Tanzania, Africa travel journal – day 11

categories: Travel

The silly rooster outside my window thought dawn was coming at 4:30am this morning. Upon further review he decided to crow at 5:30 also. I was able to get back to sleep both times. I got up at 6:30am and reviewed some of the sounds I have recorded so far. I have been labeling them in preparation for a soundseeing tour. I then washed up and packed (one suitcase inside the other). We ate breakfast and started saying good byes at about 8:30. Breakfast was quick but we said good byes for the next hour and a half. The church presented us with yet more gifts: keychains for Jack and I, and necklaces for Rick and the ladies, a Tanzanian flag scarf for Rick and one for Bethel, a sculpture with giraffes with their necks entwined for Bethel.

JM Tours bus showed up between 9:30 and 10 (it was due at 9) and we packed up and headed into Arusha. We stopped at the shop of Paul and his family for some serious shopping. I tried to do some computer consulting but even though the power was on the voltage was too low for the UPS (uninterrupted power supply) to allow the computer to turn on. Jack continued to shop from the vendors who started circling outside the store sensing fresh meat.

We headed to the Lutheran bank to pickup the laminated card that would allow Pastor Godbless to access to account and wire money but it turns out that the account was accidently set up as a Lutheran synod account and so he could not get money. The only solution appears to be pulling out all of the money (with penalties) and opening an account at a different bank. So while Rick and Pastor Godbless worked on that we went and had lunch at one of the two Lutheran hostels. Lunch was only 26,000 Sh ($20.80) for 12 people. Loretta treated because she said “how often can I take this many people to lunch for so little?” The rooms at the hostel looked reasonable when Jackie and Loretta checked them out. They are 18,000 Sh ($14.40) for two people for one night with breakfast.

When we got back to the bank Rick and Godbless were still entwined with red tape and had found a car to take them to Arusha later on. As the JM Tours bus needed to get back we headed out to the hotel in Arusha with only a brief stop at the bank to pick up more cash.

We scattered at the hotel. I went to the bookstore where I picked up a souvenir (carved wooden salad server) and then logged onto the (very slow) internet at the local hotel. It is only 1000Sh ($.80) an hour but I returned to our hotel to try that one at 3x the cost after an hour. Unfortunately it was slower. While I was on the internet Pastors Rick and Godbless drove into the hotel with a new (used) car. It is a Suzuki Range-Rover look alike vehicle and they were very pleased with it. They had finally been able to talk to the bank manager that agreed that since Rick put the money in the account he had the right to take it out again.

The group (sans an exhausted Rick) went out for dinner at Via Via again which again was a positive experience. Some of the group wanted ice cream for dessert but with the restaurant not having power in the daytime, ice cream was not on the menu and they returned to the Equator (which has a generator) for dessert. I opted again for yet another hour of internet but still ended the night days behind on email.

by Chris Christensen

I am the creator of AmateurTraveler.com, a popular travel blog / podcast. I am also a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast, The Bible Study Podcast and the Passport Marketing and PR Podcast. I am the owner of BloggerBridge.com and a software consultant.

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