Tuesday, January 7, 2014

“Resting and relaxing is not all it cracked up to be.” ― Mama Africa

Before we came to Dar Es Salaam, I knew we would be going to a hotel with a pool and that it would be hot.  I also knew that Karen really enjoyed water aerobics and it helped her a lot.  So, I had the bright idea of ordering her a swimsuit and swimsuit cover from Amazon.com and had it shipped to my daughter-in-law, Brenda, in NYC.  Because time was critical, Brenda shipped the swimsuit directly to our hotel in Dar Es Salaam by DHL.  It only took four days for the package to make it from NYC to Dar Es Salaam, so it was here on the 19th of December almost ten days before we would get there.  So far, so good.  We arrived on December 31st and asked about the package.  It wasn’t there and the next day was New Year’s Day, so we waited until January 2nd to inquire again.  DHL confirmed that the package was at the airport, but it had not cleared customs as yet.  As of today, over a week later, we still do not have the package.  The hotel has called many times and has talked to almost everyone right up to the top at DHL and got no where.  Yesterday, the general manager of our hotel took it up with the head of DHL and got no where.  It seems customs has a big back log and they will get to it when they get to it.  Tomorrow, we will try to find a mall that sells swim suits in Karen’s size.  The great idea I had back in December would have been a good idea almost anywhere in the first world but was a non-starter in a third-world country.  No express mail, DHL, FedEx, or otherwise delivers to Bunda, so we only get regular mail, but we have never failed to get our packages by mail.  It may take three weeks to three months, but it always gets there.  We will probably leave here with only what we brought, although the hotel manager says that if it is delivered after we leave, he will personally mail it to us in Bunda.  As you can see by the picture at the right, Karen is not a happy camper and has had about enough of resting and relaxing.  She wants to get back to work and has a teaching seminar coming up the last week of January.  No email will make me happier than the one from the Embassy saying to come pick up my new passport.  I miss Bunda.  The only flight we could get out on our expanded itinerary leaves at six am, so we have to be at the airport at four am.  That’s fine with us.  We will be glad to get back home.
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