After being a star member of team Real Gap for the last six and a half years, Sally has spent time living, working, studying, and travelling abroad- but had never had the chance to tick Africa off her list. It's fair to say that when she was offered the chance, there was more than a little excitement there!
Despite my past travelling experience, it's always a bit daunting setting off to the unknown, just you and your backpack! It's been a while since I did anything like this by myself so I have to admit I had a few nerves and knots in my stomach whilst sitting at my gate waiting to board my plane from the trusty Gatwick. Once I was on the plane my nerves settled a little, and I enjoyed my uneventful and stress free journey and began to feel more and more excited about where I was headed!
Arriving at the unsociable hour of 3am, I got my first experience of Tanzanian’s “pole pole” – that’s “slowly slowly” to you and me - attitude, as we all lined up with our visa forms, $50 cash, and passports – be prepared for your passport to be mysteriously whisked away by airport staff and for your name to later be called to reunite you with your documents and allow you into the country – this may not happen quickly! Tired, a little disorientated, but happy my backpack had managed to arrive with me, I located the lovely local driver who greeted me with a big smile and drove me to the team leader’s house for a few hours sleep.
The next morning, after a good cup of Chai, and some hard boiled eggs (something that seems to be a standard addition to the breakfast table in Tanzania!) I was feeling more myself and it was time to chat to the team about the country and projects on offer in Tanzania and get me excited about what I was going to see! During my 8 day whistle-stop trip I was to take in the fantastic community projects on offer in the capital Dar es Salaam, experience the beautiful island and volunteer options in Zanzibar, and check out the breathtaking town of Moshi overlooked by the infamous Mt Kilimanjaro (leaving time of course for a mini Safari adventure – I mean, when in Africa...!!)
Look out for the rest of Sally's Tanzanian story over the next two weeks!