Wednesday, June 30, 2010

First of probably many delays

Today was a bit of a disappointment. We were supposed to have our big meeting with everyone to get the project going. However, this morning, Bruno told us that he called the village chairperson who is apparently out of town until tomorrow – maybe.

We also found out that the other people we were supposed to meet with were out of town as well. On Monday, when we initially met with the chairperson, we asked if there was anything we needed to do before the meeting on Wednesday (today), but he said No. This was really out of our hands, and it is a little disappointing.

Instead, today was spent enjoying African life. We read, walked around the village, took some pictures, were asked for money and candy, and relaxed. Currently, most days seem to be spent doing this. I’m on my second book and already more than halfway done. But, I’ve been doing so much reading, I’m getting to the point of not wanting to read anymore. I fill that time with Sudoku or some other mindless task.

Anyway, we’re hoping that Thursday will be more fruitful than today.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Duck-Chicken and Lions!

Here's Monica in Mandera, waiting for our connecting bus to Saadani.

(I apologize that I was unsuccessful at posting more pictures. Our internet connection is not good at all)

Greetings Readers!

I’m going to break this up into three sections. If it works out, I might keep doing it!

1: Something Interesting from what I’m reading:

I’m currently reading Pathologies of Power by Dr. Paul Farmer, a role model of mine. In the book he quotes Chilean theologian Pablo Richard, noting the fall of the Berlin Wall:

“We are aware that another gigantic wall is being constructed in the Third World, to hide the reality of the poor majorities. A wall between the rich and poor is being built, so that poverty does not annoy the powerful and the poor are obliged to die in the silence of history.”

2: Project Progress

There wasn’t much for Monica and I to do today, as the first big meeting with the proper participants is scheduled for tomorrow. We had decided to have a beach day today, but unfortunately the weather didn’t allow it. I was even going to go around and take a bunch of pictures of the village to post on the blog. I didn’t want to get my camera wet, though. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll get that done for you all. Thanks for being patient!

3: Personal Experiences and Reflection: Lions?

Last night, Monica and I decided to head into the village to watch mpira (soccer) on one of two TVs running in town. Both TVs run on generators. At one, the service is provided for free by the Tourism Office. The other is somewhat of a local movie theatre, which charges a small admission fee to pay for operating costs. The game was Brazil vs. Chile. The vast majority of the people under the thatched hut were cheering for Brazil. Within the first half of the game Chile’s fate was practically sealed when Brazil made its second goal to Chile’s zero. Monica and I were getting tired so we decided to head back to our little cabana. Our ‘landlord’ insisted that he walk us back. He explained, “there are many good people, but there are also some bad people.” True enough, but that was only half the reason he wanted escort us. When we got to the edge of the village, at which point we still have about 300 meters to walk, he explained it’s better not to walk this stretch alone. “Thieves, out here?” I thought to myself. He then told us that on a couple occasions he has encountered lions walking between the bush and the beach! And I thought he was just being hospitable by escorting us home. That explains why the elderly guard that paces the area where we stay carries a bow and arrow. Exciting! (I think so, anyway…) I looked at Monica and joked, “Now I kinda want to see one!” She wasn’t half as amused as I was.

Oh! There’s a very very strange looking bird in this village. It looks as if it’s a hybrid of a chicken and a duck. I’ve added a picture of it above. Only recently did we find out it’s actually a type of goose! Odd.

That's all for today! Feel free to post comments, questions, or concerns! We like to hear them! Seriously!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Progress and Bao

Bao, like the bow of a boat. But that’s not the important part.

This morning, we met with the Village Chairman. Bruno, our “landlord” if you will, was our interpreter. The meeting very short, but productive. We explained why we were in the village and how much money we had available to help the village relieve it’s water crisis. He was receptive and happy to hear that we were there to help. The next step is a meeting the chairman is arranging on Wednesday between the village executives, the Tanapa staff, the Saadani Safari Lodge, and us.

