Tales of Tanzania – arriving

Hello, beloveds…..

Ahhh, it’s been a rather long day…about 40 hours worth, I think (but then my thinking may be a bit hazy) and I’m still feeling wonderful.

I did get quite a bit more sleep than ever before on the three plane rides. The flights were great…. On the first one, I sat next to a young Saudi named Abdul, who studies business in D.C.. He is quite excited to bring his Turkish fiancee to Wattle Hollow this spring or summer. I taught him some pointers from Buddhist eating meditation and he absolutely LOVED it. He seemed to grok it all immediately….what a coincidence : }

He also wants to donate some money to Zeru Zeru, he says….

Turkish Airlines suddenly got quite a bit more casual, after the Washington, D.C. – Istanbul flight…. For the next one, we were wandering around in the rain, waiting to board, for quite a while. I am so grateful to be quite fit, as there was no handicap access in sight, for anything, and a lot of stairs to climb, luggage in hand.

And then, things got even more “casual”, bordering on the Mad Hatters’ Tea Party….after I got to Dar Es Salaam.

No one seemed to recognize my airline….so I was told to go take a taxi to another terminal. I had to wait forty minutes for that to happen for no apparent reason)….then the taxi ran around in circles and we ended up back in the original place. By this time the driver and I were sprinting to get to my plane on time, through security, with my gobs of luggage. It was a fabulous Buddhist opportunity!

I was never charged for an extra luggage fee, by the way.

I love the “town” feeling here in Mwanza…and I love that I haven’t seen more than a half dozen Americans since I boarded the plane for Istanbul….or even one here in Mwanza. People have been so incredibly friendly. They are quite pleased that I’m trying to speak Kiswahili. Several folks have given me their phone number and offered to have me over…and I’ve only been here five hours.

One is a woman named Nuru, who teaches elementary school kids here in Mwanza.

Instead of going to the fancy and expensive tourist hotel, I’ve found this delightful native version for a tiny fraction of the price, in the center of town. Of course, the electricity is currently out, and it only has cold water….but that is Africa, I suspect. And with the money I saved from foregoing the bourgeois frills, I bought tons of digital stuff – a router, (for constant wifi access for three months, provided I can get my portable solar banks working), a samsung cellphone that isn’t locked and sim cards to match for the iPad, laptop and cellphone), an African electricity adaptor.

Someone has accompanied to every place whenever I’ve asked directions…. It feel very “right” to be right here, my dear friends.

I’m going to venture back outside now….still not tired, and look for craft supplies and a few other things.

LOVE, love, love to you all.