February 6, 2012
Meserani Snake Park
I left Kenya behind today and crossed into Tanzania, home of the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater and the island of Zanzibar. Crossing the border was a bit different this time. Before leaving Kenya they took my picture and my fingerprints; I have no idea why but when someone is holding your passport you’ll pretty much do whatever they ask. After being cleared to leave Kenya we had to walk across no man’s land into Tanzania and get a visa. Of course they gave us the runaround at the immigration office, making us queue up at different windows and shuffle around. Then their printer wasn’t working properly and we had to stand around in the stifling heat while 3 officials poked, shook and cursed the broken machine.
While waiting for the printer to be fixed we noticed a number of elderly Masai tribewoman selling necklaces and bracelets around the immigration office. Our interaction with them was minimal and limited to politely turning down their jewelry, but I thought it was an unfortunate sign of the times that these woman, decked out in their traditional Masai blankets with their earlobes stretched, are not farming for a living anymore but selling cheap jewelry to tourists.
When we had cleared the border and continued into Tanzania we saw many more Masai tending to their cattle along the sides of the road, but it couldn’t erase the images of the old women who had lived through more than I would ever know try so hard to sell me a bracelet for a dollar.
Breakfast: (from hotel) scrambled eggs, potatoes, watermelon, banana, mango, melon
Lunch: sandwiches, pineapple, juice
Dinner: butternut squash soup, rice, beef chunks, veg medley