Obviously, Logan and I are very inexperienced with this sort of thing, which means that we are learning a lot. One of the things that we have learned is that there is a lot that goes into a project like this, and we are just one player of many. While there are new challenges waiting around every corner, we are learning that resilience, flexibility, and determination can overcome most any obstacle. While that may sound corny and a bit cliché, it’s true.

We charge our computers at the Tanapa office during the day, and this evening, we went to fetch them. On our way there, we ran into many people, some of which were play Bao. They told us to come play with them, but we had to go to the Tanapa office first. After picking up the computers, we checked the score of the Netherlands – Slovakia game (1-0 at the time) and went to play Bao. Bao is mancala, or rather super mancala. Instead of the two rows, there are four, and no end slot for the rocks. The rules are also a little different as well. These old men were very impressive with their Bao skills. At times when they had three rocks left in their hand, they would flick their wrists, letting the rocks fly to the next three consecutive slots. After watching them for one game (while trying desperately to figure out their seemingly erratic and non-consistent game play), Logan sat down. While he didn’t choose which rocks and some of his turns were made for him, he came out victorious after his first match. Then, it was my turn. After watching the first two games, I had a pretty good handle on the rules and was able to play without too much instruction. (Remember, that we hardly speak Swahili and they hardly speak English so much of the instruction was pointing and gesturing.) I, too, emerged victorious. But they were probably just letting the wazungus win the first time around. They invited us back tomorrow evening for another round.

Afterwards we walked back to our cabana enjoying the sunset over the rest of Africa to the west.

One thing that has been very difficult for me on this trip is the maintenance of my hair. While it may sound superficial and petty, it is a constant source of agony for me. After being in Senegal, I swore that I was going to cut my hair before going overseas for any extended period of time, but now it’s actually worse. When we were in Dar, I bought super cheap shampoo and conditioner because I needed it to deal with my long hair. Like the genius I am, I left it with our host family. To wash my hair I am currently using a bar of soap and leave-in conditioner after I get out of the shower. Even with the leave-in conditioner it is a nightmare to brush my hair. Oh, yeah, and we’re taking bucket showers. I have no problem with bucket showers, it just takes this whole my-hair-is-a-pain thing to a whole new level. As I write this, Logan condescendingly uses the most popular phrase of Swahili: pole (pronounced poh-lay) which means: I’m sorry. When used condescendingly it has the sarcastic tone of “Oh, your life is so difficult.”

We shaved his head before leaving so he could avoid this problem. >:|

The first step

For the past couple of days, we have been hanging out at the Tanapa office (TAnazania NAtional PArks – In charge of tourism) to talk to the people in charge. As we mentioned before, our primary contact has been gone, and supposedly, she will be returning today (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday). For two days we fruitlessly waited at the Tanapa office, so we decided to send an email to the people we wished to meet with, which spurred a response.

Within hours, we were called to the office where they began questioning us. The current staff at the office doesn’t know much about our project because they hadn’t been fully informed. However, the village knew we were coming and had given us a letter of support about 4 months ago. So, the Tanapa staff had no idea why we were here, and were a little surprised that we hadn’t met with the village leaders yet. This made me a little frustrated because we had been trying to talk to them for the past two days to get information about who the village leaders were and to arrange a meeting.

While talking to the Tanapa officials about why we were there and explained our project and plan, they started to tell us about the water situation in the village. A few years ago, a survey was done to look for water near the village, and that there is even a water committee in the community that is continually trying to address the issue of water.

It’s turns out that there was a community meeting going on at that time near the primary school (100 yards from the Tanapa office), so they brought us over there and introduced us to the village executive officer and the village leader. They told us that they would come get us in the morning. So, currently, we’re sitting on the porch to our cabana waiting to be picked up to go into town and meet with the village leaders about the project.

The Tanapa officials told us some interesting things about the local village. Apparently, the community meeting they were having was to check on status of the projects. The Tanzanian government gives money to the village for small projects, and it is the job of the community to check up on the projects periodically to see the progress. These projects include small restaurants, small businesses, or fishing.

