As my departure is approaching, I am getting a lot of information about my arrival and more details about what, exactly, I will be doing. So, I’m definitely starting to get more excited. I’m getting most of this information through skype sessions, which are spanning multiple time zones and continents. It’s amazing what technology lets us do these days.
My travel arrangements seem to be coming together. As it turns out, I will be spending the weekend in Dar es Salaam, going to the Dar office on Monday, and then driving to Dodoma on Tuesday. It will be nice to get to see Dar, maybe go to the beach, and get accustomed to the time before I start working. I’ve already gotten some advice on things to see, and I’m excited about exploring the city for a few days.
As I’m traveling, I’m learning something about myself. I have a few things I’m becoming interested in for each location–things I like to compare. One of those things is money…what the money looks like, what it feels like, and what it smells like. You may laugh about the smell, but different countries have different smells associated with their money. Romanian money has a very distinct smell and feel. Plus, each bill has a different cutout, which is fascinating. In Tanzania, the currency is the shilling. It is one of those currencies where, as an American, you wonder in the back of your head why they don’t just divide everything by 1000 so the numbers will be more comparable to the global (read American and European) market.
Here is a 2000 TSH bill. To me, 2000 seems like a lot. However, this is equivalent to $1.22. Obviously, it gets lot more than $1.22 in the US. Just to give you an idea, and average costing meal at a restaurant costs between 5000-10,000 TSH. There are restaurants which are must more expensive, but there are also restaurants which are cheaper.
I am really starting to look forward to this adventure. It’s not that I wasn’t looking forward to it before, it’s just that the excitement is really starting to build. I can’t wait to write in a few days to describe Dar and next week to describe Dodoma. The pictures look amazing, and it should be quite the experience!