by Christy Ihlo -- May 31st, 2012
Karibu! (ka-ree-boo) Swahili for “Welcome,” that is the word I have been hearing all day. Jen and I arrived in Arusha yesterday and found our hotel to be pleasant and friendly, albeit a little noisy from the action on the street below. We found our way around this morning, successfully converting money and obtaining cell phone capabilities and soaking up life in this bustling African town. Jen had arranged to meet with Matt Brown of the Nature Conservancy and she was kind enough to let me tag along. After meeting for lunch, we joined him and several team members for an afternoon meeting discussing a new project promoting sustainable fisheries in the Mahale region. They were using the same software package, Miradi, that I was introduced to during the Adaptive Management Seminar at the very end of the semester. It was very cool to see the same techniques being applied on the ground. We were about to catch a cab ride back to the hotel with the intention of heading to bed early when Matt was gracious enough to invite us to join he and his family for dinner. They live in an amazing house full of African charm. The cloud covered peak of Mount Meru looms just to the north and the house is surrounded by a gorgeous garden. On the menu was rabbit stew (they raise them themselves), and it was most excellent. I must confess that I didn’t dawdle by the rabbit pen or hutch with new bunnies, knowing what was on the menu! We ended the day enjoying good conservation and a great meal, and even managed to snag some tips on what we should do tomorrow. I certainly feel karibu here in Arusha and this was an excellent start to my Tanzanian summer!