Dar es Salaam - I saw the President of Tanzania!

Trip Start May 11, 2008
Trip End Jul 01, 2008

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In the city!

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

I will try to get as much of today in as possible, but I am really tired, so I imagine I will finish about Dar es Salaam in the morning when I am more refreshed. Let's start with travel to Dar yesterday afternoon.  We left Bagamoyo around 2 and walked to the Dalla-Dalla station. A "Dalla-Dalla" is smaller than a 15 passanger van but somehow carries around 30 people. We were advised to sit in the back so people were not sitting on top of us (which is really what they do). It was good advice. We sat fairly comfortable in the back of the Dalla-Dalla for the 2.5 hours we traveled. The van stopped every 10 minutes to change out people. We we arrived in Dar I was really overwhelmed! It is busy and fast and we are such outsiders here. I have become so accostumed to the slow life of of Bagamoyo, where I am now comfortable and am no longer gawked at.
We found our hotel with some ease, and by ease I mean lots of backtracking and asking people for directions.  The hotel is called the Jambo Inn. Our 3 bed room costs 25,000 shillings which is aroud $22. It is not fancy but it is pretty perfect. For 35,000 we could get ac, but we are fine without. And actually we got back to the hotel just now and they upgraded us to ac because someone wanted our room. Not sure why, not asking questions either. As long as I have a shower, toilet, mosquito net I am happy! Last night we ate at the hotel and, wow, we ate well. We all ordered hamburgers and fries, but also pizza, chicken, garlic bread, cheese bread, and of course the much needed pineapple juice!
Today has been an adventure! Or more appropiately I will say to day has been really strange, and all I know now is that I am exhausted. We started the morning by going to the Karikoo Market which is a produce market and also what we would call a flea market. Piles and piles of stuff. Tons and tons of people. From there we intended to walk to the National Museum which is where Ostro Lopithicus (the oldest human or whatever) is held. However, the day took us in other directions.  We were walking toward the museum when we heard drums and flutes, and saw the Tanzanian colors strung everywhere. And then we saw a huge banner outside the park with Nicole Kidman's picture on it. So we asked. "Say No to Violence Against Women!" was the event and it was a rally in support of equality for Tanzanian women. We thought it would be cool to see Nicole Kidman so we asked the guard if we could go in. Anyway to make a long story short. We went it, and found some empty seats next to the red carpet when a police escort showed up with the President of the United Republic of Tanzania. He walked within 5 feet of us. There was a marching band, and parade for the president. We stayed for the event. Several people spoke and the president spoke for about an hour. We found a nice local guy to translate for us. It was really interesting to be part of the whole event. The rest of the day was sort of bizarre. We tried to go several places, including the National Museum, but all of which we closed.
Not sure how I feel about Dar or the day in general. I will be happy to go back to Bagamoyo tomorrow. We have some things we are going to try to do tomorrow, but we'll see if any of it happens.
I guess that will be all for now. More updates about the weekend tomorrow.
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philipf2 on

Thank you...
... for sharing your Amazing Experience in such discriptive and entertaining blogs. Makes me 'almost' feel like I'm there. We're looking forward to following you for the rest of your Adventures and seeing all your pics in August.

Love you,
Auntie Janett and Dr

rexanne on

Glad you got your pizza!! did it have fresh pineapple on it? So did you every get to see Nicole Kidman? Neat that you can 'rub elbows' with the President of Tanzania. did you get any pictures there? Any fun shopping? Probably no room to carry anything back in the Dalla dalla. Look forward to the 'rest of the story.' Love ma and pa

kcdebrus on

Hi there.
What a day! I was exhausted reading it! Thank you for all the details...I love reading about your experiences.
Love, Debi

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