Tuesday 21 May 2013

Where my GMOs at?

It's been five days since I've arrived in Mwanza, Tanzania. The flight was brutally long and consisted of multiple flight transfers, an excess amount of almost-inedible plane food, several misadventures in Amsterdam and gorgeous Dutch guys.

Oh, and there was also some great architecture. 

Your eyes don't deceive you, those buildings are actually slanted.
I was lucky enough to have a layover in Kilimanjaro and we got to see the mountain. It was a sight to behold.
That's my plane with the mountain ranges of Kilimanjaro in the background
 There's so many things to write about life in Tanzania but I'm going to keep it (hopefully) simple.

People: The people I see on a daily basis are Emily and Shannan. They're my roommates in the apartment and they're both pretty awesome! There are also people that I work with at the APYN office (African Probiotic Yoghurt Network) and they're really welcoming and kind. The general populous of Tanzania is an amalgamation of people. Most of the people that I meet are friendly. However, the street children are intimidating as they pursue you for money, and they're often addicted to drugs. I saw a street child eating styrofoam (for reasons still unknown), true story. The men on the streets that passby usually make any noises so that you'll pay attention to them. It's disorienting to see such a lack of diversity. Growing up in Mississauga (hello to all you Mississaugans reading this), made me accustomed to always seeing people of different races and backgrounds.

Food: There's always Indian food easily accessible anywhere in Mwanza. This is a good thing because I absolutely adore Indian food. I'm not too sure what is considered "Tanzanian" food but I've had mattoke which is made of plantains in some kind of beef broth, which pretty much tastes like potatoes in beef broth. There are street vendors that sell chipsi (some kind of potato-thingamajig) and kebabs but I think I'll wait till my stomach gets accustomed to Africa first to try those. Also, regarding the title, it's weird to eat fruit that has not been seriously genetically modified. I've eaten oranges and watermelon, which still have seeds. There's no waxy sheen on the fruits and they don't look like they've been pumped with hormones.

Language: Behaving in a stereotypical Canadian manner, the two most popular words that I use are asante (thank you) and pole (sorry). It's a slow process to learn Swahili and I keep promising myself that I'll dedicate some nights to learning it but that hasn't happened yet.

I swear I'm not being lazy (even though the following pictures seem to contradict that)! This was the day after I arrived (a Saturday) so Emily took me to Hotel Tilapia, which is a popular hotel in Mwanza for tourists. I couldn't stop looking at the scenery because it was so beautiful. We ate gluttonously, we lounged and we swam by the pool (ok, I admit, I was a little bit lazy).

A view of Mwanza from Hotel Tilapia (photocreds to Emily)
I think the next several days will fly by as I try and integrate myself into the NIMR (the lab I'll be working at) and APYN community.

Till next time,