Trip to Tanzania
On Friday I traveled back to Mwanza, Tanzania, to visit the project I worked for last year. I was supposed to arrive Friday evening, but things were not looking good when I arrived at the airport. My flight to Dar Es Salaam was delayed and I would certainly miss my connecting flight. I tried to ask if they could reroute me, but I didn’t have to worry according to the lady behind the desk, they would take care of me in Dar.
After an uneventful flight (except for a beautiful view of the Kilimanjaro) I arrived in Dar and my flight to Mwanza had indeed already left. I asked one of the crew in the airport who I should talk to and he told me to follow him to the right office. He lead me out of the airport to an office, but the guy behind the desk there ensured me that the people who could help me where actually in an office inside the airport. After another shoes off, belt off, bag through the scanner, I found another lady. She told me that she would get someone to work on it, so I could take a seat in the airport. After a little more than hour I started to be afraid that she had just send me away hoping this problem would solve itself, so I decided to check what the progress was. Nothing to worry about, according to the lady, someone was working on it. What exactly they were working on I’m not sure, but it is always reassuring to hear that someone is working on something!
After another hour a guy showed up with a ticket for the next flight (the following morning 6am) and he told me that someone would come with a hotel voucher shortly. When she arrived we went outside to find a shady taxi guy in the parking lot (shady guys are cheaper than the official taxis). After she found a suitable driver she gave him some paperwork and we were on our way. Traffic was pretty bad in our direction, but I was happy that we didn’t have to go the other way, cause there was a huge traffic jam going to the airport. After about twenty minutes the guy’s phone rings and after a short conversation he informs me that the lady gave him the wrong papers. It was not a problem, we would just quickly go back and pick up the correct papers. I tried to convince the guy that maybe it would be good to drop me off first, but it was already too late. He made a U-turn and parked himself in the jam. We eventually made it back to the airport after which he proceeded to take me to my hotel.
The hotel was quite nice, and the airline also covered a meal in the restaurant. As I walked into the restaurant I got a nice menu, but as soon as the waiter found out that the airline was paying I got a one sheet piece of paper menu instead which listed chicken soup, a choice of fish or chicken, and fruit salad. Still sounded pretty good, so I ordered the chicken soup, the fish and the fruit salad. However the waiter informed me that they didn’t have chicken soup, only vegetable soup and that they were out of fish. “Well, I guess I’ll go for the vegetable soup and chicken then!” After a few minutes the waiter came back and told me that they also didn’t have any vegetable soup anymore, only tomato soup. After thinking through my options I decided to settle for the tomato soup. The meal ended being good and I enjoyed the rest of my stay in the hotel (all six hours of it!).
At 3:45am another taxi would pick me up and take me back. Unfortunately there were five others who needed to go at that time as well. The taxi did have seven seats, but no additional room for luggage. I ended up on the back seat with a South African, four suitcases and my own backpack. Luckily traffic is not bad at four in the morning, so we made it to the airport quickly. At 7:30am I landed in Mwanza where I took a taxi to see the boys again. It was great to see their faces after I suddenly showed on a early Saturday morning. We spent the day studying English and ended it with a soccer game. It was a lot of fun and I realize I have really missed hanging out with them. Looking forward to spend more time with them this coming week.