Friday, December 29, 2006

Tanzanian Holiday

Hey All!

Well I'm back in Dar es Salaam having spent 2 weeks with the family travelling in the Serengeti, Seronera, Manyara, Ngorogoro (sp?) Crater, Tarangire, and Zanzibar. It was great to see the family. We saw basically every animal one going on a safari in Tanzania would want to see: elephants, zebras, lions, cheetahs, leopard, hippos, buffalo, rhino, giraffe, wildebeest, hartebeest, and a ton of birds, just to name a few. I am currently uploading the odd 400 or so pictures I took of all the animals, with a few of me and the fam, cuz that's what you do on safari. You drive around in a jeep until you see animals, you stop, and you take pictures. There are excessive number of pictures of the same thing but i just couldn't deal with paying to delete them for you so you can enjoy them all haha! Some of them may be a bit blurry as I fashioned another lens on my camera in the form of binoculars- meaning I held my camera up to the binoculars and then took the photo- to get more zoom.

The safari itself I had a bit of trouble with. It's not "my" Africa of children and schools and poverty. It's an Africa of 3-4 course meals, luxury, lodges, actual showers, and animals. I found that I had a bit of trouble adjusting, especially after the first days of thorough enjoyment. It was almost as if my mind had been so stimulated from the teaching and experience with the kids in the orphanage that suddenly when it wasn't there I didn't really know what to do. I even began to feel a bit clausterphobic towards the middle in that I couldn't leave. Suddenly I wasn't alone but was with 3 other people whose schedules needed to be taken into account. I felt a bit trapped. That feeling passed towards the end and was able to enjoy it more towards the end.

We went to a Massai village which I thought would be more up my alley but which I actually found surprisingly disturbing. Not the poverty, in any way, but they seem a very conflicted group. They seem to not be able to decide if they want to maintain their traditional customs or if they want to live in the modern world. Their villages are set up for tourism. With an entire area set up for people to buy jewelry and a whole routine. They would walk up to the car and hold their hands out expecting money. It almost seemed like they were wearing their traditional clothing and living in their traditional huts for the sole purpose of making money off of tourism. I'm not sure I can expain it better than that but there was definitely something off about the experience that I haven't quite put my finger on.

So back to the Africa I know tomorrow as I head to Ghana. Will have 1 night in a hostel in Accra before getting picked up on the 30th and taken to the camp. I believe we have a few days orientation before actually getting started but I'm totally psyched. This is actually the most excited I've been before any of the segments and I just can't wait to get there and get back to "my" Africa.

Again, pictures from the safari as well as Ethiopia are up on the site so feel free to check them out:

A quick thanks to my friends for the picture and Jenna for the "We miss you molface" sign. I really appreciated it and I will keep it with me for the rest of my journey.

Hope everyone had a happy hanukkah, a merry xmas!
Happy 2007!


Anonymous David said...

Hi Molly,
Great post. I felt the same way about the Masai village and feeling trapped (especially in a safari vehicle for so many hours- I prefer to walk more). Since it was my first experience in Africa I don't have anything to compare it to, but I hope to be back and spend more time in more authentic local situations.
You have a good eye for photography. I like your composition and your action shots of the animals.

11:24 PM  

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