|Me on the night of my Send Off party! Africa-Bound!|
I arrived Friday morning with my roommate and fellow teacher Melinda to Kilimanjaro International Airport. We got off the airplane and headed for customs. Funny thing- We had no idea what to do! Ryan (our contact) had not informed us of how we were going to get our visa into the country. Melinda and I Stood there, for a good five minutes, probably with a dazed and confused look on our faces- what line should we be in? Where's Ryan? What should we do? One of the customs officers Tried to get us to hop in a line, but we were hesitant. We finally made the decision to get in the line labeled "I NEED A VISA" instead of "I HAVE A VISA". We got up to the counter, explained our situation the best we Could, though They probably only understood about half of what we said. Thankfully, They held our passports and we were able to go out to the public part of the airport to look for him. We found him waving us down outside, he gave us the money to get our visitor visas and we finally were able to go through customs!
Since It was only about 10 am when we left the airport, we hit the ground running. The airport is about 45 minutes away from the smoke, so We had a car ride to get our bearings. I loved taking in the beautiful African landscape and chatting with Ryan and Melinda on the way. Once we got into Moshi, we went straight to the house where we are living. Everyone calls it the "teacher house" because that's where all the single women teachers have lived the past couple of years . And let me tell you, it is nothing anywhere close to what I had imagined- it is WAY better! I'll have a whole post coming up about the house, but we are seriously blessed! (Spoiler alert: We even have a pool in our backyard !!)
After we dropped off the bags, freshened up from our day and a half of travel, and picked bedrooms, we headed straight for the School! We got the grand tour from Ryan, met several people who keep the school running, and had lunch there! I had my first Tanzanian meal- Pilau! It's rice mixed with vegetables and beef. It may just be from all the excitement, but Pilau is one of my favorite meals I've had here so far. I love the Hope International School campus- there are three buildings, a big play-yard, a stage for the drama and the chapel, and more. I'm going to do a whole post giving a tour and such at some point.
During lunch, Ryan's wife, Stacy and Jenn, the new administrator for Hope, stopped by. We met, and then Stacy actually took us into town to start getting us some groceries! We headed to a market, and got a few things. While we were there, I found this little area where we could kind of see Mt. Kilimanjaro off in the distance. Actually we saw the peaks of the mountain in the air too!
Much Love, Allie
* PS Sorry for all the writing errors! My internet wants to be in Swahili!