As for what I have been up to since my last post, I said goodbye to Britney in Chicago, contacted Delta a million times (they lost my main bag between Chicago and Detroit), explored Brooklyn a bit (special thanks to Suzanne's lovely friends for hosting me), walked around Central Park, saw the area near the World Trade Center, and made a last-minute run to Target to grab a few essentials since my bag was lost.
My flights to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from the US were a breeze. I flew on Turkish Airlines through Istanbul. The airport is very nice, and Istanbul is beautiful from the sky. I was not able to see any evidence of the protests. Throughout the course of my many flights, I met some incredible people doing incredible things all over the world. Including, but not limited to, a world-traveled Irish business man, a mom and her daughter accepting an award at Yale, a former Coast Guard member working at the 9/11 memorial, a college girl from the UK volunteering in Tanzania, and a group from the Netherlands about to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Mom was worried about obtaining my visa at the airport, but there were no problems, it just took waiting in line for about 40 minutes, and I was lucky that I was at the front.
So first impressions of Africa - I love it! I have stayed in my hotel the whole time, but I can see some of what is going on outside. It is very noisy with people talking, bands playing in the street, and cars driving on the dirt road. People are smiling and laughing! There's a party going on in the streets now - it is Saturday night!
As for right now, I am staying in Dar until the morning trying to fight off this jet lag, and I will meet up with my travel buddies and head to Zanzibar!