Because our flight out of Tanzania to home didn’t leave until the evening, we were able to put in most of the day ourselves. I was up early, and got my things relatively organized, then watched the sun come up over the Indian Ocean before meeting Jim for breakfast at 8am.
He had brought a jar of peanut butter along with him, so I had some of that on a piece of white bread with my breakfast – my last opportunity for peanut products before being reunited with Olivia in a few hours. We chatted over tea about what we wanted and needed to do. The news was on in the background, reporting of a plane crash in Russia which was sobering to listen to.
We had debated driving to a beach farther up the coast, but decided against it. Instead, we chose to work in the sun on the balcony all morning and get as much of our situation analysis completed as possible before heading home. Later, we would go to the beach across from the hotel, and do some shopping.
We worked all morning, until the laptop battery died. We had made arrangements with the hotel for a late check-out and were happy to have the space another few hours.
We went for a long walk on the beach – all the way to the end and back. The Indian Ocean is so incredibly warm – 29*C/84*F – I couldn’t believe it! There are people swimming and playing in it from sun up until sun down although you wouldn’t be able to call it refreshing! We saw a number of people in various attire at the beach; everything from bikinis to full niqabs. The one thing I was disappointed in was the amount of garbage we saw everywhere. We had to be careful we didn’t step on broken glass, bottles, wrappers, etc. There are many small entrepreneurs who have set up shop along the edge of the beach as well. We ran into a Tanzanian whom we had met on our first trip to the beach (he approached us to find out where we were from – obviously we were not local) and chatted with him again. He had spent time in Portland, Oregon, and the west coast of the US. He was interested to know whether we had enjoyed our time in Tanzania and we assured him we had. The people here have been wonderful and friendly. At no time have I felt threatened. Mind you, we’ve been with Tanzanians most of the time, but even when we were walking and exploring on our own, or taking cabs, we felt safe.
After the beach, we took a bajajis (tuk-tuk) to a shopping area called the Slipway to get some souvenirs. I had warned Jim that I am not a shopper, and after seeing me in action, I think he believed me! Although I have no photos from my experience there, I will never forget it. I can only describe it as stalls about the size of a closet, one after another, filled with an assortment of items. As I’ve mentioned before, the temperature was 36*C with high humidity. I found the heat, the smells, the sights, the sounds, and the pressure to buy from each shopkeeper overwhelming. At a number of the shops, the storekeeper would follow me in and try to sell me anything – which I found claustrophobic – especially since I already felt like I was melting. I managed to find something for everyone in my family while Jim found a couple of things for Nadine, then we left.
We went back to the little cafe by our hotel that we had found on our first day in Dar for some supper, however I wasn’t hungry at all due to heat and nerves. We went back to the hotel to repack our suitcases and get ready for our flights, watching a celebration of some sort on the beach, and one final sunset.
Our driver arrived at the hotel slightly ahead of schedule and we headed to the airport, worried about traffic. Luckily, everything went smoothly and we were there before we knew it. (Thank goodness, because we were wearing long pants by this time!) We cleared security immediately and were ready to return to our families!