Msasani in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

With my internet here in Tanzania, I’m only able to upload one photo before my connection dies a sad death and forces me to spend another 5 minutes reconnecting. After the 28th try, I’m not going to take any more chances and am going to post this before something else goes wrong. The area photographed above is a tourist-friendly area of Dar where the beaches are gorgeous and the souvenir prices inflated. The clouds and sky in Tanzania are possibly the prettiest I’ve seen anywhere. I’ve only been here 2 days, and despite usually having either water or electricity (but not both), and even though 2.5/3 showers I’ve taken so far have been cold, I’m incredibly happy to be here.

Dar, especially the neighborhood where I’m living, is quite beautiful. I don’t remember the last time I actually saw a sunrise, but thanks to jet lag and/or prayer call, I woke up at 4:30AM and caught the sun rising over a sea peppered with sail boats. The streets where I’m living are picturesque with its brightly colored houses and doors. The roads in my area are unpaved, but I feel like the word “unpaved” is inadequate in describing those roads. Not only are they not paved, they contain unintentional rocky speed bumps of variable size accompanied by deep pits, and driving on these roads feels more like riding a mechanical bull.

As a solo traveler for the first time, I’ve met some other solo travelers on the way to Dar. S. was in front of me in the security check line, and I discovered he went to my undergrad by a sticker on his laptop. I didn’t expect to see him again, until I ran into him again in Dubai and we went on a midnight tour of the city together. Y. was eating by herself in a hotel in Dubai and I uncharacteristically approached her and had a nice chat, during which I found out she was from London and had been everywhere. I met A. at the Dubai airport — we had the same flight to Dar — and we bonded over our Southern Californian-ness.

More soon.

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