So, we’ve made a small amount of progress, and currently, the project altogether is appearing very daunting, but we will know more after our meeting with the village leaders.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Intro to Saadani

Hello Everyone!

This blog post is going to be about yesterday’s events. In the morning, we woke up and realized that our temporary guesthouse was just 50 yards from the Indian Ocean! One interesting thing was the tide. It was amazing how far out the tide was in the morning. It was about 100 meters from the shore! After walking around on the beach for a while, we decided to check out the village, its people, and the water situation. We walked two kilometers along the beach from the guesthouse to the village and went to the tourism office to meet some of our contacts there. Grace Lobora, the warden of Saadani National Park, is our main contact there, but she is away for a couple days. Instead, we spoke with two other tourism officials there. Their names were Mr. Pantaleo and Salehe. We talked for a long time about the many problems facing the village, mainly a lack of access to clean water and education.

This is the water situation: Nearby, an old windmill used to pump water into the village. Some time ago the well went saline and has since broken down. Now, the villagers take their bikes to a nearby river, which currently runs slightly below the sand on the riverbed. There, they dig about a meter into the sand and use buckets to fill old gas cans, which they strap to their bicycles and ride back to town. Our friends at the tourism office say that there is a lot of water-bourne disease in the village due to this. I promise to include pictures of these processes as soon as I can.

While speaking with Mr. Pantaleo, we picked up on some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that the water table around the village itself is actually very deep. He told us it is about 300 meters. We may have to go a kilometer further inland of the current pump. There, the water table supposedly sits at 100 meters. There we might place the borehole and an electric pump, powered by the generator at the tourism office. The water will be run to the village via a pipe to provide water to the already existing fountains placed around the town. Are you thinking, “do they have enough money for that?” The answer is: no! But wait!!! Here comes the good news: The Ministry of Water in Tanzania has budgeted about 10,000 US dollars for the tourist office to provide the villagers and tourism office with a clean source of water. Also, there is a private tourist lodge nearby that has made significant contributions to the village in the past and is likely to participate in this project as well. After combining these funds, we should have the money to complete this project.

Currently, Monica and I are busying ourselves with setting up meetings with the key players of this project: Village leaders, TANAPA (the tourist office), Saadani Safari Lodge, and ourselves. We must work very very quickly to finish this project in time, but we are confident that we will make it happen.

To switch gears a little bit: We moved from the tourist guesthouse to one that is locally owned. Our ‘landlord’s’ name is Bruno. It’s a beautiful little cabana about a seven-minute walk south of the village. I never imagined we’d be staying at such a peaceful little place while we are here, while still staying within our budget. The cabana does not have electricity or water, but we have buckets to take a shower with (the same water from the river) and candles and a kerosene lamp for the night. They are giving us a very significant discount to show their appreciation for what we are trying to do here.

The weather is warm, and Tanzania is just coming out of the rainy season, so it rains a little almost every day. Some times it is a downpour and at other times just a light sprinkle. I have met many of the old friends from the last time I was here, and it has been good.

When we get organized, we will put up pictures.

That is all for today. Until next time!

Journey to Saadani

Wow… what a day that was. On Thursday, we arrived at the bus station-area to find a bus to go to Saadani. We had a lot of items with us because we were ready to spend the next month in a village with limited resources. When we arrived, some local entrepreneurs saw the wazungus and knew they could make a buck or two, so they decided to graciously help us. (If you can’t tell, I’ll make it very plan – I’m being a little bit sarcastic right now.) Their help caused quite the headache, and they were insulted when we didn’t trust them. After about an hour with their assistance, we over paid for a bus ticket to a small village that was not Saadani.

When we arrived at the village, motorcycles offered to take us the remaining 30 kilometers. We would’ve had to hire three – not worth it. But the assured us that the bus to Saadani was coming, so we sat there and waited. A few hours later, we were kind of nervous, so Logan, in his broken Swahili asked about the bus again. They told us it would come at 11. Logan asked if they meant 11 PM (approximately 6 hours later) – they said: “No, in 30 min.” It was 4:30 pm.
AND THEN Logan remembered that the interior of Tanzania has it’s own time zone that isn’t really recorded. They are 6 hours slower than the cities and the coast. He remembered learning about this from his Peace Corps Swahili book. They start time when the sun rises. So, 11 for them, was 5 for us. Sure enough 10 minutes after 5, the bus showed up, and we ssssqqqquuueeeeeezzzeeeddd (squeezed) on to the bus. There were A LOT of people on that bus.

