We had breakfast at 7:30 – fruit and eggs and sausage and bacon. Everything was quite delicious and the service is amazing. They even lay the cloth napkins on your lap for you! After breakfast, Dan and Corrie Lynn and Rachel and I went for a walk to Bytes, a local internet café. I sent another group e-mail and a couple of other ones. I found out Mom is going on a blind date! AAaaahhh!!! I also wrote a list for Cynthia – defining all the people on the tour.
On the way back to the resort, Corrie Lynn and I stopped for a little shopping. She bought some Maasai blankets and I bought a wooden bowl – I’ll probably give it to Mom.
We had our church service this morning. Dan had asked Tim to organize it. He got everyone involved in the service – some reading scripture, some singing, even an offering. He really took it to heart – got into the planning in a big way.
After church, we had lunch at the Octagon. Another delicious meal. Then I went to the office to pay for my gifts at the gift shop (necklaces and paintings) and my phone call. I was rather horrified to find out that the phone call cost $36 – for SIX minutes! Yikes!
We didn’t have far to drive today. It was nice to get going a little later and not feel like we had to rush. We had to stop to change a tire. Where we stopped, I bought a couple of necklaces for $6. It’s interesting how different the bartering can be, based, I suspect, on the local community. In some towns, like Mwanza or Karatu, it seems relaxed and friendly. The bartering feels more like friendly banter. In other places, like Kisii or where we stopped today, people warm the bus the minute it stops. They reach in the windows to try to sell stuff. They follow you down the street. There is a desperation in their eyes – like you are their only hope today of bringing home a meal for their children. The man who sold me the necklaces was like the second group. He wouldn’t give up. I offered him WAY less than he asked for, and because I really didn’t care if I got it or not, I walked away and he finally came down to almost as low as my offer.
I’m starting to remember the thrill I got from bartering in Mexico. On the other hand, I do feel a little guilty when I pay way less than I think something is worth.
We drove through Arusha and ended up at the ADRA compound in USA River. They have quite an impressive compound, with beautiful office buildings, meeting space, lush grounds, and a pretty fancy house for the country director.
Max Church is the country director for ADRA in Tanzania. He met us at the compound, and then escorted us to our hotel so that we could freshen up before supper.
The hotel is not bad. It’s fairly new – I think it was refurbished recently – the beds are comfy and it’s clean. My standards have come down on this trip. While we were driving here, down roads with potholes as big as a small car, I thought we’d end up in a real dive. The bus actually got stuck on the road just a little ways down from the hotel.
We went for supper at some fancy restaurant in Arusha. They had 3 or 4 menus – Indian, Italian, Chines, and perhaps one other one. And each menu had tonnes of selection. I had the butter chicken and it was quite yummy.
When we got back to the hotel, I ended up giving up my room for Dan so that he wouldn’t have to sleep in the hallway. I slept with Corrie Lynn. Neither of us slept very well because the mosquito netting was too close to us and the mosquitoes bit through the screen.