africa week 1
getting to africa was a bit more difficult than expected. we were delayed in Detroit for 4 hours. we missed our connecting flight from amsterdam to Nairobi, kenya. they wanted to reroute us that evening to Dubai arriving in Nairobi the next day. we decided to take the same flight as our original on the next day and spend some time in amsterdam instead.
we took our carry-ons and found a cheap hotel. we only had about half a day, but we managed to see the Anne frank house, go on a canal tour, and do a lot of walking/window shopping. the Anne frank house is really well done. I went last year on my way back from Africa, but tins time was a little unique because Stephanie was there. the most memorable part was the story of Otto frank, Anne frank’s father. he survived the holocaust and eventually returned to the house. Stephanie’s father died a long time ago. it was surreal to me being at Anne frank’s house witnessing Stephanie witnessing the story of a father who returned to a sacred place to reflect and mourn his daughter. There’s a really nice picture of Otto standing in the empty house. I wanted to take a picture of Stephanie there, but they are very strict about not allowing photography.
our flight to Nairobi was delayed several hours too, but we made it Ito Nairobi finally. we had to wait several hours to get our luggage. we didn’t make it to our hostel until about 1am.
we slept in the next day, but still had to set our alarms so we wouldn’t waste what ended up being our 1 day out of the expected 3 days in Nairobi. we walked around town a bit, went to the national natural history museum, the snake park next to it, and then had a really nice, relaxing evening at the hostel with a couple dinners and this word game on my iPad.
the next morning, we had to wake up really early to take a shuttle to moshi, Tanzania. it was an interesting ride. the road was under construction in many parts, so a lot of it was very bumpy. good thing I had Dramamine or else I might have lost my breakfast. we also had a flat tire. luckily we stopped near some of the construction workers. and as usual, African strangers are nice enough to help us change tires. after 12 hours of travel, we made it to our hostel.
visions in action house
we are staying in a house with only 1 other girl who has been here since January and is staying until December. her name is miho from japan. miho casa es mi casa. the house has 4 bedrooms: 3 singles and 1 double that stephanie and I are sharing. there’s 2 bathrooms, 1 with a bathtub that doesn’t work (that’s ours) and 1 with a shower. the hot water tank is in our room that we didn’t figure out until the third day. so we had cold showers the first time, but thankfully, that won’t be a regular thing.
just around the corner is a YMCA where parties are often held. so weekend nights are filled with thumping music through the wee hours of the evening. on the other side of us is a church. a very passionate church. and a very public-oriented church. they like to promote themselves by broadcasting their sermons on speakers loud enough so that people in the area might be curious enough to stop in.
but neither of these noises deprive us of as much sleep as the chickens in the backyard. our house maid keeps chickens here for some reason nobody knows. and our neighbors also have chickens. at the worst possible times — before our alarm goes off in the morning and just before we fall asleep — they have conversations with each other. what they have to talk about, I don’t know. but it’s obvious they are talking to each other. they’re probably planning an elaborate escape involving a flying machine. but i’ve found that their annoying cockadoodledooing can be minimized if I imagine they are butchering a duet of “the candyman can”. kind of my own personal, mental “ridiculo” charm.
this hostel is very different than the hostel Hoff where I stayed last year. much less people (a good and bad thing), and not as many services like a tv/DVD player and no food included. the hostel Hoff provided breakfast and dinner most days, but not here. we have to provide our own everything pretty much. but it’s also MUCH cheaper. we’ll need that saved money to go on a nice trip — maybe even a few.
we arrived in moshi just in time to watch some world cup matches. in the process we met some people. we watched the England/US match with a very animated Londoner who liked to trash talk, but in a friendly way, so it was fun. and we had loads of international banter.