The adventure of Global Volunteers Team in Tanzania began with a warm welcome and hug from country manager Edward at the Slipway Hotel in Dar es Salaam.We enjoyed an outdoor welcome dinner while watching some small fishing boats on the Indian Ocean as the sunset. We appreciated the cool breeze after the day time temperature in the 90’s .We quickly learned that we were all excited about the adventure and wanting to learn more about our volunteer assignments.Our first challenge however, would be getting to Pommern – 50 kilometers from our 1st hotel stop. Edward sent us off to bed with instructions to be up and ready early for the long ride ahead.
After delicious breakfast at the Slipway Hotel which included yogurt, many types of bread, cereal, meat cheese, fruit & vegetable plates and the option for special order omelets, we were ready to hit the road.
The Global Volunteer Range Rover jeep was quickly loaded with Mohamed driving and Tom as the front seat driver in-charge of potholes and speed bumps . Jeni and Shirley handled the sight seeing and curious questions from the middle seat and Edward took charge of the luggage in the back.
Getting out of the city required some time – even on a Sunday morning. There were huge trucks everywhere , people walking In and across the road and bikes and motorcycles often with 2 or even 3 riders weaving in and out of the other vehicles.
The road was narrow and climbed through various terrain reaching an elevation. We passed many villages with small mud or brick houses and people selling fruits, charcoal, baskets ets along the way.
We drove for 50km through Mikumi National Wildlife Park and spotted an elephant, giraffe, antelope, zebra, numerous baboons, water buffalo and a great horned bill.
Near the top of a mountain pass, traffic stopped. We learned that there was a stalled semi truck and traffic was backed up for miles, Mohamed safely navigated the jam and got us to the Lutheran Mission House in Iringa for check in and dinner. We were all grateful that we weren’t spending hours on the mountain pass like the truck drivers.
While we were still in Dar after 2 days of exploring, Edward said to us, “You have yet to see Africa”. Sunday we felt we were beginning with observations of the “wit” of the people in each village we passed and stops along the way. People building, repairing, washing, cleaning, growing food, cooking, burning trash and fields for replanting and always the transporting of goods back and forth across the one road to Iringa and the South West.
The natural beauty of flora & fauna over the low lands, through the mountains and along the river gave us 10 hours of eye opening wonder.