Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tanzania

Well, if there's one solid conclusion, it's that internet access was not the most reliable thing ever this summer. Sorry everyone, for being out of touch. These past weeks have found me traveling in an SUV through serious countryside on intensely bumpy "roads" (yes, I feel bad about laying down tire tracks on seemingly pristine land, but we are doing a rural water infrastructure project afterall), having final beers with all the great friends I've made in Nampula, giving away all of the appliances and research supplies that were piled up in my apartment, cooking up the strange powdered soup stuff that sat in the back of the cupboard since early July, paying off all of my debts around town (people operate amazingly on the basis of trust), and hitting the Sunday market for a few souvenirs.

In the middle of all of this, I learned that I needed to leave the country in order to renew my visa. This added a bit of stress to the mix, as my schedule had recently become pretty hectic, but as I sit here now in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, kicking it with the other half of the Davis group, I sure am glad the Mozambican government insisted on kicking me out for a bit. This place is sweet! Upon arrival, I realized that I've adapted to Mozambique much more than I previously thought since this new place is giving me a bit of that culture shock feeling. Swahili, higher temperatures and humidity levels, waaaay more cars and development in general... best experience so far has been passing a Maasai fellow on the sidewalk and exchanging greetings. Ngorongoro is pretty far away from here, but I suppose nomadic pastoralists need to come to the capital city every now and then too.

It's great to be hanging out with Team Amy and getting some much needed one-on-one time with Jenna. Mindy was flown in from Stanford to conduct a workshop on GPS data collection and Iain is in to visit Amy, so it's turned out to the be an unexpected gathering of the rock climbing kids. If everyone can get their respective obligations under control, we may all take a boat out to Zanzibar this weekend and be lazy on the beach. Overall, they're running a pretty tight ship over here in terms of research; it's an impressive operation with more data than I'd personally be comfortable handling. Well, despite our relatively duct tape and shoestring approach in Moz this summer, I'm proud of what we've done so far. Yacoub and Anne leave for home at the end of this week. I take off 10 days later. So no wrapping things up just yet...

(ps. I have lots of photos to share, and a few .mp3 recordings, but unfortunately wireless is no where to be found yet, and I'm not willing to ruin my flash drives by connecting them to the super-infected cafe computers here. Hold tight and I will post soon!)

1 comment:

Jim said...

Hi Sara! Spent labor day weekend w/ your dad at a music campout in PA, he mentioned your recent postings so I came here to check it out. Good that you're taking advantage to do some exploring the region, we considered visiting Tanzania when we lived in the Mid-east but was kinda unstable at that time. Sounds much improved now.
I'll be interested to hear more of your exploits as there is a possibility that I'll be spending some time in Africa, though not as much as you and in the west in Cote d'Ivoire, part of a project to build medical lab capacity there.
Safe travels on your return trip.
- Jim