So luckily the two infamous suitcases did close and my flight to Dar Es Salaam was gloriously uneventful. I’ve been to some pretty chaotic airports before (Delhi and La Paz come to mind) but nothing could prepare me for Dar Es Salaam airport. I managed to get my way through immigration and to baggage reclaim where it was utter chaos – there was bags everywhere! Luckily I managed to spot mine, which in hindsight was a miracle. Amref had organized one of their drivers to pick me up, Hamza. It was hot, but pretty much the same temperate as I had left in London (we’ve been having an extreme heat wave!). The roads were oddly quiet, apparently the president had just driven past the airport which had cleared the roads, which was super lucky as apparently the traffic here is very bad. Although from what I have seen in the past week, the traffic is no worse than London!
I arrived a few days before starting with Amref to give me the chance to acclimatise and explore the areas to see where the best place to live would be. I spent the weekend ubering (not a word, but it should be – uber here is a godsend) around the city. I found a yoga studio and went to a class, it was absolute bliss.
Before I knew it, it was time to start my assignment at Amref Heath Africa.
It was a day filled with meeting new people, sorting out IT access and later in the afternoon, flat hunting with Hamza. Luckily, I found a place I loved and will be moving there this weekend! Everyone was very welcoming and keen to know where I was from and what I would be doing with Amref. A big asante (thank you) to Toni Omega for looking after me the first few days and letting my gate crash her office until mine was sorted. For the first time, I have my own office! At GSK House our offices are open plan and no-one has their own desk so this is a big change.
In the first week, I have been learning as much as I can about the procurement process…. I can say it is very very different to GSK. I will do my next blog post on these learnings.
English is the language used in business in Tanzania, but Swahali is used for socializing and office chat so I have set myself a new challenge of learning! Luckily, Swahali seems like an “easy” language to learn as words are pronounced as they are written such as:
Habari ha-ba-ree – hello
Everyone in the office is really helping me and I think I now have greetings sussed! I have just signed up for some official lessons with a Swahili school here.
The last photo I will share was at dinner last night at a seafood restaurant that overlooks Msasani Bay. I think I like it here!