It has been a really long time since I’ve posted a blog, so I apologize! I got busy with safari and my work with Fiesta magazine. I’ve officially crossed over the halfway point, and I now have 6 weeks left in Africa. It seems amazing to me that I’ve been here for almost 2 months already. Time moves strangely here; the day goes by at an absolute crawl (in a good way, you feel like you have all the time in the world), but before you know it a whole week of slow days has passed. I can tell already that I will be sad to leave this amazing place.
Up to now, my safari has been the most incredible experience I think I have ever had. We went to three places: Serengeti, N’Gorogoro Crater and Lake Manyara. The goal when you go on safari is to see the Big Five, which consists of lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard. I’m still in awe that we somehow managed to get a really good sighting of all of these animals. Along with the Big Five we saw zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, hyenas, antelopes and a cheetah that was VERY far in the distance. Seeing the animals was life-changing in itself (being 8 feet away from an elephant is a once in a lifetime happenstance), but I also fell in love with the scenery. The Serengeti is beautiful, and the vastest stretch of land I have encountered. We camped overnight in the middle of the Serengeti, which got terrifying in the moments when you heard strange noises outside your tent, as well as so frustratingly cold I had to tie a t-shirt around my head. I did not expect that kind of cold from Africa, but the nights we spent in Karatu in between parks we were given wool blankets for our beds and we needed them. Now people who know me know that I am not the most outdoorsy type of person. I can appreciate the beauty of nature as much as the next person, but I love the city. Despite all of this, I managed to fall in love with the Serengeti. Serengeti comes from a Masai word meaning “endless plain,” and I don’t think I’ve ever come across a more accurate meaning for a word. The Serengeti is endless. It looks like a grass ocean, and like the ocean, it contains so many hidden animals it’s almost impossible to think about. It has officially moved to #2 on my top three favourite places in the world (#1 – New York City, #2 – Serengeti, #3 – Iceland).
After my safari I had a night in Moshi, which I spent with Esther. We went to the Union Cafe and managed to get a milkshake and a pizza with real cheese! The highlight of my night in Moshi was definitely our cab driver. In a small town like Moshi, the best way to get a cab is to have the driver’s phone number. Our cab driver was named Alfred, and Esther had called him a number of times before, and he got to know us very well. On seeing us he always said “Hello my daughters!” When we told him we were headed back to Dar, he got out of the car to give us each a hug and a “proper goodbye.” People are amazing. We come in and out of each other’s lives constantly; human interaction is inevitable in life. Very few people that wander into your life make an impact, and even fewer stick around for long. When Alfred hugged us goodbye I think I realized how precious it is to have someone touch your life, even in the smallest way. There are so many people here at the AIT house, but I have made some very good friends from all 4 corners of the earth. The opportunity to meet this many people and learn from them and their experiences would make this trip worth it if every other aspect of it was terrible (which it isn’t). I don’t know why I was surprised that we all got along so well. We’re all people, just coming from different backgrounds. Through this experience I feel connected to the entire world, as if every person I meet here somehow gives me a connection to where they come from, and these connections have definitely solidified what I have come to realize is a burning passion to see other countries and experience everything I can while I’m still on this earth.