My name is Stephen Boustred and I am from London, England. I am a friend of Geoff's, from his time spent in London, but had not seen him since I was quite young. My studies (of International Development at the University of East Anglia) require me to go abroad to gain work experience, so I am currently in Tanzania, working with an organisation called Cheetah Development. Cheetah is an NGO based in the United States, and they are currently running three projects, with the overall goal of fixing broken value chains in the food market. Broken value chains are dysfunctional or broken links in the chain between production and consumption, in this case in the market for food.
After a long flight from London, via Istanbul, I arrived in Dar Es Salaam on Saturday morning at 2.30am, to be met by Geoff. We went back to his apartment on very empty roads, this is quite rare for Dar Es Salaam as I have later learnt! This is a view from the balcony as the sun is setting:
After a long sleep to recover from the journey, Geoff and I took a taxi to Ubongo, a part of Dar Es Salaam where the coach station could be found. Much to Geoff's alarm, the taxi took a very interesting "short cut" through a construction site, but the driver assured us that we were just 5 minutes away, and we got there in the end! At Ubongo, we bought my coach ticket, which would take me from Dar Es Salaam to Iringa, on Wednesday 26th.
After successfully buying a ticket, Geoff took me to Tinga Tinga, a place famous for its artwork, but we were there for a different reason! Geoff challenged me to buy two dvds for 5000Tsh. Initially this doesn't sound like much of a challenge, but at this location there are 6 or 7 men who sell DVDs and they all approach a potential buyer together! Also, they wanted 5000Tsh for each DVD (this is about £2). To Geoff's surprise I managed to succeed at this challenge, but I didn't have much of a choice in films as these sellers seem to be in a rush and do not see the point in taking time to choose.
Later we went to the Peninsula. This is the richer part of Dar Es Salaam, where there are many American and European Expats. Here we met Geoff's Canadian friend and Colleague Darcey, and Jean who is a student at the Aga Khan University in Dar. Together the four of us drove around the Peninsula before going to Slipway for dinner. Slipway is a small complex which has a market, restaurants, a mall, and beautiful views of the sea and the sunset.
On the Sunday, Geoff and I went to church. This was a very nice experience, including lots of dancing and a mime, performed by the church youth to represent a message from the bible. After Church, we went to Kunduchi Beach, on a reconnaissance mission for Geoff's meeting there on Monday. At Kunduchi Beach we swam in the sea which was very refrershing, here's Geoff doing a James bond impression:
We stopped off for a tasty meal at a beachfront restaurant with a band, which played a large variety of music, and set a relaxing atmosphere to top off the beach experience!
After visiting the beach, Geoff and I went to the local fish market. The fish market could not have been much more different to the beach, and is certainly not set up for tourists!
With the help of an agent we could buy 5 large fish: gutted, washed, and bagged, for about 15000Tsh (£6). We ate two of these fish, with vegetables and rice, for dinner (cooked by Geoff). It was a delicious meal!
Between Monday and Wednesday, Geoff was working during the days, but I was given guided tours around Dar Es Salaam by Darcey's driver, Abdallah, in his Bujajii:
The tours included a trip to another fish market, Dar Es Salaam Museum, Kigamboni Island, and several markets.
All in all, my time in Dar Es Salaam was brilliant and I am now in Iringa, which is quite different (with cold nights and even more expats) but equally great! I will be here for 3 months until my CTA Volunteer Visa runs out, when I plan to travel some more around Tanzania and the surrounding countries. Thank you for taking the time to read my entry in Geoff's blog!