Tanzania was my home for the last two and a half years. It all began, when my uncle got a deputation to Tanzania and went over there in late 2002. But then, no one imagined that, I too was destined to spend a couple of years in this awesome country. I was at Vellore Institute of Technology University (VITU), and the system was demanding a change of scene. Answering the system was the only move; and I ended up in Tanzania, where the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), welcomed me to the Department of Biochemistry.
Two years went in a flash. Trips to Zanzibar; the spice island, Mikumi National park, the Ngorongoro crater, Tarengire National Park, Trekking on the Uduzungwa ranges, adventure in the bush and beach of Saadani and of course the Dar experience, Tanzania truly was amazing. The tough treks and the relaxing beaches, the avenue for wild life photography and the truly marvelous topography, the slow pace of life and the incredible hospitality, everything with Tanzania is exceptionally mind-boggling!!
I had no knowledge about this wonderful country, before I went. All I knew was what was taught in schools, Africa being the ‘dark continent‘ and things that I picked up from reading Wilbur Smith. The intuition of landing into a dark wilderness, lions and co freely roaming around in the country side, and the high probability of meeting my childhood hero Phantom; the ghost who walks, witch doctors in masks, everything evaporated, the moment, I landed at Julius Nyerere International Airport, Dar es Salaam, for the first time. What greeted me was an array of modern amenities, great roads, modern cars, and enchantingly hospitable people.
Then began the odyssey; Zanzibar and Mikumi became more like next door locations, where we went umpteen number of times. If it was wild life photography, that interested us at Mikumi, Zanzibar opened an assortment of prospects to indulge in. All this to add to the sweet Dar experience.
Dar es Salaam, as the name tells is truly Heaven of Peace. This place is a hodgepodge of people, people from different parts of the world, existing in harmony with the local people. The hospitality of Dar rightly merits a salute.
Kalamandalam Tanzania, too should be mentioned in here. This is the organisation of the Malayalam speaking community in Dar, a 50-year-old organisation, that became part and parcel of my days at Dar. More on that.. another day.. another blog.
Now in a foreign land, I look forward to the day, I’ll fly back to Tanzania, and climb the Kilimanjaro.
The experience gained from this magic land, the adventures, the fun, the good times everything, everything are memories that will be treasured for ever and a day….
Asante sana Dar es Salaam…. Asante sana Tanzania…..