Kwaheri USA, Jambo Tanzania!

Today’s the day! I’m all packed and ready to face the adventures that await me in the Serengeti. But first I have to make it through three grueling days of traveling…

The first stop on the way to East Africa is Newark. Most of the students in the group booked their flights through the program and Newark is where we’ll all meet for the first time. From there we take an overnight flight to London. Our twelve-hour layover will allow us plenty of time to get acquainted while taking a brief and speedy tour of the city— the first of hopefully many safaris, if you will (yea, I went there haha). Then we’re off again on another overnight flight to Nairobi. This is where the SFS staff will meet us and guide us through obtaining our visas, pupil’s passes, and plane tickets to Tanzania. This part makes me a little nervous but they know what they’re doing. Once we get into Tanzania, we’ll head to a hotel in Arusha for the night. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m hoping for a shower at this point. Then, FINALLY, we’ll get to the field station the next day, June 7th.

I’m actually really looking forward to spending the day in London! I’ve been there a few times with my family on vacation and I can safely say it’s my favorite city. I just won’t eat any fresh vegetables while I’m there… yikes. Plus, it’ll be nice to have a day between our two longest flights.

Well, I think I’m ready. I’ve been learning Kiswahili on YouTube, read through the packing list like eight times, and started my malaria drugs. Speaking of which, I had an interesting/scary incident a few days ago at my last travel medicine appointment! After getting my last three vaccinations, I walked out into the waiting room and promptly passed out. Luckily, I had the foresight to sit down first. I guess it’s actually a pretty common reaction that people can randomly have even if it’s never happened before. It was awful, but at least it didn’t last very long! For those of you who are curious, my vaccination count for this trip comes to six: Polio booster, tetanus booster, Hepatitis A (I already had B), Typhoid, a second Meningitis, and Yellow Fever. I didn’t have time to get the Rabies series but still, that is one impressive immune system if you ask me. I’ll just have to remember to keep my arms and legs inside the Land Cruiser!

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