Night is starting to fall and Logan and I are both getting kind of nervous about trying to find the guest house with all of our bags in the dark in Saadani, where there is no electricity. However, before we get there, we have to enter the national park. We pull up to a gate, and it doesn’t appear as if anyone is around. The men all get off the bus, and one runs up to the gate house. Fortunately, there is a man sleeping inside, and he comes out to the bus with his gun. He walks around to the other side where Logan is sitting, asks his name, and then asks him to go inside. It turns out, the Saadani National Park staff were expecting us, so we had to register.
Finally, we’re on our way to the village. We are driving for about 10 minutes, and start going down a little hill, when all of a sudden, the bus stops, and everyone is staring at a truck that is blocking the road.

There is a 18-wheeler that had apparently been trying to go up the hill we were going down, but failed, went backwards and jackknifed, slamming the bag of the chassis into the bank on one side of the road, and the from on the other. There was no way our rickety bus was going to be able to get around.

Now, here comes the other problem. Our contact in Saadani is on vacation, and we don’t have the phone number to her coworker. We end up calling our contact while on vacation in Arusha, and she calls her coworker and then the coworker calls us back. By the time all of this happens, there is another park official that Logan has found, and he is going to take us in his car the rest of the way.

While sitting in the truck, Logan and I are talking about how ridiculous the entire day has been between paying too much for bus tickets, sitting in a village not knowing if we’re going to get on our bus, to the truck blocking the road to Saadani. I told Logan that this would make a good story when we returned home. And Logan said: And then a bunch of elephants stampeded across the road while we were driving. To which I responded: At this point, that wouldn’t be too far from the truth. We didn’t get elephants, but we did see about a dozen giraffes right before we got to the village, which was very cool.

We decided to stay in the Tanzania National Park guest house for the first night. When we arrived, we realized that we had eaten neither lunch nor dinner. We had been periodically snacking throughout the day, but we had been too stressed to realize how little we had eaten.
This is when I learned a valuable lesson: Do not give me a Leatherman and a can of tuna when I’m hungry and lack the knowledge of how to use a Leatherman. That was the most delicious can of tuna I have probably ever eaten. Then we went to bed.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Almost Ready!


We’ve been in Dar es Salaam for a couple days now, making preparations for Saadani and getting acclimated. We have decided to leave Dar for Saadani on Thursday the 24th.
When we first got here, we were extremely tired and extremely jet-lagged, but now, we’re staying awake past 8 pm, which is an accomplishment. The first couple days we hung out with the host family, visited the university and walked around the neighborhood area getting situated.

Here, in Dar, EVERYONE has been watching the World Cup. Naturally, we have been too and got quite into it. One of the days, we were taking a dala dala (public transport – minibus) from campus to somewhere else and we met another mzungu (foreigner). We started talking, and she invited us to watch the football (or soccer) game with her and some of her friends of the US vs Slovenia at a bar. We watched the game, and were bummed to see the US down by two, but then came back! We scored three goals, but on of the ref’s didn’t count the last goal, some bogus foul or something. The ref never explained it and the US didn’t win. However, that ref was let go of from reff-ing more games.

We’ve also been doing some touring around the area on our own savings:

On Saturday, we went to a museum and the city center of Dar. We visited the fish market and walked around. We had an INSANE lunch too. We went to one of the little restaurants that don’t actually have menus, and while we couldn’t fully understand the waitresses (half of whom appeared to be drunk – we saw them drinking beer and stumbling around, so this is not an unfounded claim), we knew that they were arguing over how much to charge the wazungos (foreigners).

