Karibu tena everyone!
It’s going to be a busy month, we just came back from Serengeti, finished finals in four days, and now we are heading to the city, Arusha, for our fall break! Arusha was so much fun, we got to explore the city and visit the main attractions, experiencing it all with friends! It was a 3 day trip full of activities!
Day 1: snake park, camel ride, and waterfall hike
we got to see some of the deadliest snakes in the world
After 2 hours of driving, we arrived at Meserani Snake Park where we saw over 50 of some of the world’s deadliest snakes! This snake park is used as a tourism attraction, in addition, it has used their money and resources to open a free medical clinic for the local people. It was absolutely amazing getting to see these venomous snakes, crocodiles, birds, and turtles (we also got to hold some!) After spending some time enjoying these animals, we were able to visit the Maasai Cultural Museum to see the amazing artifacts and stories the guide told us about. Then, we saw CAMELS! They were offering camel rides, where we got to ride a camel for a quick ride then we got to feed and pet its friends for longer! The camels were definitely a highlight!
After a busy morning interacting with animals, we had an optional activity to go to Mount Meru Waterfall Hike! This was one of the most beautiful hike I have ever been on. When we first arrived to the location, we were shook with the amount of green around us, admiring that scenery and laying out on the grass was definitely a moment when we realized that we took grass and the greenness of nature for granted in America. As we were hiking, we found raspberry all throughout our path. So, we had to grab some to eat as we continued our hike. An hour in, we found the big waterfall! When we saw that waterfall, all we can think about is going under it and enjoying nature… even though that might have not been the safest thing to do, we did it and NO REGRETS, it was absolutely beautiful! and SO WORTH IT!
After we dried up, we enjoyed Tanzania’s night life by going to get Mexican food that we’ve dearly missed then went to Karaoke night.
Day 2: cultural heritage center and shopping
We spent our second day in Arusha at the Cultural Heritage Center. It was basically a beautiful art museum with unique art. There was a number of paintings and wood carvings that were one of a kind. That art was breathe taking, as in some of the paintings, traditional fabric and beads were used to illustrate a certain image. We were also able to learn more about tanzanite and the process of making them into jewelry. Later that day we went shopping in the Maasai market, where we made lots of friends, bought souvenirs and beautiful fabric. Then, at night, we went to a beautiful outdoor restaurant at the Njiro complex, where we had so many options of types of food, a dream come true for people that have not eaten out for 2 months.
Day 3: Shanga Workshop
On our last day, we went to the Shanga Workshop which is a glass and craft workshop that employed Tanzanian with disabilities. We had the opportunity to see their glass artwork and hand weaving processes. After visiting and buying goods from this place we made our way to a grocery store for some American snacks and candy then it was time to go back home and get ready to start our research projects!