My last in DAR and my first in Bagamoyo

Trip Start Aug 13, 2006
Trip End Nov 13, 2006

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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Thursday, September 21, 2006

So I know it's been a while, and for those of you who have relentlessly sent me e-mails wondering where I am (there are many, so don't worry, it's not just because of you ;)), I am updating as I much as I can.

Right now I am sitting at the internet cafe located on the Bagamoyo Arts College campus, in Bagamoyo. It's nice here, and so it the weather, it's downpouring like a typical storm at home. Which is crazy, because the rainy season doesn't start for another 2 months (early-mid november). So this is very unsual. But it's nice, since it cools down about 10 degrees (about 80), it's well appreciated here.

So my last days in Kundunchi/Dar were a whirlwind of goodbyes, last minute shopping, and crazy trips. of course!. So Qwin and I, actually, Qwin decided that a trip to the khanga market would be a fun last day (note, this is a place I had sworn off for it's epitomy of local markets). So, I thought I remembered how to get there. Go to Unbunco then to the city, then catch a tandika bus, and get off at the market. So about 15 minutes after getting on the tandika bus, I realize that were are not even in the city anymore, and am nowhere near the Khanga Market. I tell Qwin, in all honesty (believe or not), that I have NO IDEA where I am. I ask the daladala driver "REMS?", which is what the khanga market is called, and he slaps his face with his hand and starts laughing.

** side note: when i first learned how to get to the khanga market, Louis, the guy who explained it to me, told me to tell the daladala driver "REMS" when I get on. I thought he was just telling me because I'm a crazy mzungu, and I need someone to tell me when to get off - apparently not, I guess it's a side streets thats not on the main route, so they will only take you down there if you ask**

so anyway, the daladala driver tells us REMS is not out here, and I'm thinking DUH , so he tells us to get out and sit in the front of the bus (which is probably the surest place to sit if you want to feel like you are going to die in a car accident), and we manage to explain that we'll ride the bus around again. The porter, who rides in the back and collects the money, tells everyone on the bus, and we become a solid mzungu tourist, literally the whole bus starts laughing. I was embarrassed, but was glad that at least they had a sense of humor about it. As we drive through tandika, which is a town about 30 minutes outside the city, the daladala driver motions for me to hold my bag tight in my lap, Qwin and I look at each other, either were are in some serious ghetto, or they think we will be robbed blind.

Now, Tandika is a large ghetto African city, literally, the term "ghetto" originates in Africa, meaning, "poor town". That's what Tandika was. I didn't feel unsafe in the daladala, but I sure wouldn't be walking around that town, even in the daylight.

Needless to say, we finally made it to the khanga market, (Qwin only bought 1 khanga, I could have strangled her!! haha!) and made it back in one piece.

The next day, we (Qwin and I spent a lot of time together the last 3 days in DAR, b/c she had 2 weeks off from school for midterms) ventured into the city, and I had my first cup of brewed coffee in over a month. Now I'm not a coffee drinker, but, I have never tasted a drink so good as that. It was nothing special, just perc coffee with milk. OOOOOOH! soo good! When overpriced, on the range, plain coffee can get you as excited as free mocha caramel latte at Starbucks, something says you've been in africa too long.

So, Thursday, I'm all packed to leave, and I had specifically told Kaduma (our head coordinator at the house), and Danny (our driver), on MONDAY, that I needed the car by 3:30 on thursday. I look out into the driveway, and do I see a car? Of course not!! Why would I, not one thing with Kari (the Finish guy who runs the program), has gone as it should. So I texted Kari and tell him that I need a ride immediately. Guess who arrives less than 15 minutes later, but Kari himself! I have got that guy wrapped around my little finger. Ever since the stink I made about the lack of water and organization, and reporting him to GVN, he has been bending over backwards for me. When I say there's no water, he's got a 3000 gallon tank showing up within the hour, if someone forgot to pay the power, I texted him, and he's got power on the way.

But when he pulls upto the gate at the house, what does he do? He texts me and tell me that he is outside of the gate! Some colorful language coming up, feel free to skip

(that piece of crap!, he can't even get out of his car to open the gate!! what a lazy piece of bleeeeeeeeep, he has to texted me on my CELL PHONE, to go outside the 20 feet to open the gate b/c he won't get out of his car)

then ontop of that, he doesn't even assist in opening the hatch or help load my suitcases in, thank goodness the other volunteers were there, I would be doing it by myself. eventually I say, "Kari, you've got get out of the car and open the freakin' door" I snapped a little, he does this with everyone. He treats the volunteers as bad as he treats his workers! And I was not going to let that happen. So he gets out of the car
and opens the back door of the jeep. That's it, he doesn't even lift a small bag, he just get's back in the car and waits. What a piece of *$%&!!!! I can't believe he did that!

So of course, for 15 minute ride Kari's got me trapped in his car, he's justifying to me all the reason why there were problems at the house. Trying to make all nice and stuff. He's telling me about his son, that there's not water because the city won't let him have any, that his workers don't tell him about the problems, yadayada, he even made a phone call while i was with him to yell at danny about not picking me up when he was suppose to. WHOOO, big shot there, tryin to act like you might actually care! When it was actually his fault, because I found later, that he sent them on errands, KNOWING that I needed car, but telling Kaduma he would take care of it.

Sorry, got a little carried away there. Kari gets all the volunteers riled up. Just not a very honest nor trustworthy person.

Anyway, Kristin (my Bagamoyo coordinator) was running late, so Kari had to "drop me off", at a gas station, with my 5 suitcases and 2 bags, just waiting for her sitting on a plastic chair, twiddling my thumbs. But she shows up with a small car. I think to myself, Are you kidding???, there is no way my suitcases will fit in this makeshift datsun wanna be toyota. Plus, there is Jeff (a volunteer who came that afternoon), Douglas her fiance, me and Kristin to fit in the car. Somehow the manage, and strap my suitcases into the trunk. I tell them not to take bumps to fast, or will be picking up all my stuff along the side road after my suitcase splits open. But it's a pretty uneventful ride, other than Jeff, who would require a whole entry to explain, but in summary, talked my ear off the whole way there. At first there were some gay vibes, but then I couldn't tell, (definitely not), but very into some intersting hobbies.

So you might want to take a break here, this next part is all about Bagamoyo. Go to the bathroom, get some food, take a nap, whatever.

I think they are going to kick me out, it's about 6pm here. So I will try and update this weekend or next week sometime.

Miss you all so much!!




I can get mail here! Thanks Michelle! My first day here, I got a wonderful birthday card (late, but still appreciated)! It's nice to get mail, even it's just a hello! It takes about a week to maybe 10 days, so plan accordingly. I'll be here until October 13th

My address is:

Attn: Jamie Huizinga
P.O. Box 80
Bagamoyo, Tanzania
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lesleydennis on

Hectic in Bagamoyo
You sound totally stressed out and hectic as you move to bagamoyo. it is time for you to chill and get yourself into the way of pole pole life.
Kari is at least making an effort and you certainly have had an impact on him.
Five suitcases was never a good idea in africa so it was a triumph for your pick up to get them all on to their car in one piece.
Hope you are settling down and enjoying the beach life in bagamoyo.
Wish I was there with you
I am so blessed and I am telling my church family all about our experiences.
Thanks for keeping your experiences up to date as i am there with you in spirit.
Keep calm and be a disciple

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