This is my first posting of a series of blogs called “This is AFRICA”. Africa is my favorite continent! It’s where I feel the most at home when I visit. It has ALWAYS been a dream of mine to visit this continent. So every time I go, even though it is for short periods of time, my dream comes true over and over again.
Dar Es Salaam, TANZANIA:
The aircraft that came in right before we landed was Airforce 1. Obama had landed in Dar Es Salaam for a 24 hour stay. I didn’t know he was coming to Tanzania until a little before my flight. I got excited because he was going to be staying at the hotel that I was supposed to stay in. However, I was later informed that I was moved to another hotel – Boooo! Hiss!
While we were traveling to the hotel you could see poster of Obama posted along the highways and streets with the words “President Barack Obama, Karibu Tanzania” which interpreted means: Welcome to Tanzania, President Barack Obama.”
You could feel the excitement in the city as people went around with signs welcoming the president, the Tanzanian and American flags posted and flying everywhere and there was one instant where I saw a group of about 8 women who wore “khangas”, a traditional wrap, with the president’s image on them. I went to a local souvenir shop to see if I could find one and I did. However, they were older ones from his first election as president and had the words “Hongera Barack Obama.” which interpreted means: Congratulations President Obama.
At my hotel there were a lot of militia and government officials and dignitaries. In questioning the staff I found out that the African First Ladies Summit was going to be held there the next day. One of the staff then added “One of America’s presidents will be staying here at the hotel also to attend the summit tomorrow.” When my colleagues and I asked who it would be he said, with such a broad smile “Mr. George Bush!” …. **cricket sounds** Everyone was silent and then I busted out into laughter. BOL! A fair exchange for Obama, right? WRONG! We were also informed that Michelle Obama would be attending the summit the next day also. That lifted my spirit a bit as I hoped to get a glimpse of her the next day.
I was up very early the next morning for the breakfast buffet and so were the secret service and other officials who were there to support George Bush. After breakfast I went to sit in the hotel lobby. There were many government officials, dignitaries and first ladies entering the hotel as they rolled out the red carpet for each one. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Mrs. Obama. *sad face* Actually, I could have stayed longer and probably have gotten to see her but I was more interested in sightseeing in Dar Es Salaam than waiting just to get a glimpse of the FLOTUS. A colleague then joined me and we went out exploring Dar Es Salaam.
Here are some more pictures from my little exploration:
I wanted to go see the big fruit and vegetable market one of the locals told us they had in the area but my colleague and I was exhausted from the long walk to the fish market and back. So we chose to return to the hotel to get some sleep before our flight.
Right before we left the hotel I over heard one of the staff mention that the president and his wife was doing an interview outside in the garden in the back. I rushed to the back with my camera to see if I could get a quick glimpse… it was George Bush and his wife NOT Barack and Michelle! SMH! Disappointed. LOL! I would have taken a picture but there were so many secret service men sitting on the benches, in the garden and probably in the trees too. I was afraid that if I stepped outside with my camera they would have tackled me! lol
Here are 10 Fun Facts About Tanzania.