It’s fortunate (and perhaps a bit selfish) that I elected to write the cultural blog post this week. I'll report on our African safari experience – certainly the highlight of my trip so far, and I think my group members would agree.
We reached Shanghai on 7th May for our GAP project after a long flight of around fifteen hours from Chicago. On the first night, we took a stroll in the nearby market and saw that almost all the stores, restaurants, etc. have inscriptions in Chinese. We met hardly anyone on the street or in the restaurants who could understand English. It took almost 30 minutes for us to convey to the waiter what we wanted for food (read tofu and chicken). As the days rolled by, we became more comfortable communicating in broken Chinese and sign language.
Our first week in Shanghai has been a great experience. I was very impressed with the house that we rented, although, from the outside, it looked less than inviting. Overall, the amenities have been very good, and basically what I expected (and what I would expect in a country of China’s level). The neighborhood where we are located has been interesting as well. It is close to the large shopping areas, the old French colonial quarter, and the famous Shanghai skyline.
Jambo! This is my first blog post from Kenya. Our team landed in Nairobi in waves last Saturday and were greeted by overcast and cloudy weather. The driver who picked me up told me that the monsoon was late this year. Our accommodation is in a highly secure part of Nairobi, very close to most of the foreign embassies. We had a meeting with our client on Sunday, where we were introduced to the Kenyan Team that has been working on this project. We went through a macro level planning of our next four days in Marsabit County, which is a twelve hour drive from Nairobi.
After a long and exhausting 18-hour flight from the United States, the OSU/OneHealth team arrived in Addis Ababa, the capital of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. We had to board a prop plane in order to travel to Gondar, the first city where we would be starting our project.