Today we woke up at 6:30 just because our bodies are used to that by now. The dogs were strewn about on the grass on the outside of our tent, but ‘my’ dog was sleeping at the door of the tent where my feet lie. The other dogs are a bit fickle. They got up to greet Jon when he got out of the tent, but then went away to other parts of the campsite. ‘My’ dog stayed right where he was, knowing that I was going to be back soon. I’ve named him Kili and now look for him whenever I move about the campsite.
We spent an hour and a half doing the rest of the laundry. I washed out of a bucket and Jon rinsed and rang the laundry dry. These clothes really aren’t going to last very long with this kind of washing. Kili lay down right by the laundry facilities, and looked up whenever I left to go get more soap or something. After laundry, we ordered burgers from the kitchen and went out front to catch a taxi. We waited for a few minutes, but the Maasai Camp guard at the front gate assured us that one would be along. A while later, a pickup truck pulled out of the campsite and the Maasai guard asked if they were going into town. They said Yes, so Jon and I climbed into the back of the pickup and rode into town.
Our first stop was the post office to mail a package back home, but the customs office is only open from 8:30-10:00, so we had to lug the box of stuff around until we went back to the camp. We then went to an Internet Cafe called The Patisserie that had some yummy pastries. Yahoo! is having some issues with their website software, so I haven’t been able to upload any webpages for a week and I’m sure our parents are going batty by now for news from us.
The Quest for Reading Materials
After about 2 hours, we grabbed our stuff and walked and walked and walked to the American Express office further down the road to get some cash. Ironically THIS AmEx office isn’t qualified to carry cash, so they couldn’t cash our traveler’s checks or anything. We had to go to a Bureau de Change and got rocked on the exchange rates, but that’s the way the ball bounces sometimes. We also went to a grocery store for some snacks. Then we began our quest for a bookstore, as we’re both dying for something to read. Jon has been foaming at the mouth for newspaper since we got off the plane 3 weeks ago. We have no idea what’s going on in the world anymore. But all the newspaper vendors sell only local papers. There was a man near the market who had a pile of papers and actually had a USA Today on the top. Jon was thrilled, but then saw that it was from yesterday. He said to the man, “Don’t you have today’s paper?” The man looked confused and then laughed and said, “Aahhh… this is Africa my friend!” So Jon bought the International Herald Tribune from yesterday and we were one our way. We also found a guy selling books on the street. Most of them were at least 20 years old, but we don’t really care at this point. One of the books Jon picked up was an overdue library book from Loudon County, VA! Jon bought “The Natural” and I bought “Out of Africa”.
Amar Indian Cuisine
We’d heard that there was a good Indian place down the street so we trekked down there and sat at a table and ordered some beers. It was still a little early for dinner – only 5:30 – and they said that the kitchen would be open at 6:00. So we sat and read until time to order. There was a note on the menu that the food would take a minimum of 45 minutes to make, but we were in no hurry so it was fine. Jon had the “Chili Chicken” and I had the “Chicken Tikka” and they were both very yummy. Yes, we have been in Africa for over 3 weeks and have yet to eat African food. Come to think of it, I don’t really know if there is such a thing as ‘African food’.
After dinner, we walked up the street to the taxi stand. There are no streetlights anywhere in Arusha, which explains why it’s pretty dangerous at night. So we were happy to finally get to the taxi stand and to be in the safety of a car. It didn’t really matter that the driver’s windshield was so dirty that we could barely see out the window.
Back at the campsite, we showered and then sat in the lodge area and read for an hour or so. A few overland tours have shown up since we left, so the campsite is pretty crowded and the lodge is hopping. My “loyal canine” Kili has deserted me for someone who will feed him. I have revoked the name Kili and shall now refer to him only as “smelly dog”, which is what he is. Traitor.