The first week of classes at the University of Dar es Salaam was absolutely amazing, but it was pretty overwhelming and stressful at times, thus it was SO nice to relax on Mdubia Beach on Saturday. We left for the beach around 10 AM, and arrived at the beach around 10:45 AM. As soon as we got there, Professor Quaye found us a straw hut to put our things under, and then we all sat down in this hut and just relaxed.
The waiter came over and we ordered lunch; after it was served, I sat in the sun with my IPod, and just looked at this beautiful beach. The water was crystal clear and the sand was so unbelievably soft and in it were the most beautiful shells and pieces of coral. The sky was blue with only a few clouds in it, and the breeze from the ocean camouflaged how high the temperature was. A little ways down the beach were cliff-type rocks and there were people taking pictures and sun bathing on them. I was so surprised that the beach wasn’t super crowded. Every beach or lake I have gone to in the United States has been so full of people that it is difficult to find a spot to sit down. Mdubia beach was not like that at all. There were only about 100 people in our section of the beach, so we were able to sit, run around, and swim wherever we wanted to. Oftentimes when I have gone to beaches in the states I have felt stressed and frustrated because of the lack of personal space and how noisy it is. Mdubia beach was quiet and peaceful. There, life just seemed to stop for a little bit. Nobody was in a rush, everyone there was just enjoying this absolutely beautiful beach on its’ own little island.
After a day at the beach (and a few sunburns) we all left and Professor Quaye surprised us with ice cream! After this day, I went home and put A LOT of aloe on. I reapplied sunscreen throughout the day, but we are so much closer to the equator here, and my skin was definitely not used to it! Luckily, I am no longer red and the burns have turned into a tan!
Mdubia was absolutely amazing. It was beautiful and it gave us all a chance to relax. Oftentimes here in Tanzania, I have gotten so wrapped up with schoolwork that at times I forget to stop and appreciate that I am in Africa. This trip to Mdubia beach really let me just pause for a day, and appreciate the opportunity of being in Africa without worrying about schoolwork. This experience at the beach with definitely remind me when I am stressed about school to just take a deep breath, recognizewhere I am, and how beautiful it is.