On Monday, after a meaningful morning both in the Tour Guiding classroom with the students, and later at the hospital delivering hats to the babies, we walked down the street to the bank machine so we could have some Tanzanian Shillings to pay for our stay at VETA’s Mikumi Campus. It felt good to walk, but we also felt conspicuous while walking by ourselves. We had arranged for our driver, David, to pick us up at noon to go to Morogoro.
The drive to Morogoro took just a couple of hours, and we didn’t have to deal with too much heavy traffic. As we drove out of Mikumi, we saw giraffes, elephants, and baboons along the side of the road. I can’t imagine seeing that sight would ever grow old!
We were dropped off at the Morogoro hotel, which is a short walking distance to VETA’s Morogoro Campus and got checked in. The rooms were lovely and well-appointed. Although Jim and I were located about as far from one another as you can get, we each had a suite with bedroom, bathroom, sitting room, and small kitchenette. We were hungry (It had been a number of hours since our breakfast of tea, white bread, and hard boiled eggs.) We met at the hotel’s restaurant for something quick before walking to the campus. We clearly arrived at the wrong time because the Rangelands Society was having a conference, and hundreds of them were coming to the dining room at the same time! All we each wanted was a quick bowl of soup, and some bottles of water, but we got lost in the shuffle.
Eventually, it was clear that although we had waited to order, our server had also forgotten to submit our order. A manager came over and apologized and said our meals would be right along. There was obviously a language barrier as well. Our soup finally arrived with a roll for each of us. We were missing cutlery; the soup had come with a spoon, but we didn’t have knives to butter the rolls. Jim asked for a knife as well as a second roll and our server brought us two forks – and a salad! We were laughing hysterically! Eventually, we ate and walked to the campus to meet up with Sospeter Dickson (faculty member and leader on our project), and Anna Nyomi (Curriculum consultant at VETA) who is also assigned to our project.
Unfortunately, the principle of Morogoro Campus was out of town, but we did meet Twiganile Ndunguru, who was acting principal in his absence and who had signed our original letter of invitation on January 26. We met and discussed the project and also what the next few days would look like. Dickson and Anna had been arranging interviews with various businesses in Morogoro and Dar es Salaam for us to go see. This was the first time we had learned what types of businesses we would get to meet.
Rather than tying Anna & Dickson up at that time, we made arrangements to meet them at the campus in the morning and would go visiting businesses from there. We walked back to the hotel and worked around the outdoor pool, reviewing what we had learned in Mikumi, and revising some of our questions for relevance as the next businesses would be larger sizes. We had pizza and a beer by the pool before heading back to our rooms to check in with our families. We hadn’t been in touch with them since Friday due to lack of internet in Mikumi.
It was nice to see everyone and hear their voices, but D’Arcy reported that Olivia was out of sorts and weepy after we hung up. I went to bed, hoping to get a good night’s sleep.