent time with just the 19 girls, ages 7-22, and will meet the 12 boys tomorrow. We've spent about 5 hours with the girls each day, and have done everything from reading Dr. Seuss books in English to listening to music (they have two CD's which they LOVE...and they sing right along with the scratches and skips in the music!) to ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » East » Tanga June 29th 2009

Mambo! We have finally arrived. We attempted to blog last night, and, in fact, had a full page written after an hour on what quite possibly was the slowest Internet connection since Reagan was in office when the connection decided to black out. And so we will only paraphrase our last few moments in Dubai... The highlight of our Saturday certainly was the surprise visit to the Rashid Government Hospital, where I discovered I am the proud carrier of a throat full of Tonsilitus! No worries, though - the nice doctor there prescribed medications and I've been taking them for a few days now and am feeling much better. And luckily the entire excursion only cost 335 Dhs (less than $100!). But the cultural experience was what really struck us: truly a delta of every racial ... read more

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai June 26th 2009

Hello all! Tom and I are updating from the lobby of the Traders Hotel by Shangri-la in Dubai, United Arab Emirates after paying 20 Dirhams (equivalent USD 6) for a 45-minute Internet session. Unfortunately, we won't be able to upload pictures to this blog throughout the trip because we don't have a mechanism to bring them from the camera to the Internet...so keep an eye out for them on this blog when we return! But what a trip so far! The flight from NYC to Dubai was long, but we were made VERY comfortable by Emirate airlines (complete with aisle ceilings that lit up to create a starry sky for us to sleep under!). It's been great to have this 2-day layover in Dubai, splitting up the 21 hours' worth of flights before arriving in Dar ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » East » Tanga June 21st 2009

Tom and I are getting SO excited - we'll try to update this blog a few times a week while we're gone so all our beloved friends and supporters who have made this dream FINALLY become a reality can travel along with us :)... read more

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