Its 7pm on Friday and I’m here writing this at our hostel in Arusha. We arrived yesterday from Nairobi after 8 hours of a pure and utter hell of a bus journey. The main road from Nairobi to Arusha is nothing more than a dirt road. Imagine 8 hours of constant jumping around, been thrown about in your seat while the seat your in stinks of sweat and is almost damp and you’ll get the picture. Apart from this slight inconvience the trip itself was very scenic with the Serengeti spanning out to our right as we entered Tanzania. Along the way we passed dozens of little towns which are home to the Maasai people.
The Maasai today remain the most familiar of African people to outsiders. Instantly identifiable, Maasai men drape themselves in toga-like red blankets, carry long wooden poles, and often dye their hair with a red pigment and style it in a manner that has been compared to a roman helmet. And while the women dress similarly to many other Tanzanian women, their extensive use of beaded jewellery is highly distinctive too.
When we arrived in Arusha we were met a crowd of flycatchers who beg you to go on safari with their company. And since Arusha is the safari capital of Africa you could only expect this to happen. While initially intimidating, they left us alone once I informed them that we were not rich tourists but merely volunteers. They still chance their arm none the less.
Our hostel is basic enough and although we expected that, we didn’t expect the toilets to be build into the floor or for their to be a severe lack of water both hot and cold. I don’t know how they expect people to feel comfortable sitting on the ground while on the toilet with cockroaches the size of apples(no joke) frequently visiting your side. Not very hygienic to say the least but we’ll deal with it. Another discomfort that we expected is the lack of fresh air. With temperatures in the early 30’s the rooms can get very, very sticky and I know this will cause many sleepness nights until we adapt to the environment!
I unfortunately got very sick last night with classic food poisoning. We traced it back to the liver I eat(flor didn’t eat it!) while in Nairobi. Beatrice had got liver from the local Butchers that would make a dump look like heaven. Since she didn’t have a fridge, the liver was left out all night and served to us the next day as breakfast! Now, If I had any common sense about me I would have realised that the meat was not refrigerated during the night and I would have politely declined the poison. But no, me and my hungry mouth had to go and sample the dose.
Needless to say I paid for it dearly from 5am this morning and all today. Luckily enough we brought the required medicine and so finally after 12 hours of diarrhoea, stomach cramps and dizziness I’m coming around
Although try sitting on one of those toilets with a bad dose of the runs and you’ll quickly understand the meaning of a quick evacuation!
Any who, I’m off to sleep and hopefully tomorrow will be a healthier day!