Expanding our Tanzania programme to offer placements at the country’s largest teaching hospital has presented plenty of challenges, and perhaps the biggest has been to create our best Work the World house yet. But after weeks searching dozens of properties, we’ve found just the place! Set in the attractive and very safe Oyster Bay area, a far cry from the congested downtown area 4 miles away, we’ve got our own private swimming pool surrounded by banana trees, a huge garden and the perfect terrace for Rehema’s famous barbecues.
Dar es Salaam’s location within the country couldn’t be much better – across the water from Zanzibar, with coral reefs and dolphins just off shore, and handy for the big game reserves of the southern safari circuit – but many travellers are quite dismissive of the city itself. Spending time here recently, I’ve realised that this is because most people simply take the road from the airport straight into the city centre and completely bypass the infinitely nicer areas like Oyster Bay and the Sea Cliff peninsula. They’re definitely missing out.
Muhimbili National Hospital (the huge teaching hospital that will host our widest range of placements) is an easy bus ride from the house, and we have other specialist hospital placements even closer. As always when we set up a Work the World house, we’ve made every decision thinking from a student’s point of view and trying to make things as convenient as possible.
When you tire of sunbathing by the swimming pool in our garden, it’s about a 20 minute walk across the peninsula to the seafront bars and restaurants of the Slipway. It’s also easy to arrange boat trips to the nearby islands and coral reefs for snorkelling, diving and whale-watching. But don’t think this is a part of Africa that’s only for tourists and the rich; Dar es Salaam doesn’t feel segregated in the way that some African cities do, and I’ve just come back from a (HUGE) lunch of ugali in a local eating place a hundred metres from our front gate.
We’ve now got two and half months to build, paint, clean, plant, furnish and generally turn one big empty house into a place that, for a few weeks in Africa, our students will call home.
If you are interested in our new Dar programme then click here for more information.