Karibu sana rafiki yangu! (Welcome my friends!)
My name is Dee and I will be the program leader for Iringa, Tanzania session two! All ten girls and I have just arrived in Iringa after a long journey. Our journey (safari in Kiswahili) began together with flights from Washington, D.C. to Dubai and then from Dubai to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Below is a picture of the girls right before we went through security in D.C.
When we landed in Dar es Salaam we stayed at the Salvation Army and then woke up very early today to get on the bus at 5:00am.
The bus ride to Iringa (the home of the Empowering Girls through Sports Program) was twelve hours and although the girls and I were running on very little sleep, we really enjoyed ourselved! Today the particpants all had Tanzanian breakfast for the first time- they tried maandazi (kind of like a donut), chapati (like a tortilla but WAY better), mkate (bread), and chai (tea), and kahawa (coffee). They really liked it!
Our bus ride also consisted of lots of ice breakers and getting to know you games. Below are some pictures of the girls tossing around our "Question Beach Ball!" Essentially, you throw the ball to someone else in the group and whatever question their right thumb lands on they have to answer. It was a really great way for us to begin to get to know each other and it really helped the time to pass. We were also so excited and taken away by the landscapes of Tanzania that we experienced on our long journey. We passed through Mikumi National Park and saw zebras, giraffes, and baboons (a great sneak peek to the safari we will be going on in Ruaha National Park about two weeks from now). We also passed by beautiful mountains, rolling hills, lush green land, and the many bright colors of the vitenge (essentially pieces of fabric that women in Tanzania wrap around themselves- like a skirt) and other clothing of the people we passed by on the road.
Tonight the girls are staying at their homestays for the first time and tomorrow morning will be Orientation! Everyone is experiencing a range of emotions but overall are super excited to finally be here in Iringa!
Over the next few days we will be having previews of the different members of our group and the goals that they hold for the trip overall!
Here are a few from today to get you started from Hayley, Harper, Lindsay, and Anna!
Tutaonana kesho (see you tomorrow)!