Touch down Africa

Trip Start Mar 20, 2012
Trip End Oct 16, 2013

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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Friday, March 23, 2012

Off the plane we got, breathing in the hot African air as we strolled across the runway to the tiny Kiliminjaro airport termial.  The first thing we were asked was to prove that we were immune to yellow fever, compulsory when traveling to or from places thats have it.  If you don't they will give you the shot right then and there.  Visa's weren't much problem to acquire and before we knew it we were picking up our bags as they went round.  We were both super tired and hot and looking forward to no flying for 4 months.  We walked through the arrivals and Amie shed a few tears as she hugged my mum.  Was really good to see my parents again after 8 months apart.  In the 4x4 with the windows down the heat was more bearable as we drove down the road.  The landscape is so dry, brown and open heading to Moshi (where my parents live).  There are people outside walking along the roadside in the hot sun wearing long sleeves, pants and even jerseys.  There are a few houses put together with mud bricks here and there, but other than that just empty space.We headed into town to my parents favourite, Union cafe.  As we pulled up I noticed a guy with a shot gun, I think he looks after your car.  In the shade we sipped on delisious, cold and sweet milkshakes and nibbled on some blueberry cheese cake.  Looking down the street from our table at Union cafe you can see there are lots of tinny shops jam packed with all kinds of things.  Matresses, shoes and cell phones are just a few.  The main roads are tar sealed and the side roads are dirt.   There are a lot more people walking than cars on the road.  Another thing that would be hard to miss is the speed bumps everywhere.  Ladys carry huge trays of bananas on there heads a really long way.  Everybody seems friendly and greet you with a smile.  5k up the road is International School Moshi and my parents house is on the school grounds.  Out the front they have some huge mango trees and a few small banana trees.  The garden is nicely maintained by a gardner.  The house is quite nice with a couple bedrooms and the usual bits and pieces a house has.  It was so good to be able to kick off our shoes and relax.A early night saw us arise at 5am, bloody time differences!  Later when the rest of the house was up we checked out the school grounds.  They have 2 soccer fields and sometimes a horses hangs out on them.  There is a 25m pool which is so good for a hot sweaty day.  Also they have a small gym, so might give that a go sometime.  There are lots of big trees around the class rooms so its nice and shady.  Its nice and quiet, but I'm guessing that changes when the kids are back at school on the playground.  The closest supermarket is just down the road, its actually more like a dairy, but has a lot of stuff.  Also on the same road as the school are several really nice places to eat and the meals are bargin prices.  Meals range from $2.50 to $8.50 depending what you get and where you eat.  A bottle of coke at a resturant is 75c or at the supermarket its 35c. 600ml  Beers range from $1 in the shop to $2.50 in a nice cafe.  They have everything on offer from pizza and burgers to curry and chinese all a short drive or even a walk away.  Down in town they have a new supermarket that makes you feel like you are back in NZ as you walk through the airconditioned isles.  It is a complete change to everything else outside.  We headed up towards the mountain to see the route of the half marathon my mum had recently completed.  One part has a bunch of coffin shops with there fancy polished wood coffin sitting outside.  Next door to these is the hospital which doesn't give it a very good look at all.  As you head up hill the surroundings completely change from the brown colour to green.  There are tons of banana trees and coffee plantations.  We bounced up a dirt road and through a big gate and found a beautiful place.  There were bungalows and palm trees with green grass and a pool.  We stopped in for a drink and so did a malabou stork.  They are really big ugly birds with a bald head.  Looking out the window one morning we saw cheeky monkeys everywhere.  We rushed outside excitedly and saw them all over the roof.  They are funny to watch as they run, jump and swing and the baby ones are extra cute.  When we were sitting inside one tried to sneak in the door.  It must be cool for the kids having monkeys at school.  My parents took us to a massive clothing market.  There are rows and rows of all kinds of clothes, blankets, shoes and handbags.  Its where a lot of clothes that people donate end up.  There is some really nice stuff and heaps of it top brands and some big jackets you would never need in this weather.  Its like a giant op shop with its selection and prices.  Down another street was a market with all kinds of fruit, veges and spices.  The buchery had big chunks of meat hanging in the sun, good for the flies but not for my belly.  So far we have had had beautiful weather even if it has been a tad hot and really loving hanging out and exploring this place.
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Heather Clarke on

Tinny houses - really Ryan!!!! I was under the impression that you were an ace speller Ryan hehehehehe - so much for spellcheck lol

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