The Spirit of Tanzania

Good evening y’all!  I am writing this from the future (just kidding, but we are eight hours ahead.)

Today Dr. Singh and I spent the day preparing and finalizing the workshops for the week.  We did manage to get some free time to walk around town.  We visited a local restaurant and had lunch there.  Simon was our waiter and he was very funny.  There was a fellow American university student in the café and he asked us why the student wasn’t in a tie and collared white shirt.  We laughed and explained to him that the college culture in the US is relaxed.  So maybe the group coming after us should dress very business professional and visit him :).

Well, as promised last night I am going to share the stalled taxi story.

This happened Friday night after we arrived in Tanzania.  We were tired and were looking for a taxi to the hotel we were staying in for the night.  Now, I will say that Dr. Singh is a great barterer.  She dropped the price down from $50 USD to $25 with both a ride to the hotel and an AM pickup.

We got into the cab and soon after we left the airport the driver pulls into a closed gas station. (Side note: my mother is Guatemalan and she put the fear of God in me in regards to cab drivers in foreign countries.)  I did get a little paranoid and I craned my neck to ensure that the needle was on “E”, and it was.  But, the gas station was closed and he drove away.

10 minutes down the road the car starts stalling.  At first I did not notice because I am amazed at how organized traffic is and there are no stop signs and no stop lights to direct the traffic flow.  I did notice when the driver keeps turning the key but the enigine will not turn.  This goes on for about a minute but it feels like a good 20 minutes because cars are honking and I’m sweating!

The driver unlocks the doors and gets out.  At this point I’m worried because it’s dark, I don’t know the language, and I don’t know the emergency services number.  But, the driver starts yelling and a group of about 4 young men start pushing the cab.  Thankfully the gas station was about 1/4 mile away.  We get there safe thanks be to the wonderful pedestrians.  We all have a good laugh and make it to the hotel to rest for the night.

The willingness of the people to help and not be bystanders was a warm welcome indeed.  I feel lucky and blessed to be here and I cannot wait to hit the ground running tomorrow.

Talk to y’all  soon,




  1. Hi Marycela, that would be a bit scary and am glad it turned out well. I can assure you, the group following you which includes me, will not be wearing business attire, but let us know what restaurant you had lunch in, and I’ll be sure to put a bug in there ear that we must visit Simon. Was the taxi issue in Darr Es Salam? How is the weather? Barb

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