I am here, and after a long flight arrived into Dar es Salaam. what a busy crazy place!! I spent some time exploring before flying to Mafia and I met some great people, other travellers and a lot of Canadians! They all showed me around and I got to experience the local transport, Bajaji's. A great way to get around. I visited an orphanage and got to know about the local Help2Kids non profit group. I met the owner of this, a lawyer from Switzerland and it was so good to find out all about this great work. I was invited to see the children and come along with the group to the beach and take them swimming. Everyone had a go of my dive mask and this was a lot of fun.
After a small flight, on a small plane, I arrived on Mafia Island. Mafia Island is very beautiful, everyone in the village has mud huts etc. and it is so remote, so different from the sity, dar es salaam. here i met some canadians and one is working in solar lights. he has a huge house with guards, dogs, gates, barbed wire around etc. very crazy. yet on mafia it is very safe to walk around. At the researcher accomodations, there is so much and there is only me here so i have a personal cook and cleaner, guard and a manager and they do everything for me. it is luxury accomodations, i have a huge room, with desk, own bathrooms, huge lounge etc. and the lady spends hours preparing my meals for me. she laughs at me and thinks its funny as i try to speak to her with my swahili book.
my swahili book is becomming my best friend, everyone in the village is so nice, and many are surprised but happy when i speak with them in swahili, i have had some lessons and help from the guides i have and each day i am saying more and more, some of the children think its funny and laugh as i am talking to them with a book, but i keep trying! there are lots of greetings and i am coming along with this well, the other things take time.
the marine park heaquarters is huge, lots of staff and they are all happy to help and talk to me, today i interviewed the acting head park warden and he did a video response too and we are now preparing my introduction letters to take out to the village heads and the liasons in each village. then i will be able to introduce myself and make sure they are happy for me to talk to the fishermen. i am getting so much information and help already. they have lots of offices, boats, and great progrmas with liasons officer in each village. lots to learn!
i will update as i can, now i am more settled, i can use the marine parks intenet at times. i dont know if i will be able to add photos, i will try next time for this!