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Dar es Salaam-ing it – Some Tanzanian adventures

Monday, 06 February 2017
Ildiko Gyarmati
Dar es Salaam-ing it – Some Tanzanian adventures

"Jambo! By way of introduction, I am currently a second year candidate attorney, with this being my final rotation before truly joining the grown up world. "

Jambo! By way of introduction, I am currently a second year candidate attorney (trainee in the Dar es Salaam office), with this being my final rotation before truly joining the grown up world. I feel like this is the best way to end off my articles. I have been here for about 2 months and I am not sure where or how to begin describing the experience so far. Consequently this blog should be considered a stream of consciousness, as I reflect on the adventure so far.

Right from the beginning of my articles, my aim was to go on a secondment. I was not fazed about where and happily applied for all 3 locations available and to my delight got this one. Some extenuating circumstances have led to my secondment being shorter than usual and as a result I am just over half way through my adventure here however that has not taken anything away from the experience. I felt truly welcomed in Dar es Salaam as my first weekend here I was introduced to much of the local nightlife, and found myself sleeping most of Sunday to get ready for the first Monday as a trainee in a new team. Many weekends ended up being spent this way or attending barbeques (what we South Africans know as Braai’s) and enjoying some nyama choma (braaied meat), nkuku mishkaki (chicken skewers), and barbequed ndizi (a savoury type banana). It has been great meeting people and strangely I have yet to find myself in the expatriates crowds, except for when I am with the church group. Yes, a tiny little church situated at Coco beach meeting in a little hall called Dar es Salaam Christian Fellowship, introduced to me by Stephan May (an associate from the Cape Town office who has also been seconded here) – attending the church has allowed me to meet other people in Tanzania from all over the world.

Apart from the nightlife shenanigans, there were some quiet weekends I spent merely venturing around Masaki, walking around, having delicious lunches at restaurants with gorgeous views, tried my hand at touch rugby (discovered it was not for me) or riding the bicycle around Masaki. Ah, the bicycle this has been an odd enjoyment as I have not ridden a bicycle since possibly high school (if not even before that). Riding around was gave a pure child-like sense of enjoyment, possibly also attributable by the lack of having a vehicle here and being able to be on some form of wheels providing that sense of freedom. Apart from the local life and adventures Dar es Salaam has to the offer, the office life is quite important to mention too.

The office is substantially smaller than the Johannesburg office but extremely welcoming. Work involved a lot of the transactional work which, luckily, I have been exposed to before as a result it did not take long to adjust to the type of work. The pace did feel a lot more relaxed than Johannesburg however with that being said, I happened to arrive at the ideal time of when everyone is trying to close a big project finance transaction. This meant more than 12 hours at a time sitting in negotiations meetings in a hotel room, located in the city centre of Dar es Salaam. This was truly an experience, and with another one of these sessions coming up I at least know what to expect this time around. There is a steady flow of work and the exposure to clients is phenomenal.

A Tanzanian adventure is not complete without a trip to Zanzibar. My fiancé came through to Tanzania and we went to Zanzibar just after Christmas. Zanzibar is like going from a developing country to a rather untouched place; largely covered in forestry and beaches it was a wonderful escape from normal life. We stayed 1 night in Stone Town, which is largely an Islamic town. Stone Town is rich in history for the salve trade and spice trade. The town can largely be described as a maze of wooden marvels – due to the amazing enormous intricately designed doors, and balconies that can be found as you walk through the tiny interconnected streets. I found it also to be a meeting of old and new as the hotels could be located right next to a dilapidated building, but it somehow added to the personality of Stone Town. Thereafter we decided to experience the beach life and reached our escape in Uroa Bay and Michamvi at wonderful resorts, constantly venturing out to explore the island.

I have reached about halfway through my secondment and look forward to what the remainder of it has to offer.

Office Christmas party, joined by another company in the building.

Masai performing their traditional dances.

Eating a local delicacy in the city centre– Indian dessert called Paan

On one of the random walks, this is at the pier at Slipway

My fiancé and I at the Rock – A restaurant in Zanzibar that is literally based on a rock


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