Upon arriving in Moshi i realized fast that this summer was not at all what i was expecting it to be. I was a little disappointed at first but now I think it is going to be a lot of fun. I thought that I would be in some rural village living at a hostel or with a family and maybe one or two other volunteers would be there. well, the day i arrived a lot of other people did too. Before i talk about the volunteers i am going to talk about our living arrangements. We are staying in a house that is about 5 kilometers outside of Moshi. The house is nice by American standards, we even have satelite television - if the power is on. And actually there are several houses in this neighborhood that appear to be just as nice. I think Moshi is the garden spot of Tanzania. The final 2 kilometers of road leading to the house are not paved and get pretty muddy, it is also 2 km up a hill as it is nestled in the foothills of Kili. We have a garden and a second guest house out back where I have a room (its just me and the program director back there so I have a place to escape for some Trent time whenever I need it). There are lots of big trees in our neighborhood and every house seems to be growing its own corn and bananas. It also rains here almost every morning even though this is allegedly the dry season (it is the dry season, i drove through some desert to get here but the mountain brings a lot of tourism and precipitation to this area, i guess it is good to be near Kili).
So here are the line up of volunteers. There are two more americans, both girls that go to the university of Florida (at least AU has a 2 game winning streak over them). 2 canadian girls. 1 german guy. 1 french guy. 1 greek guy. 2 greek girls. 1 dutch girl. 1 spanish girl. I think that is everybody. And I am at least 6 years older than everyone else (maybe not the Canadian girls, i'm not sure). That is okay though, I am used to hanging out with youngsters. I am the only person who will be volunteering at the hospital. Everyone else is working at an orphanage or at a conservation project. There is a lot of culture, as well as many languages and accents in the house. It was a little intimidating at first but I am doing my best to contribute.
A note on nicknames: It seems that whenever i travel i get a nickname...i could list them all but i don't have time. It took me about 3 hours in Moshi to get my nickname for the summer and it is kind of random and i am not sure what to think about it. One of the florida girls couldn't remember my name and kept calling me Steve. I didn't respond at first but then I realized she was talking to me and so I played along before correcting her. Everyone agreed that Steve was easier to remember than Trent and the americans and german have consistently called me that since then. The Greeks are still calling me Trent. I have nothing against the name Steve but I think this is pretty funny.
This week: this week has been some basic swahili classes and learning our way around town. It has been helpful but I kind of wish that I had just gone straight into working at the hospital. I start Monday. Everyone else started or continued their projects today so I have had a chance to catch up on blogging. Like I said it is an hour walk into town and the internet is pretty slow here so have patience with me. It is difficult to upload photos with the slow connection but I am going to try sooner or later.