Tanzania 2014 – Day 2 Feb 22

Today we had breakfast at the Nairobi hotel. It was buffet style, consisting of hard boiled eggs, small read sausages, cinnamon toast, baked sweet potato, an assortment of fruit, as well as coffee and tea. It was pretty good. We boarded our bus at 7 am and took off for a very grueling ride. We drove for about 2.5 hours and stopped at an over look for the great rift valley. There were many people selling curios, but they were laid back and not pushy. The view was gorgeous, the pictures do not do it justice. It is quite odd because it is not a national preserve of anything, so there are a few small developments in the valley. The most notable consisting of several very large telescopes.

We got back on the bus after about 20 minutes, and headed down into the valley. The roads got progressively worse as we went, but remained paved the whole way to our next hotel. They were very rough and full of potholes, and each cross road had a small town filled with shanties. At each little town there were several enormous speed bumps. These speed bumps grind everything to a halt because you have to creep over them. They are not like US bumps that just require you to slow down a little.

After another 2-3 hours of driving we stopped again at Kissi Mart, basically Walmart in Africa We explored the store a bit, and stocked up on water a 50 shillings for 1 liter. Most places sell bottled water for 150-300 shillings. Jamal bought some whole milk in a paper carton. It was like a large sized version of the icy triangle push pops we have in the US. Lisa purchased some trash cans and brooms for the orphanage/school. Back on the bus we went.

We drove another 3 hours and reached the border of Kenya. We drove across and parked in the neutral zone. We sat on our bus for a few minutes while Lawrence organized what we had to do. Several people from the orphanage/school met us at the border, they had been waiting since 2 pm, we arrived around 5 pm. While waiting for Lawrence, there was a very loud verbal argument happening on trucks next to us. It started getting out of hand, then a police officer showed up and calmed things down a bit. We went to the Kenya passport office, which was on the backside of a building down a very narrow walkway. It felt suspicious, but everything worked out. The customs guy just glanced at our visa, stamped it, and sent us on our way. We then walked across the boarder into Tanzania, and waited in line at their customs/immigration office. The line moved slow, but we got through without any issues.

The school people unloaded our bus while we were going through the customs process and loaded them onto the orphanage/school buses they came in. We brought so many cases that they had to organize a few extra cars to drive us. I ended up riding to the hotel in an old Toyota truck with three guys who only only spoke Swahili. As we drove, kids would look at us, and when noticing I was white, would start waving. The guys in the truck thought this was hilarious when I waved back.

We arrived at the Goldland hotel, which is actually surprisingly nice considering the location. We dropped our stuff off in the rooms, then headed right back down to the buses to go to the orphanage. Its about 20 minutes to drive out to the site, the first 10 are on paved two lane roads, then the last 10 or so is a single lane dirt path approximately 2 km long. It was very bumpy, we ran into several herds of cattle and had to wait for them to clear the road.
We approached the orphanage the children ran outside, extremely excited to see us, they were jumping up and down and screaming. They mobbed us as we got off the bus, hugging us, shaking our hands, asking our names. It was very touching. We unloaded the bus, which took quite a while. It got dark, so we loaded back onto one of our buses and headed back to the hotel. We had dinner, which was flat beef steak, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw. It was good, cost was 10,000 Tanzanian shillings. We checked our email on WiFi at the bar, then headed up to the room.

Alana tried to shower, but could not get any hot water. I went in to assist. I turned the temp up on the on-demand electric water heater. I then tried to turn the supply valve to the heater on, because Alana said it was just a trickle of water. I had her turn the shower on while I adjusted the supply valve as the water was running. I reached over to adjust the shower head and got the shit shocked out of me. There is definitely some faulty wiring. The power went in my right hand, across my chest, and out my left hand. It was very painful. Alana thought I punched here at first because my hand shot back so hard. I was very shook up the rest of the night.

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