On Sunday, we went to Makumbusho, or the Village Museum, for a world music festival. We were a bit disappointed by the first bands, but they got infinitely better as the night went on, and we even got up to dance during the reggae band.

On Monday, we made an attempt to go to an island off the coast that is north of the city, but we got a bit of a late start on the day, and we ended up staying on the beach at the White Sands hotel.

Today and tomorrow, we will be finishing our preparations for the village, and tonight we are going to watch the France vs South Africa game. Tomorrow the US will be playing Algeria, and on Thursday, we will finally make the trek to the village. We are excited to get the project going, and they are anticipating our arrival in the village.

Later, we’ll post some photos of our adventures around Dar from the last few days. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The journey to Dar

Okay, time for a real post!

We left Rapid City, flew to Denver, then Houston and caught a red eye to Amsterdam. In Amsterdam, we had a 12 hour layover, so we went and explored the city a little bit. Don’t worry, we didn’t go to a coffee shop. We did, however, walk to Dam Plaza, saw the free parts of the Amsterdam Historical Museum, and went to the Rijksmuseum. Although, I think we only saw a fraction of it, because it looked like the rest of the building was under construction. After that we went to the Van Gogh museum.

At this point, extremely jet-lagged, we ended up laying on the grass outside of the Van Gogh museum for 30 minutes or so, to rejuvenate. We walked back to the central station and went to a bar in the airport and had a Heineken from the tap. This is important because Heineken is from originally from Amsterdam!

Monica – As I travel, I like to do quirky things like: Turkish delights in Turkey, eat a Frankfurter in Frankfurt, fish and chips in England, New York Cheesecake in New York, and couscous in Morocco! Now, I’ve had a Heineken in Amsterdam.

I, Monica, slept on the floor of the Amsterdam airport because I was so tired. We landed in Nairobi at 6 am-ish. And found bus tickets that left around 830 am-ish. Unfortunately, we basically bought tickets from “scalpers” if you will, and for the 6 hour bus ride from Nairobi to Arusha (in Tanzania), we were stuck in the crappy little fold-out seats in the middle aisle. :|

In Arusha, a bunch of people got off, so we switched to some real seats. We arrived in Moshi, and found a hotel to stay the night in. We went to bed around 715 pm, and woke up at 7 am the next day. Moshi is at the base of Kilimanjaro, but it was cloudy, so I only go to see the base, and the tiptop that was above the clouds. The next morning, we bought real bus tickets with real seats and made the 8 hour drive the Dar.

When we arrived at the bus stop, Logan told me that it would cost 7000 Tanzanian Shillings (TSH) to get from the bus station to the house. The first taxi driver was trying to get Logan for 10,000 TSH. Logan got off the bus first to watch for our bags being taken off, and I was one of the last people to get off the bus. When I got off, a man asked me if I needed a taxi, I said yes, and asked how much. He immediately said 7000, so I told him we’d got with him. When I told Logan, the other taxi driver didn’t look to happy, but he reluctantly came down to 7000.

Next, we came to the host-family Logan had last time he was here, and we were welcomed in to the house. After a snack, I crashed until dinner. After dinner, I slept all night till the morning.

I think we’re definitely done with jet-lag right now, but the Malaria pills are giving me crazy dreams! Also, I have a siesta every day. That’s probably from caffeine withdrawals though.

Tomorrow, we’ll write more about being in Dar and our plans for the next week.

PS. We now have the USB internet thingy so we'll have more access to internet now.

Friday, June 18, 2010

We're in Dar!

After hours upon hours of travel, we're finally in Dar es Salaam! I'll put some pictures of our travel time up so you can see us at different locations along the way. This will be another short post, but we promise to give you something with a little more meat very very soon.

Here we are, on the plane in Rapid City!

Here we are in Amsterdam during our 12 hour layover.

Here is Monica, on the bus from Nairobi to Moshi.

Here is the view from our hotel in Moshi. Notice Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background!

Here we are on the bus from Moshi to Dar es Salaam.

Here is the view from the bus.

Here is Monica at the Hill Park Restaurant. It's one of my favorite places to get a drink at the University of Dar es Salaam.

