The 2014 Tanzania SST group arrived safely at the airport this morning and all were in good spirits! We dropped them at the YMCA for a brief rest (they arrived at 4:00 a.m.) after which we met for breakfast and orientation. After a breakfast of eggs, bread, and tea, we met under the shade tree at YMCA for a brief overview of the layout of downtown Dar es Salaam. Students divided up into small groups and navigated their way through the bustling, commercial section of Dar. Our tour ended at Upanga Mennonite Church, which will serve as the location for our daily Swahili classes (see group photo).
From Upanga we walked to the “unit house” (Ryan, Donna, Mara, & Isaac’s apartment in Upanga), which is a short 15 minute walk from the church. Our apartment will serve as a weekly gathering place for discussion of the week’s events, general sharing, and de-briefing. It was in the middle of the afternoon orientation (after a lunch of mangoes, sandwiches, pineapple….) that the effects of jet lag set in! With students dropping like flies, it was time for some more exercise. Half the group walked the entire way back to the YMCA, the other half enjoyed their first “daladala” (public bus) ride back to the hostel with the usual drama associated with traffic jams. After an evening meal of rice, beans, chicken, and vegetables the group eagerly scampered off to bed for a much-deserved night of sleep.