I am looking in to moving to Tanzania in September to join a project at the Faraja Orphanage in Arusha.
We will be doing it via a NGO called MICATZ (Maasai International Challenge Africa).
Have anyone ever been in Arusha? how's the city like? is it dangerous? did you feel safe?
Have anyone heard of MICATZ and know what it's like to work with them?
What about the Faraja Orphanage?
I would appreciate if you could share your experiences with me.
I have no experience with MICATZ, I do know however that Khaya Volunteers
has just added this same orphanage to their projects, as their first project in Tanzania.
My experiences with them are very positive, since they are locally based for support etc.
The guidance is perfect, they are there when you need them but you have the freedom to do what you want to do. And, another good thing, they are very affordable. Especially when you compare them with other organisations. You might want to check out their website You can also contact me if you would like to have some more information.
Good luck and have fun if you are going there!
Arusha is a city of around 400,000. The weather is cooler than most other parts of the country, whhich will be a plus goiing into that time of year. It is a big tourist hub and the city is quite used to foreigners. The traffic can be pretty frustrating at times since the road infrastructure has not kept up with the growth. As for safely, like most places, it depends on where you are in town. I have had a few narrow escapes from gangs of thieves at the bus station, so keep alert there. Faraja Orphanage seems to be a popular place for volunteering. I have not been there but have heard of several people who had gone there, all with good experiences. I hope that you enjoy yourself and please send us some feedback to help others in the future.
Of course you have to be cautious when travelling, but what kind of "narrow escapes" have you had in the bus station? I have had my purse robbed from my bag, been annoyed incessently by fly catchers and even been hit (nudged really) by a taxi driver in Arusha bus station, but Ive never been in a dangerous situation. Sure its packed with people there! What kind of "narrow escape" were these encounters in a busy bus station?
I ask because I dont like this fear factor that is perpetuated by volunteer agencies (By this I mean the fee paying agencies that convince you to volunteer through them as its somehow 'safer') about travelling in Africa. I have heard of some incidents in Arusha where people were mugged when walking down empty roads, but not in the bus station. Also, theres a difference between having your bag robbed and being in real danger.
Just excerise due caution. Dont walk alone at night, ever. Dont carry expensive cameras etc around with you. Dont go back to the house of some guys you've just met. ninety percent of muggings happen at night when people are out walking when they shouldnt be. Arusha is safe, thousands of tourists, volunteers and development workers pass through it each month. As with any city, sometimes stuff happens but dont feel in anyway scared about travelling to Arusha or any other town in Tanzania, I dont put myself in dangerous situations and as such i never felt unsafe when out and about in Moshi or Arusha.