Salvation Army, Dar es Salaam

I wake up before the sun rises. We leave today at 7 in the morning for Dar es Salaam. The sons are bringing our luggage to the cars.

“I better get the keys from Orina,” Rose tells Rachel. “I’m afraid he’ll lock the keys in the trunk.”

As we prepare to leave, Orina accidentally locks the car keys in the trunk.

After a few minutes of uncertainty, Ngeka is hacking away at the car window. Glass shatters everywhere, the trunk is opened, and we’re off to the bus station.

There’s no need to recall the bus ride. I’ve come to believe that all bus rides will be a relatively constant mix of misery, numbness, and part interest in the scenery.

At the Kenyan-Tanzanian border we are let loose to the chaos that is the attempt at bureaucracy. We are cheated by a few conmen at a Celtel office. Luckily we only end up loosing a few U.S. dollars.

Edit:// A few days later when Rachel and I try to change currency at the bank, we discover they switched our USD $50 for a fake USD $50 note.

We arrive in the city center of Dar at 10 at night, fatigued and sweaty. Mosquitoes find us in the waiting area instinctually. More fly over Ngeka’s freshly waxed dreads. Wrestling is on TV; Hulk Hogan and the summer slam is the main attraction. Bored, I glance at an unhealthily overweight man in sky blue tights bouncing off red ropes before sitting on a tanned, balding Hulk. This was the famous match of 1990. I had not heard of it.

A tall, slender man walks into the seating area and there is little doubt that it is Mr. R, our soon-to-be right-hand-man at the Salvation Army. He’s all smiles, just like V said. We ride a few kilometers south of the city to the Army compound, and arrive at what is to be our home for the next three or so months.


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