We spent the last week in the largest city in Tanzania; Dar Es Salaam. We attended a conference but also went out a day early to do some mainland shopping, eating, and general regrouping. I guess I did not realize how much I missed some “Western” things like sandwiches, air conditioning, and wearing pants until I got to experience them. I earned these special treats as the ferry ride over was horrid. It is about a 2 1/2 hour ride and the waves were so choppy that I started to feel sick about 1 hour in. After handing Anni off to Jason I proceeded to rotate puking in every bathroom on board for about 20 minutes. When I finally felt a bit better I made me way back to Jason and Annikah. As soon as I made eye contact with him I knew something was wrong. Annikah had just thrown up all over herself, him, our bags, everything. It was a mess. So off I went with Anni while Jason tried to clean himself up. We spent the last hour of the “scenic voyage from hell” on the deck trying to get fresh air with many locals; some of whom were also puking into plastic bags. Annikah and I filled her plastic travel potty with puke 4 times and poor Jason (rockstar award) emptied it for us each time. He felt like such an idiot walking through the boat with a potty-o-puke but he gallantly helped us out as we were just trying to cope until we reached land. After going through three outfits Annikah exited the ferry wearing only her Elmo chupis. It was a bit embarrassing exiting the boat with a naked child and covered in puke myself but we survived and I vowed that even if it means I can only leave the island once a year I will fly thank you very much! Annikah kept telling us “Annikah no like that boat, Annikah only like Grandma’s boat” for the next few days.
Fortunately the ferry ride was no reflection on the rest of our time in Dar. It was a refreshing week with time spent with others working in Tanzania. The best part was hearing the awesome things going on throughout the country. We were really encouraged to stick it out through the rough adjustment period. I also did not have to cook or clean for a whole week and I got to go running each morning. One morning I was running when two fairly large dogs came tearing across a dirt road after me. I was fully aware that this pups probably had never had a vaccine in their lives and that the situation could get bad very quickly. Despite all my mileage in my life I could not outrun them and one bit down pretty hard on my calf. I shock him off quickly and ran like I have never run before. Luckily Cujo only broke the skin in one place and a doctor at our conference quickly examined my leg and said after a good washing I should be fine. I still have a big jaw shaped bruise but no foaming at the mouth for me so I think I am good. It was the first time in my life I was glad to have chunky calves 🙂 Despite the puking and dog bite it was a fabulous week. Our friends Alex and Julie get mad props for showing us around Dar. Alex drove through the crazy traffic and drivers, Julie and I were heard screaming more than a few times as we drove through the city. We got our fill of pork, Subway(they have Subway in DAR- no turkey though but my chicken breast sub was excellent), and stocking up on supplies we cannot get on the island. Annikah, Julie, and I took a small plane home (it was crazy hot up in there but only 20 minutes!) and Jason and Alex hauled all the stuff on the cheaper ferry (thanks boys!). I was extremely grateful for the barf-free flight that also boasted some amazing views (see video).
A few highlights of our trip below:
our family at the conference center
We spotted a store named Chicago!!
Thank the Lord for Subway sandwiches…I ate that in about 30 seconds!
Jason & Alex enjoy a burger & ribs!!!
a playground in Dar
Look what we found in one of the mall stores….looks like in Africa they start decorating even earlier than the US!!
bacon & berries…Jason & Anni enjoy 2 things we cannot get on the island
on the plane …no puke boat for us!
Julie & Annikah enjoy the plane ride