I will save my Amsterdam post of another day...probably after I leave Tanzania.
I arrived safely in Tanzania, slightly worse for the wear. I had to change planes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. My flight there ended up being delayed. I had to inform my contacts in Tanzania of my new arrival time, so that someone could be at the airport to pick me up. This posed a problem as I didn't have a cell phone, a calling card, or change (not that this mattered, I was told the payphone in that terminal weren't working. No joke, it was a pretty dismal airport). An employee at the airport let me use his phone, which I ended up paying him $20 for (I didn't have any smaller bills and he didn't want Euros. I was too stressed to argue). After many attempts at making an international call, I was able to get a hold of someone in Tanzania. I was told it ws no problem, someone would be there to pick me up at my new arrival time.
As luck would have it, my plane was further delayed by an hour and a half. I started to panic and envision the worst: I wouldn't be able to get my visa, my luggage wouldn't arrive, there would be no one waiting for me since my plane was so late. I'm not going to lie, it was a very long and stressful day. I spent a good eight hours feeling quite panicked and cursing myself for wanting to make this trip in the first place. Having resigned myself to the worst, I was very thankful to find the visa process went smoothly, my luggage did arrive, and the blessed people who were to pick me up were still waiting for my incredibly delayed flight. After that I started to feel much better about my trip.
We had our first day of orientation today. There are four of us volunteers that started this week, and there is also a group of college students here for school credit. They have been here five weeks, with many more to go. Of the four volunteers, I will be here the shortest amount of time. Two of them will be here for nine weeks, and the other will be here for seven and a half months.
They took us on a drive around Arusha today, and the culture shock is definitely starting to set in. It is unlike anyplace I have ever been. Sure, I had never been to London, Paris, or Amsterdam before, but navigating those cities was a lot like navigating any big city in the US. Not Arusha. I am afraid to leave the hostel without any of the other volunteers, which makes me really nervous for Thursday morning, because Wedneday night will be my first with my host family. Which means I have to get myself to the GSC office on my own Thursday morning.
We have orientation the rest of this week, and we travel to villages starting next Monday. I am excited to see what the rest of this trip holds, though admittedly I am feeling a little homesick right now.
Sorry there are no pictures for this post. I have been in too much shock to take any! I promise there will be pictures to come.