Today was a special day because we participated in activities outside of our usual routine. We started the day by researching two NGOs established in Karatu, Tanzania: Mwema Children and FAME (Foundation for African Medicine and Education). We were also tasked with brainstorming questions for members of these organizations when we go to visit them later in the week. It was both interesting to learn about these organizations and exciting to have some contact with technology.
The most exciting part of the day came next. We hopped in the bus for a two-hour ride to Karatu for the big market that occurs twice a month. The bus ride was full of beautiful views: Lake Manyara, which is in one of Tanzania’s national parks, baboons on the side of the road, thousands of red billed storks, and huge termite mounds. When we arrived at the market, we split into groups and began to explore and shop; the experience was interesting and slightly stressful for all of us. Hagglers followed us “wazungu” (white people, or non-Tanzanian people) around, and sellers raised their prices because of the assumption that we had more money and would therefore pay more. Luckily, we had our Tanzanian friends present to help us negotiate prices. Some of us bought Tanzanian soccer jerseys, kangas (Tanzanian fabric), bracelets and sweets. After two hours in the market, we left for lunch in Karatu.
The restaurant featured a great buffet. The most exciting part of the meal for us was the various sodas and the ice cream dessert. The soda tasted lighter and more refreshing than the type sold in the US, and I even got to try a new flavor of Fanta – passion fruit. The ice cream tasted like very thick whipped cream; it was sweet and satisfying. We drove back to Tumaini for an early ANCHOR, with lots of free time after to begin packing; it would be our last night in the dorms L.
After dinner, the tribal dance we were scheduled to perform was unfortunately cancelled because the drummer was not there. The tribal dance was replaced with a performance of “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You”, sung by all the WLS students. And so, our dance party with the whole school started early. Everyone participated, dancing to both American and Tanzanian tunes.
-Tolu and Aurelius