Well, friends, this girl has landed safely back in America. Now that I’m here, I am glad to be back. However, I could’ve easily spent more time there and not thought twice about it.
The last week of the trip was great. Here’s a way too short recap of what went down:
I flew to Zanzibar to meet with my final non-profit and relax on the beach before heading home. Zanzibar is a beautiful island off the coast of Dar es Salaam that offers a mix of white, sandy beaches along with architectural beauty in the form of ancient Stone Town.
I spent a few hours at the main hospital in Zanzibar which was both bizarre and heartbreaking. I’m actually quite proud of how well I held it together there! They walked me through the entire campus — in and out of each department, including ICU, maternity, and operating rooms. Even rooms with patients were visited, which didn’t sit well with a British doctor who yelled at me! I would imagine she hasn’t been working in Tanzania long, otherwise she would understand that Africa tends to work a little different and privacy isn’t respected. I couldn’t imagine being in a doctor’s office and having someone waltz in with a camera and start snapping away. Unfortunately, I was only taking photos of the equipment, though I did sneak a few others in when I thought I could get away with it! 🙂
I flew back to Dar 2 days before my flight out of the country and decided to book a nicer hotel in the city center. After 5 weeks of rooms that ranged from $7 – 35, it was nice to have a place with dependable water and power, air conditioning, and no mosquito nets! At only $110/night, this place was easily the nicest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in — in any country.
I woke up at 6:30 and headed to the airport to catch a plane to London. I had a 23 hour and 50 minute layover to spend running around the city. A friend moved there last August and made for a great tour guide! Plus, it was nice to see a familiar face after 10 hours of flying! I went from 98 degree weather to 30 in the same day! It was crazy cold in London, but I think I successfully made the most of the time I had.
One more long flight and I was back in the States! Decided to hang out in Chicago with the sister, brother-in-law, and nephew for a few days before heading back to Nashville and really get back to “normal” life. I have a bit of a cold, sore muscles, and jet lag, but am trying to keep pace with the 3-yr old!
I have a lot of notes and story ideas and tons of photos left to edit, so even though I’m not in Africa anymore I plan to continue posting about life there.