Jambo! (Swahili for "Hello")
Well...we are in Tanzania and getting ready to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. We leave our quaint lodge in Arusha tomorrow morning at 8:30am and take a 45 minute ride to the Machme route starting point. This climb should take 6-7 days. If you don't hear from me by next Sunday...those with my emergency contact info...please try to find me!
So Ethiopia was a quick, 1 night stay. Due to jet lag we slept part of the day. Tried sleeping the 6 hour flight on Ethiopian Airlines from Rome but it was PACKED and the seats left little room for movement. We did manage to get a massage for 120 Birr (= $15) and laid out by the pool and natural hot springs at our hotel. We went to dinner and had traditional Ethiopian food which is...I would say similar to Indian/Middle Eastern. Upon our review of the local alcoholic beverages, we found red wine to be quite bitter and white, very sweet. The local beer, St. George, was flat and bitter with a delightful after taste...In case anyone cared to know.
This was the first time I have been to a country where 50% of the population is Muslim. It was common to see many women covering their hair and wearing long skirts/ shirts. About 5% of the women we saw wore the equivalent of a black burka. It should be interesting when we get to Zanzibar as it is 95% Muslim. They'll love my bikinis!
Tanzania is quite beautiful and looks like what you would think Africa would look like. It has fig and banana trees and quite green in some places. A majority of the population is Christian with Muslim being the next biggest religion and the remaining 20% is various tribal beliefs. Many of the Swahili words we recognize from the Lion King and wish we would have rented it before coming.
Wish us luck on getting to the top (19,500 ft.)!