First off, thanks to everyone for the warm welcome back to the land of the digitally-able! The trip to Tanzania was quite the adventure; coming home with 3400+ pictures, an inexplicable stomachache and too many stories to count, the trip marked a very interesting chapter in my life.
As we previously discussed, getting to Tanzania is no small feat! It would take over 24 hours to get there and near 36 to get back, but like any good story, it starts at the beginning — that is:
HOW DID I END UP GOING ON THIS CRAZY TRIP?!
It all started 20 years ago…
This is the story of four friends: Sarah, Casey, Trevor and Sakshi.
Trevor is the adventurous, outdoorsy type
Sarah has often gone camping with her family
Sakshi and Casey are city-dwellers, loving running water, air conditioning and convenient restaurants
Sakshi and Trevor are a married couple that’re dear friends of Casey and Sarah (also married).
They’ve all lived together, travelled together and had adventures together — they work great together as a set of married couples.
Now ever since he was 8 and visiting Kenya, Trevor had seen Mt. Kilimanjaro from afar and decided “one day, I’m going to climb that!”
Fast-forward twenty years or so, and a few things have happened:
Sakshi, Trevor, Casey and Sarah all end up working for the same government organization
Sakshi marries Trevor — Sarah marries Casey
Not long thereafter, Sakshi and Trevor decide to embark on a GRAND ADVENTURE
One of the stops on this trip include Tanzania
Trevor considers climbing Kilimanjaro while there, but thinks better of it
However, in a supportive yet ironic fashion (her being a city girl and all), Sakshi reminds Trevor that it has been a lifelong dream of his to climb this mountain and convinces him to do it
So, Sakshi and Trevor tell Sarah and Casey of their grand plan
Sarah thinks: “This is the experience of a lifetime!” and convinces (a very reluctant) Casey that they should go
So while Sakshi and Trevor globetrot, Sarah and Casey train with walks in Toronto (well, for a little while anyway)
Eventually, Sarah and Casey are OFF to Tanzania, and this, my friends, is that story….
And thus, we found ourselves travelling upward of 24 hours to get to Tanzania, on the east coast of Africa.
The flight to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania wasn’t too bad — in summary, here’re the thoughts that come from a day spent without a fixed location:
- Getting a mere 2 hours of sleep prior to travelling (due to last-minute work and packing) is never recommended, but definitely helps one pass out during flights
- Having a broken seat for 7 hours is a situation you should really bring up with your flight attendant as soon as possible — “Sir, please put your seat in the upright position.” “I CAN’T!!!“
- Swiss Air is a wonderful airline. I’d fly with them again anytime.
- Movie reviews:
- Tower Heist: I remember wanting to see this in theatres, and I’m extremely glad I never got around to it. Gabourey Sidibe makes the least convincing island gyal EVER.
- I ♥ Huckabees: People actually like this movie?
- Mark Zuckerberg: Inside Facebook: A slick BBC documentary on how Zuckerberg built the Facebook empire that he has today. It’s a great companion if you’ve seen The Social Network. (And who hasn’t?!)
- In Time: Solid proof that Justin Timberlake needs to stop acting and get another album out.
- The farther away you get from North America, the less deodorant seems to be of a concern. This can’t be a good precedent.
- Never mix any creamy substance (such as milky pudding) with wine. You will need the bathroom. Very badly.
- Sitting next to a flight attendant for the airline you’re flying with who’s returning from vacation is a very good way to get extras without meaning to.
We got there in one piece, and upon exiting into the Dar es Salaam airport, we were hit by a wave of humidity. We were really in Africa. The next hour or so saw a whirlwind of going through customs (where you better be ready to have your photo and fingerprints taken), navigating through a sea of would-be taxi drivers (both legit and not-so) and the exhilaration of finally being able to sleep horizontally — this was only the prelude for some very interesting weeks that would be ahead. Tanzania would have much in store for us.