Well we just returned from our shadow adventure in Mbeya. It was certainly an adventure and quite the experience!
The journey began last sunday with our first taste of extended bus travel here in Tanzania. As with all travel on the roads here, I'm once again happy and surprised I'm still alive. The combination of rough underdeveloped roads and the maniacs who drive here makes traveling a terrifying and wild experience. Well, we made it to Tukuyu, which is a small town close to Katie the volunteer we went to visit, around 7 at night, after a good 10 hours on the bus. Then we had to go another half hour or so to get to Katie's school. She teaches at an all girls boarding school, Kayuki Girls School. Katie has a nice little pad with an incredible view of green rolling hills where they grow chai and when it's clear you can make out lake malawi in the distance. She lives on campus, has running water and electricity, which was nice to enjoy for the week. We observed Katie teach some classes, she teaches form 3 math and physics. Katie told her students we would teach them a song, so one afternoon we taught them the chorus to Yellow Submarine and they got a kick out of us trying to sing.
We cooked up a storm the whole week of shadow! At Katies we made pudding, chili, shepard's pie, banana bread, tortillas, mango bread, bean burgers, and guacamole! It was glorious to mix up the menu and learn how to cook/bake. It gives me hope that I won't starve when I get to site.
I mustered up the energy to go running a few times and I still believe there is no better way to explore somewhere new than running around. I even had the company of Orion, Katie's dog, who followed me the whole 7 or 8 miles. It was great to just get out and run somewhere new.
On Thursday we met up with two other volunteers, Andrew, who lives in Tukuyu, and Anita who lives in Mbeya town, along with their shadowers. We went on an awesome hike at the ngozi crater not too far from Tukuyu. It was a great hike, kind of tough in some spots but beautiful!
Friday and Saturday were spent in Mbeya town at Anita's apartment. She teaches at Mbeya Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), a university level school. She's actually at the end of her service and a fellow trainee, TJ will be replacing her. She has a great apartment and was nice enough to let us all pack in before we left to come back to Morogoro.
On Friday and Saturday we got to meet all the other education, health, and environment volunteers in the Mbeya area. Everyone is really nice, we had a great time hanging out at the bars they like to hit up and did a little dancing. We also got to have dinner at a place that has burgers! It was like heaven, I had a fabulous creamy avocado burger!
I'm running out of time here so I'll wrap this up. We ate really well on the trip and was probably the best part of shadow. I really had a great time and while I am dissapointed that I'm not going to be in Mbeya I'm still excited to make it out to my site. Well we've got another week here in Morogoro before we head to Dar for swearing in so we'll see what happens, should a fun week!