From Tanzania, With Love: Part 3

13 Sep

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So we’re almost done! This is week three out of four in my study abroad recap. We’re reaching the home-stretch! You can read parts one and two here and here. As always, you can view the entire set of photos from Tanzania here.

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The beginning of the week was packed. We spent one of the days on a whirlwind field trip through the city of Bukoba. But since Bukoba was four (or more, I don’t remember) hours away, we got to make a few stops on the way. First stop: baby orphanage. Look at them potty training! Aww!!  We got to play with babies and learn about the adoption situation in Tanzania. It was a very informative visit and one of the highlights of my trip, for sure.

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After that, our guide Innocent led us to a forest found on the side of the road. He found an unassuming clearing to pass through and we found ourselves surrounded by greenery. My friend Lita described them as reminiscent of “Twilight Woods”, but since I’ve never read or seen Twilight, I’m going to have to take her word for it. Either way, it was gorgeous! We didn’t have any idea where Innocent was leading us, other than his assurances that it would be epic (my words, not his). After going around in circles for a little while – and I’m not sure how intentional that was – we ended up finding this:

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A waterfall! This picture doesn’t really do it justice, it was absolutely magnificent in person. Apparently we weren’t allowed to jump into the water, but I found myself really wanting to. After the waterfall, we set off to Bukoba to do some shopping. Innocent apparently had other things in mind, so we rushed through Bukoba without doing a significant amount of haggling, although I wasn’t really interested in purchasing sardines or men’s shoes anyway. We loaded up into the Land Rover and headed off to the beach!

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Okay, maybe not a beach in the traditional sense with a sandy coast, but seeing the water crash against the rocks while we peered across the expanse of Lake Victoria was still exciting. Besides, we’d end up on a sandy coast later that day. This particular coast was situated near a small church where we paid a small fee to stand on the rocks and take photographs.

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One of said photographs. Those are my friends Ari and Lita, reminding everyone where we were. Haha!

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After that, Innocent took us on a whirlwind trip of the city, where we got to stop by and see various sights, one of which was this charming hotel in Bukoba. Isn’t the scenery lovely? After this, we took the journey back to Karagwe, to prepare for another long day we had ahead.

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After being completely exhausted from our tour of Bukoba, we woke up early to attend the wedding of Anne and Brighton (pictured above at the reception). I had never been to a traditional African wedding, so I was unprepared for the scale and length of the ceremony, but in many ways, this ceremony wasn’t traditional at all. Anne is a missionary from Denmark and Brighton is a Tanzanian minister. The wedding fused both of their cultures. One example: the wedding ceremony included scripture read in Kiswahili, English, Danish AND German! An interpreter also translated of the various wedding speeches during the reception into either Kiswahili or English. This caused some interesting moments when the bride used euphemisms and expressions that were hard to translate, such as, “I could see his eyes smiling”.

One thing I clearly remember? It was LONG. The actual ceremony started at 10:30 in a small church in Kayanga, after which was the wedding procession at about noon. From there, we went straight to the reception area, where we didn’t leave until almost 8:00pm! While it was an interesting experience, it was a test of my endurance for sure. In fact, we ended up leaving early – there were members of our group that were participating in the choir and didn’t make it home until past nine, but said the festivities were still going strong. I wish them the best of luck!

And that concludes my third week in Tanzania! Stay tuned for the last installment next Monday!

xoxo,

Tara

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