We arrived at the Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania on a gigantic plane that seemed to take up the entire runway! We deplaned onto the tarmac and walked into the airport. This is what our plane looked like –
We had a 45 minute drive ahead of us to where we were staying for the next two nights and we were so excited! Since we got into Tanzania so late, we couldn’t really see anything on the drive, but it was exciting nonetheless because WE ARE IN AFRICA!!!! We finally made it to the Arusha Coffee Lodge and were greeted by this:
We immediately knew we were going to love it here! We had dinner and then turned in for the night.
The next day, when we woke up it was RAINING. Like a good Midwestern rain, not like the drizzly California rain we’re used to!
Luckily, this was a rest day for us – the only thing on the agenda was a tour of the coffee plantation. We enjoyed the rain and then walked up to join the group for lunch. Before we ate, we got a tour of Shanga, which is a workshop that employs people with disabilities. They learn how to sew, weave, blow glass, and other things to create items that are sold all around the world. The money generated by this venture goes back to the program and to the people employed by this program to help them live independently and support themselves. It was a really incredible experience meeting these people and seeing how an investment in these people has changed their lives. I also loved their motto:
The other part of the program that I loved was that the coffee lodge recycles all kinds of things, like wine and beer bottles, plastics, aluminum, so that these people can make their creations and reduce waste all at the same time!
After lunch, it was time for the coffee plantation tour! Our guide, Nassoro, was amazing and we learned so much about coffee! We even got to sample fresh roasted coffee at the end of our tour! We also happened to see our first animal sighting here at the coffee lodge – the vervet monkeys!
Cabin Seven, Arusha Coffee Lodge, 2018
Ready for the Tour, Arusha Coffee Lodge, 2018
Nassoro, Arusha Coffee Lodge, 2018
Coffee Beans, Arusha Coffee Lodge, 2018
Coffee Flower Blossom, Arusha Coffee Lodge, 2018
Coffee Plantation, Arusha Coffee Lodge, 2018
Watching, Arusha Coffee Lodge, 2018
Exploring, Arusha Coffee Lodge, 2018
Waiting, Arusha Coffee Lodge, 2018