My Journey so far.
Although I had my flight itinerary in front of me as I sat in Dublin airport, I was not fully aware of the journey ahead. A mixture of emotions ran through me as I thought of the possible experiences that would be presented to me, on my trip to Tanzania. I had been on a few holidays abroad in recent years, but never so far away and not on a project like this. One thing I was sure of, was that it was going to be a long journey and as I took the flights from Dublin, Ireland to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, I grew tired and anxious. When I arrived in the blistering heat of Dar Es Salaam, I was most relieved to take a shower and have a good night’s sleep in a comfy bed.
The bus trip to Mbeya a few days later was an experience that I will never forget. Finding the bus in the station in the early morning was intimidating, as it was (for me) a scene of absolute chaos. There where buses and people everywhere, it was noisy and raining, but luckily we had the very helpful ‘Hilary’, from Uvikuita to help us. During the bus trip to Mbeya, I observed the local people as they travelled with us, I was also introduced to a local Tanzanian soap opera, which played back to back for many hours. 5 hours into the journey, ‘Stephanie’, one of the leaders asked a local ‘how many hours before we reached our destination?’ and my heart sank when he said; 4 or 5 or 6 hours! I wanted to shout to the bus driver to let me off, wherever, it didn’t matter, as long as I could stretch my legs! What happened next made this 12 hour bus journey worthwhile, I looked out the window and saw some elephants and giraffes grazing in the field just 100 metres away. It was then that I realised that I was in one of the most exciting and intriguing countries in the world and I was going to have an amazing experience.
I have been in Mbeya now for three days so far and I am quickly settling in. The people, both Irish and Tanzanian I am participating with are wonderful and a bond is quickly forming. What the next few weeks have in store, who knows? But I am looking forward to opening my heart, mind and arms to whatever the Insight 2014 Tanzanian programme has to offer me.
I have never been to Mbeya region before so this is actually my first time. I arrived in Mbeya from Dar es Salaam on a Sunday night, it was a long journey about a 13 hours drive by bus. I was perplexed and astonished when I arrived at the bus station in Mbeya and realized that one of the passengers had dropped off the bus with my bag. It was one of the most dreadful moments that I have ever experienced in my life but luckily after some time my bag was recovered, the passenger who took my bag returned my bag and she fetched hers at the bus station.
It’s been exciting and so much fun so far. The weather here is cold not quite what I am used to but its alright I am learning to adjust. The people here are quite interesting, they possess intriguing characteristics. On Tuesday we had to go to town to acquire some information from the locals of Mbeya about their life I general. We asked them questions about their lifestyle, cuisine, dressing attire, language, recreational activities that they enjoy.
I am loving the people both the locals and my fellow colleagues. I am glad that I am getting to learn more about different cultures and traditions and different people from different parts of my country Tanzania. My Irish colleagues as well are brilliant and amazing people, I am so glad to be working with them and learning more about them and their culture than what meets the eye. The thing I love the most is eating, so I enjoy every breakfast, lunch and dinner times. The food is so delicious so far I have had yams, potatoes, beans, rice, sweet potatoes, vegetables and so much more. I hope by the end of these three weeks I will have gained a lot through this project by experiencing and taking part in different activities