Ugali and Safari!

IMG_1285IMG_1278IMG_1317After reading Shelton’s blog post, in which he stated that the safari to Mikumi National Park was one of the top 3 experiences of his life, I decided that I had to try it.  I booked the exact same safari that Shelton and Erica did 2 weeks ago–same company, same itinerary, same guide.  I have to say thanks to my guide, Sanjay, from whom I learned a lot about Tanzania along the way.  It was really nice and interesting to get out of the city and see the countryside.  I got a much better feel for the country and the people just from the drive out to Mikumi.  I also found out from Sanjay why there are so many Indians in Tanzania.  His grandparents came here from India when the British still ruled both countries.  People from India came to Tanzania to help build railroads.  In the India, trains are such an important part of the country.  But, unfortunately in Tanzania, while the Indians stayed, the railroads are mostly non-functional now.  I guess that may explain why there were so many trucks on the highway!  And since I doubt there are emissions standards, that sadly has something to do with why there is little snow left on Mt. Kilimanjaro! When we go into the park, we stopped the one restaurant there for lunch.  I’ve wanted to try one of the national staples of Tanzania called ugali.  I’ve heard it described as a tasteless, dough-like mass, but since it’s Tanzanian, I had to try it.  So, supposedly it’s best to eat ugali with some sort of curry.  You did the ugali in the curry (kind of like eating soup out of bread bowl).  I had the ugali with beef curry and really enjoyed it.  My guide told me that it’s actually made of corn meal, which makes it more like grits than bread dough.  Indian curry with southern grits–no wonder it appealed to me! I uploaded a photo of the ugali lunch and the safari.  Back to work tomorrow!

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