Here is Monica at our host family's dinner table. Looks like breakfast time. Yum!

That's it for now! We promise we'll give you some more info soon!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Hello Everyone!

Our internet is limited and slow (took about 10 minutes to check email), but we're in Dar es Salaam. It's sunny and warm, and we're with the host family. We're working on getting wireless internet to our computers via one of those little USB thingys. After that, we'll write more about the LOOONNNNGGGG journey to Dar from Rapid. Especially the bus part from Nairobi to Dar. We'll write more later. :D

PS. We saw baby monkeys today on the University campus!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Hello All!!

Monica and I are currently sitting in the Denver International Airport, waiting for our flight to Houston. We've got a bit of a layover so I thought I'd put in a short post. This morning, we woke up at 5:30 am to get to the airport by 6:30. Turns out that if we were 15 minutes later, they wouldn't have let us on the plane, due to more strict regulations for international flights. Mom dropped us off and it was a sad parting. We'll be back in a few months though, so it's ok. Well, we have 12 hours in Amsterdam after Houston so Monica and I are going to plan out out side-vacation!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

24 hour countdown!

Tomorrow morning, at 545 AM Mountain time, our alarm clocks will beep and buzz, waking us up for the first day of our big adventure.
Today, we're making the final preparations. One of these preparations: Logan's Hair. :)

The first picture is with only the top cut off.. needless to say, I thought it was hilarious.

And the end result...

Other things we're working on are laundry, last minute packing, and cleaning up our mess downstairs in the Stuck residence. (It was super messy because not only are we packing for Tz, but we're also packing for the apartment in the fall in Mpls.)

Tonight, Terri is taking both Logan and myself out to dinner - The last supper, if you will.

So, here is the plan for tomorrow. We're going to be flying from Rapid City to Denver, Denver to Houston, Houston to Amsterdam, then FINALLY Amsterdam to Nairobi, Kenya. (You might be thinking: Wait a sec, they're going to TANZANIA, not KENYA. What is this?) Well, we saved $1000 on tickets by flying to Nairobi, and we'll be taking the bus down to Dar es Salaam. We should get to Dar sometime on Tuesday night or Wednesday. In the meantime, internet will be limited. Do not be alarmed if we do not post anything. I told my dad we got kidnapped if I don't call him for a week. But, I don't anticipate that happening. :)

When we get into Dar, we'll be staying with Logan's host family near the University of Dar es Salaam. Logan had a homestay with them in 2008 during his ACM program, and they are opening their home to us for the week that we are in Dar making some final preparations.

Today is a day of lasts for the next couple months: Last hot shower for a while (if Tz is anything like Senegal, then definitely last hot shower for a while), last cup of coffee with soy milk (probably not a lot of soy in Tz - I drink soy not to be pretentious, but because I have a milk allergy), last cloudy day (weather in Rapid City hasn't been too fantastic), and other lasts that I probably haven't realized yet.

That's all for now, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Saadani 2008

Hi everyone! This is my (Logan) first post. Thank you all so much for your support and for watching our blog.

For my first post I thought I'd talk a little about the first time I visited Saadani Village. It was in the Fall semester of 2008 with an academic, study abroad program called ACM Tanzania. Our group spent a lot of time at the University of Dar es Salaam and in National Parks in the north. We also spent a month doing research at a rural hospital near the Ngorongoro Crater.

Sometime in the middle of the program, two others and I decided to take a week and visit Saadani National Park. At fist we camped in a tent about a half a mile out of the village. We later moved into the town and stayed at the local guest house, where we will most likely stay during the Saadani Water Project. During my time there I grew very attached to the village, particularly the school children. One night, we were invited to Siri's (a local) home for dinner. He was a very friendly man. Inspirational, in fact. Siri was a fisherman by trade and he would get up every day at 4 AM to pull in the shrimp nets and spend the rest of the day fishing to provide his family with food to eat. Even so, his family prepared a wonderful meal for us which filled our stomachs to the brim.

