I cannot believe how much has happened since the first post... I have met many friendly people (TONS working in the aid community) and have basically stumbled upon a great apartment. I was initially planning on moving around Tanzania but one night after spending my evening in a cafe I kind of felt like fate intervened. After waiting a while for a daladala to come by the street I was on I finally asked one of the people hanging out nearby if the daladalas in fact came that late at night (9pm) turns out they stop earlier and so my only option was to hop in a Bijaji (a tuk tuk motor taxi kind of thing). Of course the Syrian man who I had asked decided it was now his job to help me and we chatted in stunted English as cars passed... when a bijaji finally came around the corner (it had been a while and my small talk was pretty much exhausted)he flagged it down only for us both to see there was already a passenger. She very kindly let me join her on the ride and when she discovered I was staying at Q-bar (the guest house) she, mildly shocked and disgusted, asked me why. I told her it was basically the best deal I could find at which point she told me she had a house with 3 other room mates (all of whom work for various NGOs) and was looking for some one to move in to the final room for 2 months. She gave me her number told me the price and I got out at my "guesthouse"/brothel and pondered a game change.
Didn't sleep much thinking about the choice and decided that if the room was nice and in a good spot I would go for it. I definitely think things happen for a reason, so here I am the proud new room mate. So far I'm pretty happy with the choice, sorting out money and a cell phone here has been a bit of a trial, but Dar ES Salaam is the headquarters of pretty much every NGO AID project in Tanzania and there are literally tons of people here to talk to who have experience in the Public Health sector. I have already met a bunch and a common theme seems to be a lot of frustrated people.
Two of the girls I met were even nice enough to invite me to an event their NGO is putting on for World AIDS day tomorrow. Their NGO uses sports and activities to educate and engage orphaned and/or HIV positive children... I cannot imagine how difficult that has to be. So plans for tomorrow, some new friends, and piles of NGO offices/clinics/even a disabilities hospital within walking distance of my house. Things are starting to come together and I really cannot believe tomorrow is December... especially as it is like a million degrees outside with the sun shining.
This is a pretty incredible place and I keep saying it but, totally unlike anywhere I have EVER been. I saw a lot of poverty in Latin America but being here really, more than anywhere else, makes me so thankful for the life I have and my American passport. Just imagine our biggest city, NY, with daily power outages that in some areas go on for days... unfathomable. Makes for a society where people get very envious of people that have private generators...