Parents in TZ!
On the 11th of June, my parents and Andrew’s mom ARRIVED IN TANZANIA! It was a whirlwind trip consisting of a 3 day safari, a trip to our village, and a few days on Zanzibar.
The first day of our safari was spent at Tarangire National Park. Besides the many elephants, giraffes, and impala that we saw, we also got to witness two lions stalking a couple of warthogs. One walked right next to our car! Those lucky warthogs got wind of the lions early enough to escape, but the 15 minutes of watching the lions attempt were fascinating.
Our second day of the safari was spent in the beautiful Ngorongoro Crater. We saw buffaloes, zebras, hippos, elephants, impala, hyenas, warthogs, flamingos, lions, and even a rhino! It was definitely one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
Our last day was spent in Lake Manyara National Park. All 3 days were incredibly pleasant and our guide was fantastic. We ate boxed lunches each day and ate breakfast and dinner at the different tented lodges that we stayed at along the way.
The next phase of our trip started with the drive to our village. Our parents were rather surprised at the terrible condition of our mountain road, but they took it in stride and enjoyed the views on the way up. We stayed in a small hotel about 20 minutes away from our house and ate our meals all over the place.
Our counterparts cooked us dinner the first night at our house. We ate freshly slaughtered chicken, rice, cabbage, and taro root. The next day we went to our village market, and then to a party that Andrews cow club was throwing and were the guests of honor. They slaughtered a sheep and several chickens and served us all soda. They gave many speeches, also making Andrew and I give speeches. Our parents even stood up and spoke. It was a very nice cultural exchange for everyone. Then that night we ate dinner at Andrew’s counterpart’s house, where our parents got their first taste of ugali, Tanzania’s main food, which is a sort of stiff corn porridge that is balled up in the right hand and then dipped into the side dish and eaten. It wasn’t their favorite, but they did try it!
The day we left, we ate breakfast at my counterpart’s house and our parents got the chance to see the church they are building. We know that the whole experience was exhausting and sometimes strange to them, but they never stopped smiling through the whole thing. They even tried out a little Kiswahili along the way! It was so nice to have all our friends meet them and we are so happy that they were brave enough to come.
The final phase of our journey was to the island of Zanzibar. We stayed in a really neat hotel in Stone Town and spent the days either at the beach or just strolling around town. It was lovely and relaxing, which was nice after the 6 days of constant moving. We had no complications on the trip until the very last day, when our flight from Zanzibar to the mainland was canceled and we ended up waiting hours and hours for a plane out, and then our parents had to spend their whole last day in Tanzania waiting for their international flight at the airport. Other than that unfortunate series of events, everything went smooth as butter and we loved getting to be so close to them and to share some experiences with them in this country that we love so much. We hope they enjoyed it as much as we did! Karibu tena!