Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Last days in Mysore, first days in Arusha

I arrived in Arusha Sunday afternoon after 24 hours of air travel and queuing for air travel. Just a quick heads up to anyone leaving out of Bangalore - it took me 1.5 hours to get through check in, immigration, and security at 2am. Also I got to go through the women's security line which is faster than the men's. Otherwise the trip was basically smooth and even relaxing in the sense that when I am flying I have zero obligations and can do whatever I want. I had great seat-mates on my flight from Dubai to Uganda and slept most of the way from Bangalore to Dubai.  It turned out that I needed proof of a yellow fever vaccine to get in to Tanzania (this is new I think) even though when I checked before my trip it wasn't required. Fortunately I could buy such proof in Entebbe (erm...)
Me (fresh off the plane) and Klara at the largest Polish cemetery in Africa.  Because what else would be our first stop in Tanzania?

I spent my last day in Mysore going out to Melukote which is a town 50km north of Mysore and home to some famous big temples (of course. temples everywhere) with some of my favorite people from my Mysore times - roommies Beth and Chris, Louise from Brighton and Megan from Montreal. It was gorgeous and a nice way to say good bye to India. Better than sulking around Gokulam and thinking of everything I'm gonna miss.
This isn't Melukote. Megan and are waiting outside the Chamundi hill temple after a sunrise climb and this monkey is stealing peoples offerings. (File under things I will miss)
My last practice was with Saraswathi was a led class on Saturday. It was nice to end with the led class - once a week we go to a class where Saraswathi calls out the counts and the postures and we all practice together. Every other day people do their own practice to their own timing. It's sort of relaxing to go to led class even though there is a risk of being left in hard postures for a long time because you don't have to remember what count you are on or what to do next. You can just sort of let the class sweep you along.
Letema was part of my welcoming party at Kilimanjaro airport. This is him in the Arusha history museum with a picture of President Nyerere who was the first president of independent Tanzania and is a national hero.
With Saraswathi after my last Mysore practice. 
So I'm back to learning a new city and a new currency. Klara seems to have some plans for us. We've been driving around on her motorcycle which is a blast and Letema took his holiday yesterday (independence day) to tour me around and get me oriented. It was really really nice of him. He also told me about his experiences growing up in a Masai boma and moving to the city. As he says - you could write a book about it. I hope he does - he is very unique and incredibly interesting. In the interest of getting this up before I run out of battery I will pause now but more on Arusha later.

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