Leader reporter Lois Hough is in Tanzania this week to see the good work being carried out by Save The Children. In her latest bulletin she talks about her first impressions of the country
AFTER three plane journeys, five movies and seven bags of peanuts, we touch down in the capital Daar Es Salaam.
As I step off the plane the humidity wraps itself around me like a blanket – it’s almost suffocating.
On the plane I made friends with Rory from Birmingham, who is on a mercy mission to Tanzania with his local church. Then there is Ben who has set himself the gruelling challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro.
We begin the arduous process of queuing for visas at the airport and I quickly learn no one is in a rush.
At first I’m frustrated but soon begin to think we can learn a lesson or two from this way of life.
If Cosmas, our driver for the trip, was any more laid back he would be lying down but he knows the city like the back of his hand and is a brilliant guide.
As we load our luggage into the jeep he tells us to lock the doors. A bit puzzled, I ask why and Cosmas says it is in case we were carjacked.
Apparently this is quite common in the city after dark so I put my hood up, slouch in my seat and hope for the best.
It is half-past midnight so we head straight for our hotel. There are no road markings and traffic lights are few and far between. The city is bare and the
buildings decrepit, but billboard adverts for Coca-Cola and Vodaphone broadband make a bizarre contrast.
Once in my room I scour my bed, cupboards and shower for snakes and creepy crawlies and smother myself in insect repellent before climbing into bed.
The next morning was the first time I see Tanzania in daylight and as I peer out of my window I feel like I am on a film set.
Busy Africans are going about their daily lives and women with baskets of fruit on their heads are making their way through town.
After breakfast of tea and dry toast we head to the Save The Children offices, meet the team and learn about their mission.
“There is so much that can be done here, but we don’t have the funding,” says Rachel Pounds, the charity’s country director.
We spend the afternoon sightseeing and taking in the local culture and visit the fish market where I am talked into buying some pretty shells.
We walk along Kako Beach where I see coconuts on the sand – I have to pinch myself.
Tomorrow we fly to the village of Lindi where we will see the projects of Save The
Children. I can’t wait.