Our flight path from Doha to Zanzibar included a stop in Dar Es-Salam, capital of Tanzania. Fatma and I were lucky to have a friend from the Doha Film Institute join us. Ama is from Ghana, so she knew a thing or two about traveling in Africa. Fatma and I were conscious about our “city girl” status, so we were determined to prove courageous and break some stereotypes during the trip. You’ll have to wait for my “Inside the Jungle” episode to see how much we succeeded in that mission.
So our flight path was Doha Dar, Dar Zanzibar. Easy, right? The flight from Doha to Dar Es-Salam was smooth. Except for my earphones splitting in my hands into two, we slept most of the road. At least I did. I woke up over Kenya and took a look at mount Kili, as the locals referred to the great Mt. Kilimanjaro. For me, Mt. Kilimanjaro was something we study in eighth grade Geography as the highest mountain in Africa. And I had read folk stories about it in my Mythology class at Hollins. So seeing Mt. Kili was a historic moment for me, even from a plane. And it is a beautiful mountain 🙂
Soon thereafter, we landed in Dar (another local abbreviation). The airport there was fit to be in “City of God”. We literally walked through dark slums to get from one place to another inside the airport. But there was something cozy about it. And of course there was Ama to save us!
We finished our immigration adventure and were told to head to a local terminal to fly to Zanzibar. But we wanted to “see” Dar Es-Salam. We asked the officer inside the airport to allow us to go out to take a photo. He didn’t. We nagged; city girls! He said, “five minutes!” It was raining heavily outside the airport. But that was my first tropical rain so I was still able to enjoy it.
When we went to the “Terminal” we found ourselves in a room. For myself, I was starving. But the only duty free shops were two: One was selling souvenirs and the other was selling local pastries and soft drinks. Nobody died of hunger that day. But I almost died of terror when I saw the “airplane” of our next leg of the journey.
It was a jet with two propellers. To me it seemed like a Brothers’ Wright airplane. Did these people expect me to fly on this thing? Does my Mom know I am being sent to Zanzibar on something that is supposed to fly with two fans? Every piece of news I ever heard of a small plane crash in Africa started flashing back. Anyway, the real question at the time was, do I really have a choice but to get meself on the plane and shut up? I didn’t. So that is what I did. And the plane took off to Zanzibar. For the record, that was a very smooth flight on a low altitude, which provided us with beautiful scenery underneath.
You can watch Super.Full. and vote for it if you like, via this link: http://www.youtube.com/yourfilmfestival