Friday, July 1, 2016

Dar Es Salaam

As soon as we landed in Dar Es Salaam, Ashley said a quick goodbye to me and headed off to the international part of the airport – a taxi ride away – with Jumana in tow, to make sure she got to her gate and arrived in time for the flight.  I stayed at the domestic terminal to wait for the others and to look for the transport from our Salvation Army hostel in Dar to pick us up. The others arrived, with tales of landing on a tropical Zanzibar for a few minutes before making the last leg of the flight.

Finally, we made contact with the taxis from the hostel, which had been waiting for us at the international airport for an hour before receiving the call that we were at the domestic airport. Then all eight of us – with two pieces of luggage apiece  - squeezed into two taxis.  We still needed to pick up Jumana at the international terminal, so one cab headed there while the other went on to the hostel.  Because phones weren’t connecting in the new city, it took a good half hour to connect with Jumana. But finally, we were on our way.

By this time, it was rush hour and we were in traffic that made Arusha look uncongested.
The Salvation Army “compound” was a fenced-in area near the national stadium. (Soccer, of course!) From the outside, the stadium looks gorgeous! Inside the fence, there are many (50?) little cottages that contain two single beds with mosquito netting draped around them, and an adjoining bathroom. We learned the charge was $25/night for one cottage plus breakfast.  Wow!  And there was a big fan in each room to dissipate the heat (84º F) and coastal humidity. As everyone was tired and ready to go home, we decided not to leave the compound, but instead, to have dinner there. It was good food in a pleasant, large dining room.

The next morning we traipsed back to the big dining room for breakfast. Salvation Army “soldiers” were there this time, dressed crisply in white shirts and black pants or skirts. Unfortunately, this was the biggest insight we gained into the work of the Salvation Army while we were there. But we were surely grateful for the clean, comfortable, and inexpensive housing for our last night.  At !0:00 AM, we again stuffed ourselves into taxis – this time, three vehicles – and rode to the airport, a quick ride in the lighter morning traffic.  The plane left Dar at 1:30 PM for Abu Dhabi.

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