- Posted July 18, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Travel photo of the day
Tanzania: Our ride on the wild side
- stein0726, CNN iReport producer
My husband and I traveled to Tanzania, Africa on a bit of a whim decision. As long time northern Virginia residents choosing to take a two week safari vacation to Africa is well, out of the norm. Friends thought we were crazy, family were outraged, colleagues seemed puzzled. There were many different reactions from the people we told about our private safari. Little did we know that the moment we touched down in Kilimanjaro our lives would change forever.
Our safari guide, Wilson, was waiting patiently in the airport for us when we arrived with a sign that read, "Shannon x2". While a HUGE sigh of relief came over us as soon as we realized the tour agency we booked with was no joke. In fact, Calabash Adventures www.calabashadventures.com was far from a joke and far exceeded our expectations. The owner, our tour guide and our own personal chef went above and beyond to accommodate us while we were visiting their beautiful country. They took us to park after park and fed us some of the most delicious African delicacies. But my favorite part of the trip wasn't the Serengeti or Lake Victoria or Tarangire National Park, while these places certainly blew my mind away it was the African people who captured my soul.
As an American, I was captured by the way these people lived, ate, drank, slept, bathed, washed, spoke, and ultimately survived. The culture shock of being in a country so poor compared to the way we live in the US was undoubtedly apparent. But the moment we learned to let go of all those things we take advantage of, electricity, Internet, paved roads, free education, we fell in love with this country and its people. The pictures attached only provide a glimpse of what we experienced. If we had the time and the money I’d find a way to go back to Africa and reunite with the friends, or better yet brothers and sisters, we made.
The last photograph was taken on a Sunday, at Lake Victoria, during what I thought was a festival in the street, only it turned out to be a church service, who would have thought…