Monday, September 10, 2007


On Friday morning, I arrived in Arusha on a Precision Air flight from Dar es Salaam. Like Yak Airlines in Nepal, Precision Air made me think twice about getting aboard. Despite its rock-star status in country, the name implies that in any alternative there is some doubt about arriving at the precise location. At least Precision Air guarantees it in the name.

When my plane touched down in Arusha, a major city of nearly half a million, I could not think of history and geography that the town implied. It is the location of the peace agreement pre-genocide in Rwanda that Habyarimana, a moderate Hutu signed with the Tutsi members of his nation. It is now the site of the International Tribunal for the Rwandan Genocide at the Arusha International Conference Center (AICC). More commonly known, it is a major jumping-off point for safaris to the Serengeti and expeditions to Moshi, the town below Kilimanjaro.

After a heated negotiation with a Masai tradesman in a local market, and pride getting the better of the $20 it involved, I left empty-handed, but excited for my coming adventure in Tarangire and Ngorongoro Crater.

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