African Adventure: Chicken and Safari Beer
Day 1: Kilimanjaro Airport is overwhelmingly small. To get from the plane to the staff member checking my yellow book for yellow fever: 3 minutes. To get to visa application: 1 minute To get money out of my checked baggage (which made it!!!): 2 minutes To get outside: less than a minute Waiting for the people from Operation Groundswell to come pick me up, I made friends with Moses who was surprised to learn that even though "kaka" means brother in Swahili, it means poop in Spanish. Hopefully that doesn't change things in his mind if he has a brother. Once with Jordy from OG, we ended up eating locally because another group was coming about an hour later so it didn't make sense to drive 45 minutes to the hostel to then come back to the airport. No physical menu involved (it was written on the wall), Jordy ordered Safari Beer and chicken, rice, fried cabbage and beans. Apparently it's the ~bougie~ food from everything we could've ordered. They legit fried a baby bird and it was really good; part of me felt kind of bad about it. We had to wash our hands before eating and the luxurious cooler they had next to the table.
Our waitress reprimanded me because I didn't answer "Poa" when she said "Mambo!" (Hello). Little by little... We got a water bottle to go and went back to the airport. I got lucky with my small flight from Nairobi but this one coming in from Amsterdam took an hour and a half for the people to go through the same process I did. May or may not have dozed off waiting... There's 13 of us in the program, 15 if you count the two leaders guiding us. Once the last batch was picked up, we got in the van and fell asleep on the drive over. Honestly not sure how we did because the roads are not so much bumpy as they are littered with speed bumps that are about three times the ones we have at home. One speed bump and I thought the girl in the seat in front of me was going to snap her neck from how much the car was going up and down. Also, there are barely any lights around here. Not sure how anyone drives to be honest. ALSO they drive on the left hand side of the road but I think thats more of a suggestion than anything because at one point everyone was driving anywhere. It's a work of art to see how no one crashes. Some places had the road, a gap and then the sidewalk; watching people walk in the dark and have to jump from the road to the sidewalk made me gasp a few times just because it looked like they barely made it. The Greenhouse hostel will be our home for a few days! It's got a bunch of rooms all next to each other, each equipped with mosquito nets and a bunk bed. I was just happy at the thought of being able to lie down vertically for once. They have a living room area and an outdoor patio, generally speaking, so people were just drinking Safari Beer and talking. After letting my parents know I was alive, I went outside to be kind of social but gave up after 20 minutes.
(Here's a look at the painting in our room!) The shower was calling my name and it said "Alina you cochina get over here already, you reek." After a hot shower and attempting to me get my shit together, my roommate (I'm still trying to learn names so I'll learn it eventually) and got the room ready by putting our sleeping bags on the beds and our stolen airplane blankets. Closing the windows because it was kind of chilly, the cutest stray dog every came to greet us. Saddest moment ever when we couldn't play with it. *moment of silence* We quickly settled into bed and knocked out. Ah, to be 180* lying down. P.S. At 4 a.m. there were morning prayers again. Ay.