Monday, January 26, 2015

Long weekend

Friday was mainly rest, which I kind of deserved. Geraldine was very brave to immediately hop onto safari today!

I did some wrapping up of the workshops, prepared the presentations to be shared with all participants, and developed some ideas how to improve the following workshop, next week in Dodoma. Late in the afternoon I met Maaike at VSO HQ. This is only a 10 minutes walk, but even in that short span literally the driver of every bajaji, motor taxi of real taxi MUST honk at you. "Hey mister! Where you going?" No, I rather walk...

Maaike had a ton of bills and reimbursements to organize and signatures to be written, so there was not too much time left to discuss the workshops. Not that I could mind very much, this being a Friday afternoon, or in proper Dutch, "vrijmi". Some of you might know which two letters usually follow the "vrijmi": "bo". That is exactly what we did, after we uploaded all presentations, pictures and other materials to Dropbox to share with the participants. Russell, Joelle, Ruth and Sue from VSO also joined us at the Waterfront, where we ended with pizza and ice cream.

Saturday Maaike was set to get the bus tickets for our trip to Dodoma. The tickets can only be retrieved at the Ubungo Bus Terminal. I agreed to keep her company, also because I would have the chance to experience the dala dala (mini busses that go all over Dar) first-handed. For 400Tsh (roughly €0,20) you will get at any place in Dar. But it can be overcrowded, bumpy, slow and hot. On Saturdays it was not too bad. It's still an assault on all your Western senses - bright sun, lots of noise, a whole range of smells in quick succession, distorted sense of direction - but eventually you get where you want.

It took us about an hour to get to the local bus terminal. We took a fast and expensive bajaji to the terminal for the outward bound buses, where we were flocked by a whole bunch of touts - that is what the Lonely Planet call them. They are at best annoying. Luckily Maaike knew where she was going...

I used the afternoon to work some more at the presentations. I was kindly invited to "Maaike & Joelles place" for diner; an offer I could not refuse. Andrew was also present, the four of us shared spicy cabbage, ugali, rice and lentils, with some very tasty guacamole, flushed down with some beer and wine. Good stuff!

We ended the night at the Samaki Samaki: a trendy night club / restaurant / bar, recently opened, with a lot of wood furniture, giving the interior a jungle feel (I suppose that was the intention), loud American R&B music and no dance floor, oddly enough. Not exactly my first choice, but hey, you should try new things any time.

Sunday -today, hurrah, I've caught up on time! -  I worked on some presentations, took a dive in the pool, listened to Geraldine's safari stories - she had a great time. And updated my blog, as you can read here. Done!

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