My boss invited me to his place on my first Sunday in Tanzania. He lives across the ferry in Kigamboni, south of the city. So with my on site travel consultant, Elke – a German volunteer working with HIV Aids orphans staying at the same Catholic Sisters guest house – we set off by dala dala (the city minibuses). Its fairly easy to work out where they go – its written on the front (as is where they’ve just come from) and the ‘conductor’ shouts out the destination but you do need to know the name of the place you’re going. Its about 12p (250TSh) for a bus ride in the city, whether your going a couple of blocks or right across town.
The ferry leaves from the city’s main fish market, which is huge and full of exotic seafood. Parrot fish, tuna, boxfish, barracuda, small shark – all the stuff you’d expect to see on a coral reef dive. Suggest you miss out the bit at the back where they do the gutting and whatever – not sure what they were up to but it was making me queasy.
The ferry costs 5p and takes about 10mins to cross the harbour to Kigamboni.
Gama, my boss met us on the other side, following a txt from me on the ferry. Every one seems to have a mobile. Most people have two – to benefit from the same network deals. I suggested making a phone that takes two sims but apparently Samsung beat me to it.
We went to check out a house for me, and the first place was a palace but turned out to be way to expensive at $1000 per month. They are looking to spend about $300-400. But we did get a beer off the landlord.
So we ended up at the beach. There are several ‘private beaches’ that centre around a restaurant, or hotel. You pay to get in but sometimes the entry fee gets you a voucher to use at the bar. The advantage is that you get beach umbrellas and stuff and theres some security – maybe a guy keeping an eye on stuff and moving people on who might otherwise hassle you. Gama’s kids are really sweet and speak amazing English for 4 and 7 year olds. My Swahili is very basic and limited to hello, thanks, you’re welcome, and I can now count up to three, which actually covers me for 113 – my room number.