We all made it to Tanzania successfully, although some of the luggage did not. And we have already set some exciting records so here’s my attempt at a blog post.
The trip over:
Shelton and Erica had a relatively uneventful journey and I’ll let them give you the details in their posts. I went to Amsterdam via Seattle and unfortunately my flight between Seattle and Amsterdam was delayed–significantly–to the point that there was a moment of panic where I was pretty sure I was going to miss the connection and Shelton and Erica would have no idea what to do. So there was a frantic call to Erica with directions and the bail out strategy which is always–Go to the Holiday Inn! For those of you who know my first trip to Dar, the Holiday Inn saved me so they are now my go to place–and yes for those of you wondering, “Is there a Holiday Inn in Dar?” Yes, there is.
Well, it was dicey in Amsterdam. They told us to talk to the gate agent immediately after getting off the plane to find out if we had a chance to make our flights and where to go and the gate agent didn’t have a record of my flight at all–not too good. My efficient Dutch people were letting me down! So she sent me off wandering to find a screen to give me info. And for those of you who have been to the Schipol airport, there aren’t tv screens every few feet like the US so I wandered quite a way before figuring out what gate to go to. Then I pretty much think my 2 gates could not possibly have been further apart and I’m thinking “I’m not going to make it, they are going to close the gate” the whole time. But it was all good, I got to the gate, got through gate security and there were Shelton and Erica waiting for me. I think they were glad I made it. But I think we’ll go back to the everyone on one flight next year.
So records that were set once we got to Dar:
Fastest time to get through the visa line–EVER! They changed things up a bit and now there are a lot more people at desks so you don’t just put your passports and money in a pile and hope. It’s quite professional and much happier!
First lost luggage. Unfortunately while I made my connection, my luggage did not. It’s supposed to be coming on tonight’s flight and then they are delivering it tomorrow? We’ll see if that actually happens.
Most obvious taxi driver outside of the airport and first time my name was correct on the taxi sign! Very exciting. I think I get just a little bit of PTSD every time I walk outside of the Dar airport in the middle of the night–flashing back to when no one was there for me the first time I came. But this time, such a friendly guy with such a great sign!
Easter Monday. Easter Monday is celebrated in Dar so pretty much everything is shut down today so we had a day to get adjusted. And then it’s also a national holiday tomorrow. We didn’t know any of this when planning the trip……
Fastest time to get internet access! Ever! I don’t think we’ve ever gotten hooked up so efficiently, so I guess that means more blog posts and that means parents aren’t on pins and needles for days hoping we all made it here. So all you parents out there I hope you’ve already taken your deep breaths.
Fastest time to money exchange and new location! Dollar exchange is always tricky when we get here but we found out today that the supermarket at the Slipway shopping area will exchange money and also a record today for the best exchange rate I’ve ever gotten here, so the dollar is strong right now!
That may be all for the records. As I said we’ve already been to the Slipway so Shelton and Erica have seen the ocean, drank a beer while looking at the ocean, eaten goat, and have been to the stalls selling local goods. Shelton has also been recruited to play football (ie soccer) with the little boys who live in the apartment complex including Hilda’s son, Dick. He can tell you all about it–he held his own.
And now we are going to get ready to eat the delicious dinner that Hilda made for us–we are going authentic Tanzanian today, Hilda made beans and rice and some sort of greens that I didn’t quite catch the name of. And yes, Hilda is still here to take care of us too.
All in all a full day.
So all is well! Tutuonana!