Greetings from Arusha

I woke up this morning and confirmed that the vast dark space beyond my room was indeed a vast space, only now not quite so dark. It was a big plain, with dry scrubby brush, rainclouds looming, and the not-too distant mountains hidden in cloud. The air was thick with humidity and the strong smell of life, and birds flittd all around the garden between the bungalows. At breakfast there was a great deal of bird interest in my plate, but they were so pretty I didn’t mind. I sat afterward at a table looking out at the brush, writing in my journal and planning out the rest of my day.

The rest of that day started with the driver from Kilidove, the tour company I’m taking the safari with, coming to pick me up to drive me in to town. His name was David, and we talked about rich and poor people, Obama, and history. He was especially keen on my upcoming trip to Ethiopia. Everything got much greener as we approached Arusha, which is by a river and gets the runoff from the mountains. The town is insanely busy, but everybody I’ve run into is incredibly warm and friendly. There’s some hawking of goods to the tourist (of which there are a lot in this town, since it’s the jumping off point for most safaris), but mostly just people who genuinely want to say hi and talk.

I wish I had more time, as it was, I spent the remainder of the day dealing with banks and payments for the safari, which I’m leaving on tomorrow. It’s going to be three days, to the Sernengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and (I’m especially excited about this) a stopover at Olduvai Gorge. Since we’ll be out in the wild with tents and all, I probably won’t be able to write again until late on the 10th or sometime the on the 11th. I will, though, bring back lots of pictures for you all! Love to all until then, especially Abbey and the furry feline monsters we share our home with. I can’t wait to tell them about their huge wild cousins when I get back…

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