Our final safari dinner, at the Enashiva nyumba, was Tanzania style food. Finally! although the food at all the restaurants and nyumbas was wonderful, it was basically western-style food. I was pleased to finally have a chance to sample some of the local food, including ugali and stew.
The next morning, Day 10, we drove an hour to a larger town. This town has a small airport – well, an airstrip with two tiny buildings and an outhouse. We waited an hour for the small charter plane to arrive, then said good bye to our guide Freddy as we boarded. Robert climbed aboard with us because he needed to get back quickly to attend an important family celebration the next day far on the other side of the country. The small propeller plane, nearly full with the 11 of us and the pilot, flew among the clouds and around the volcanoes to get us back to Arusha in under an hour. Robert went off to his family, seven of us flew on to Zanzibar, and three of us stayed in Arusha for the afternoon.
John, Erin and I were met by a local Thomson guide. We first visited the Cultural Center gift shop for a bit more shopping, then had lunch at a pleasant outdoor restaurant, and finally stopped at the glitzy Mount Meru Hotel to use a couple of day rooms where we could clean up before the long trip home. As he drove us to the airport we stopped for a quick view of Mount Kilimanjaro, impressive even at this distance. At the airport I let John board a plane alone, as his route homeward took him through Nairobi and London whereas Erin and I were heading through Kigali and Amsterdam. I have to say, I was nervous to watch my first-born son board a plane with the expectation of changing planes in two distant foreign countries.
Erin and I then got in line to check in for our flight to Amsterdam, when another incredible coincidence occurred. In line behind us was Jay Hull, a psych professor at Dartmouth. I had just completed my stint as associate dean of sciences, and he was just about to begin his stint as associate dean of social sciences, and here we were in the middle of Africa. “Though ‘round the girdled earth they roam, her spell on them remains…” This trip was, for me, meant to be a family outing, a photographic journey, and a relaxing escape from the pressures of my job at Dartmouth. Ok, maybe not an escape from Dartmouth; it’s fun to cross paths with Dartmouth even in these far-flung locations.
Four flights and Forty-four hours after leaving the Enashiva nyumba, I walked into our home in Lyme. On the way out of Enashiva we waited for a zebra to cross the road, and as we drove up River Road in Lyme we waited for a fox to cross the road. Although we are now back from safari, we are blessed to be surrounded by a stunning variety of wildlife here as well.
Don’t forget to visit the full photo collection.