Friday, January 11, 2008

Africa Update #4

This'll have to be just a quick update - I don't have much time to write today. Things are going well here in Tanzania. The country is quite beautiful. Arusha lies in the shadow of Mt. Miru (not sure if I spelled that correctly) so there's always a great view of the mountain from most of the city streets. The city has an interesting mix of the modern along with more of a developing nation environment. You can take a two minute walk from the city center where there are ATMs and other such modern conveniences and end up on some dirt side street with bustling markets that look like they haven't changed in hundreds of years.

We visited an orphanage in Arusha a couple days ago and dropped off some gifts for the kids there. It was nice to see the kids smiling and laughing as they played with some simple new toys.

Yesterday, while we were stopping at a small shop selling firewood on the side of the road, a couple of kids ran out to the car pointing, laughing, and yelling, "Mzungu!" Mzungu is a Swahaili term meaning "white person" or something similar. Apparently the kids hadn't seen many white people as they thought I looked quite funny. One of the kids even ran back to his house to carry out his younger brother so he too could get a look at the Mzungu.

Today we plan a short hike up part of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Unfortunately, a full climb would take several days and we don't have that kind of time. We drive back to Nairobi tomorrow (Saturday) as most of the group flies back to the US Saturday night. I fly back Sunday morning.