December in Tanzania

Welcome to Tanzania! I cannot believe I am actually in Africa right now. This is a first for me, and I gotta say, thus far … I really love Tanzania.  Yes, it is hot, but the people are really incredible, the food is fantastic, the accommodations are cozy, and we settled in within 24-hours. We are technically 13-days into Dar es Salaam, but it’s been a whirlwind first 2-weeks, so I’m just now getting to my Welcome to Tanzania post. Let me show you around the house.

The apartment is yet another lovely find on AirBnB.  We are in a gated community in Msasani, which is located northwest of Dar es Salaam central business district. The apartment community includes an indoor gym, covered pool, and a small playground. Our apartment is on the 6th floor giving us amazing 360-views of the area. While a single level, the apartment an extremely spacious including 3-bedrooms and 3-bathrooms.

Upon entering, you’ll find one open concept space with the kitchen, dining table, and living room all in one area. Nolan quickly found the table in the dining area and announced to everyone that it should be the shoe, sunscreen, key area in the apartment.

The kitchen is well equipped is sorely lacking in supplies. We have a nice full-size refrigerator, oven, and microwave, but no dishwasher, so it’s back to hand washing this month. As for supplies, I found a single frying pan and three pots, that’s it! So I quickly picked up an extra pan, mixing bowls, measuring cup, and … a veggie peeler (according to my count, I believe this is my sixth peeler to purchase on the trip). As for coffee, the apartment had a kettle, but nothing else. So on the hunt I went, I did find an actual coffee machine at the store, but it was $80, which I couldn’t bring myself to purchase, so I opted for a French Press this month.  Oh, and my favorite part of the house … we have a laundry room with … wait for it … a washer AND a dryer!! I am SO happy, no laundry mat for me this month!

The living room is also a nice change from our last few houses. We have a lovely TV and three large, cozy couches, which is really nice for the Christmas season. We’ve already watched several Christmas movies. It did take us a week or so, but we did find a Christmas tree, decorations, and stockings to decorate for Christmas. Nolan especially loves the colored lights and all the settings.  We decorated the tree together, and Nolan & Jim kept the tradition of putting the star on top last. Check out @BrownsATW for some great decorating pics!

Off to the right of the main living space are the 3-bedrooms and 3-bathrooms. Two the of bedrooms are next to each other, and the third is slightly offset, so we gave Priya the third bedroom, so she was somewhat away from Nolan.  As much as possible, we try to make sure everyone has a bit of personal space.  Each bedroom has its own balcony, which is super cool.  Nolan took the smallest of the bedrooms and the only bedroom without an en-suite bathroom. Upon arriving, he quickly unpacks all his toys, puts Happy & Blanket on his bed, and makes sure he knows his way around the house. Among all of us, I think Nolan’s become the quickest to adapt to a new home.

Our work setup has been a little different in Dar es Salaam as well. We are officially 8-hours ahead of the Eastern Timezone, which is the timezone both Jim and I work. As for internet, we knew we would eventually hit a country where the wireless was a struggle and Dar es Salaam was the place. When the wireless is ‘on,’ it’s great, but it goes in and out very often.  Jim did a bit of research and decided to rent an office space in the Regus building, which is less than a half mile from the house. He’s been going to the office in the evenings from about 3pm to 10pm, so its made family dinners a little difficult.  As for me, I went over to the Regus building, but didn’t really love it … and I really struggled with giving up dinners at the house.  So I did a bit of research and opted to get a second wireless service for the house for just work — it was pretty reasonable for a 30-day service plan and a router, so I opted to set up my office in our bedroom, and I’m doing pretty well.  Oh … and since Jim is at the Regus and I’m at the apartment, I commandeered the monitor for this month, which has been really lovely.

Overall, we are basking in the sunshine and warm weather. We are doing our best to take advantage of Christmas event we’ve found in the Dar es Salaam, but also embracing a different, on-the-road Christmas.

Now, let me who’s you around the apartment bit more.

Balcony Views:

Apartment Building:

Entry Way:

^Please notice the excessive amount of sunscreen. Sunscreen everywhere, all the time.

Kitchen:

^Including water cooler. Can’t drink the water here, so we’ve been lugging jugs of water up the 6-floors to the apartment. It took (2) YouTube videos, several wet towels, and a funnel, but I finally figured out how to change the jug.

Coffee:

Laundry Room:

^I am so happy … 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍!!!

Dining Room:

Living Room:

^Pretty proud of our stockings! I found them at the store and used Nolan’s glitter pens to put our names on them. Check out @BrownsATW for some great decorating pics!

Nolan’s Bedroom & Bathroom:

Jim and Kathy’s Bedroom and Bathroom:

My Office Setup:

Pool:

Gym:

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