Travel & Fashion - Tanzania



 * The sign in front of my office, wearing one of my custom made office dresses* 

A few years ago now, the summer after first year law school, I had the privilege of going to Tanzania for 3 months to work as an intern at a women's legal aid clinic. The experience was challenging, rewarding, at times terrifying, and a hell of a lot of fun.

I lived and worked in the capital, Dar es Salaam. I rented a small house with 2 other interns in a local neighbourhood (ie. not an expact community). I loved our house, it was bright and vibrant - filled with local artifacts. We also had a rooster that lived in the backyard (I named him George). George was my favourite because he was pretty much incompetent at his only job (being a rooster). He would - without fail - cock-a-doodle-do exactly 20 minutes after the sun rose every morning. As a total non-morning person I friggin loved him. George got me.


* My house *

I loved the work I got to do while in Tanzania, but more than that, I loved meeting and getting to know the phenomenal women I got to work with. From other lawyers, to social workers, to friends working in the peace corps, everyone was so passionate. It was uplifting to say the least.

Ok, I know you are all reading this for fashion too so let me get to that! The fashion in Tanzania was incredible. What many people don't know is that Tanzania is quite the mix of traditional East African culture and Indian culture. There is a large and vibrant Indian diaspora community in Tanzania. It creates, in my opinion, a culture and life that is really unique to Tanzania. By way of fashion, there are many Kangas and Katenges (traditional Tanzanian fabrics) with bold and bright patterns, but, there are also traditional indian garments such as Sari's.

I was lucky enough to live and work primarily in Dar, but I also spent a lot of time with friends in a nearby village called Bagamoyo. The town is home to an amazingly talented seamstress who made me a number of beautiful pieces of clothing. 


Living in Tanzania for as long as I did there was no doubt that I needed to get appropriate clothing for different local functions. Let me tell you, I did NOT have to be asked twice to "Go get traditional clothing made" haha. I jumped at the opportunity. Below are photos of me with my colleagues in a number of the dresses and outfits I had made.


custom-dress


See what I mean about bright and bold colours?! To me, the whole country just exudes vibrance. Below are a few photos that my dear friend Hannah took that I think really illustrate this: 

Tanzanian-Fashion

The other AMAZING part about Tanzania that I have to tell you about is the Safari that I took in Ngorongoro National Park just outside Arusha, Tanzania. An African Safari was something that was on my bucket list, and to be honest I am still in shock that I was able to cross it off my list. My safari was everything I ever could have imagined and more. My roomate/colleague Madison and I did a 4 day safari where we slept in tents RIGHT ON THE SERENGETI ... literally no fences, no nothing, just us plunked down in the middle of the wilderness. 

Safari-tents-ngorongoro-serengeti
*Madison and my tent- day one*

Tanzania-Travel-Safari

*Going on safari in our 4X4. Madison and I met up with two American guys also wanting to do a safari, so we joined up with them and spent our days in this 4x4 watching the animals together* 

I couldn't believe how many animals we saw on safari, nor how close we were to them. In particular I had, shall we say, a "situation" with a zebra... but I'll tell you about that at the end. First, here are my favourite pictures from my safari:
Africa-safari-animals

Affordable-African-Safari
Sunset-Safari

Tanzania-Safari-Animals

Africa-Safari-Zebra

Africa-Travel-Safari

Cheetah-Wild-Africa
Giraffe-Safari

And last, I leave you with my zebra story (and a favourite Zebra picture). So, it's the middle of the night and I wake up and realize I have to pee. Not an "I can wait till morning pee, but a my-bladder-is-exploding type of pee". I realize that I am going to need to leave the tent in the middle of the night and walk to the nearby outhouse.

On go my boots, on goes my head lamp, unzip goes the tent door, and out I go. Now, being considerate, I decided not to turn my headlight on until I had walked a few steps away from the tent so as to not wake Madison. So, in complete darkness I step one step around the corner of our tent and *BAM* .... I was standing face to face with a ZEBRA. After a solid few seconds of both of us standing there staring at each other frozen, I turned and BOOKED IT the other direction {swearing and screaming like a crazy person, of course}. Thankfully, I made it safely to the outhouse and back to my tent (taking a very long route around Mr. Zebra) without any further incident. All I could think though is; seriously!?! Who the heck RUNS INTO A ZEBRA?!?! The things that happen to me :S, hahaha. 


African-Safari-Zebra

8 comments


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