In exactly two weeks I’ll most probably be sitting at home, super tired and thinking back at my first day at work. In Dar es Salaam. Things have been hectic at times here in Finland this summer and there’s been a lot of things to take care of in preparation for the trip, but I’m happy to say it’s all well under way, as you can see from the list below:
- Plane tickets: check. After an hour’s careful consideration I also managed to reserve window seats for my outgoing flights. I’ll tell you, it’s not easy when you’ve got a whole floor of the world’s biggest passenger airline to pick a seat from. And the meal choices, oh my: low calorie, low fat, oriental, raw, seafood, vegetarian, vegan.. You name it, they’ve got it. I decided to go with the exotic-sounding ‘standard’ alternative, can’t go wrong.
- Travel insurance: check. Wanted to get a diving option in it but that would have been a 400% price hike. No deal for you, dear Insurance Company.
- Vaccinations and medicines: check. Seven vaccines and one malaria tablet later I’m still alive. Anyone who’s ever taken Lariam malaria tablets must be familiar with the infinitely long side-effect list, conveniently organised into groups of which area of the body it affects. Uplifting stuff… not. I’m hoping I won’t get any of them during my seven-month pill-popping extravaganza (knock on wood).
- Housing: check. Not so cheap, but seems safe living with a Tanzanian woman who knows her way around. This is only a temporary solution until I find something cheaper, but I don’t know if I’ll get too comfortable living only 1km from work and 200m from the beach. Mmm, a nice stroll to work in the early morning, with the already warm sun and a fresh sea breeze in my face. I could live with that thought, let reality prove me wrong in two weeks if it has to.
- Residence permit: check. At least on my side. Let’s see how long it takes for the Tanzanian authorities to process it, I’ll keep you updated.
- Guide and language books: check. I tend not to travel anywhere without proper background knowledge. ‘Planner’ is my middle name and it never stops, although in my defence I must say I’m not completely pedantic about it. I acknowledge the fact that everything can’t be planned, but a little knowledge can’t hurt anyone, and I’m sure I’ll gather a nice few laughs when I – the blonde, blue-eyed girl – step out from the airport and try my first “hujambo? sijambo! teksi?” phrases with the nearest taxi driver.
- Packing: uncheck. I’ve started making a little list, if that helps.
- Finances: uncheck. Minor detail….. I’ll get it sorted next week.