The children in the village were also very charming. One day, we played a soccer match with all the boys at the school. I hope the teachers didn't mind because as soon as we showed up at the school all the kids darted out of the classroom and into the field. My friends and I made good friends with four of the boys, in particular. They were Juma, Winjuma, Hamisi, and to my shame I cannot remember the name of the fourth. They became our entourage for the rest of the time that we were there.

By the time we had to return to Dar es Salaam, we had made many friends. While I had grown very attached to the people there, I also developed a deep concern for their well being. Many things troubled me during my stay there: their water was dirty; their doctor was gone for a month; the school was unfinished and falling apart; there was no electricity; etc, etc. These observations compelled me to make a promise to myself that I would return there one day to try my best to make a difference in their lives. That's just what Monica and I are doing. But we aren't just doing it to satisfy some guilt and then call it good and turn our backs. For me, this is just the beginning.

Whew, it's bed time so I'll leave it at that for tonight. :) Above I've posted a picture of Siri, a picture of myself and some of the boys at the school, and a picture of the village.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, June 4, 2010

A few pictures

Logan took these photos the last time he was in Sadaani. Logan was there in the Fall of 2008 for a visit.

An update on our preparations: Yesterday, we went to Safeway during Lunch and we happened to check the school section, and sure enough, chalk and frisbees were super cheap. We bought 6 boxes of chalk to give to the teachers (both white AND colored) and a few more frisbees. In addition to bringing some footballs (soccer balls) to the kids in Sadaani, we're going to teach them how to play frisbee. Logan is convinced that the kids will love frisbee. I sure hope so too.

We went to Target and Scheels two days ago to get ready for the camping part. We bought a mosquito net, Dr. Bronner's Soap (environmentally friendly), a head lamp, and some other items. We're almost ready to go, we're getting excited!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

T - 13 Days

It's June 1st today, and we're in the final leg of preparations for Tanzania. Logan has been printing off photos to bring to his friends and host family from the last time he was in Tanzania (Fall 08). We wanted to start the blog early to discuss the preparations we've been going through to get ready for this.

We've been in contact with the villagers and drillers throughout the country. Logan's host family is expecting to see us as soon as we make it to Dar Es Salaam. We're really excited.

We've already gotten all of our shots for going over. Logan has one more in the rabies vaccination series to get, and I have to pick up a couple of prescriptions from the pharmacy. This time, when I went to the doctor to get my check up, I walked in, sat down, and my doctor looked at me and said: "Well, all we need to get you is malaria and cipro." It was the first time I've ever been all caught up on vaccinations for traveling overseas. It made me feel special because it means that I'm starting to move in the to the frequent traveler category.

Tomorrow, we'll post some pictures from the last time that Logan visited the village. Until then, here is our current itinerary, even though it is continually changed by the airlines:

Rapid City to Denver
Flight DetailsSunday, Jun 13, 2010 at 7:29 AM
United AirlinesFlight Number: UA6767
From: (RAP) Rapid City SD, USADepart: 7:29 AM
To: (DEN) Denver CO, USAArrive: 8:40 AM
Status: CONFIRMEDClass: Coach
Equipment: CRJ-Canadair Regional JetSeats: 02D, 02C
Denver to Amsterdam
Flight DetailsSunday, Jun 13, 2010 at 11:25 AM
Continental AirlinesFlight Number: CO0058
From: (DEN) Denver CO, USADepart: 11:25 AM
To: (AMS) Amsterdam, NetherlandsArrive: 8:20 AM
Status: CONFIRMEDClass: Coach
Equipment: Boeing 767-400 JetSeats: 30E, 34L, 30F, 36L
Amsterdam to Nairobi
Flight DetailsMonday, Jun 14, 2010 at 8:40 PM
Kenya AirwaysFlight Number: KQ0117
From: (AMS) Amsterdam, NetherlandsDepart: 8:40 PM
To: (NBO) Nairobi Kenyatta, KenyaArrive: 6:15 AM
Status: CONFIRMEDClass: Coach
Equipment: Boeing 777 JetSeats: 14B, 14A