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Our Journey North

When our time in South Africa had ended I was excited to get to Tanzania.  After another full day of travel by plane, we finally made it to Kilimanjaro airport.  Coming into Tanzania you can see endless plains, Norongoro Crater and most impressively, Mount Kilimanjaro.  Much like I first noticed the moisture in the air in Cape Town, the first thing that hit me in Tanzania was the dryness. The air feels hot and dry, even early in the morning. We met our driver and made the hour drive into Arusha. 
Arusha
Arusha (Veronika Sieben)


Flying all night was quickly met by a much needed nap in the lodge, Arumeru. 
Our room at Arumeru Lodge
Our room at Arumeru Lodge (Veronika Sieben)

We had our own small cottage on this peaceful property.
Our room at Arumeru Lodge
Our room at Arumeru Lodge (Veronika Sieben)


On our first full day of exploring in Tanzania we headed back towards Moshi to make it to our coffee tour in Uru. Driving through the dusty streets of Arusha and Moshi, you notice the impressive presence of Coca-Cola and motorcycles taxis. Zipping all around you these taxis are ideal for traveling up the bumpy roads that cannot be accessed by the larger buses and so many locals choose to travel by bike.
 
Motorcycle taxi in Moshi
Motorcycle taxi in Moshi (Veronika Sieben)

The two most important foods in Arusha are coffee and bananas. We quickly learned that bananas are used in everything, and there is a banana for everything: dessert bananas, soup bananas, beer bananas, red bananas and kid bananas – it was bananas!  These, along with other fruits and vegetables are sold right on the street.
Traditional meal in Tanzania
Traditional meal in Tanzania (Veronika Sieben)

Uru is located outside Moshi in the foothills of Kilimanjaro. Culturally, the coffee bean is the center of focus in Uru because it is the backbone of their economy. 
 
Village of Uru
Village of Uru (Veronika Sieben)

Many families in this very poor region are dependent on their coffee farms. They are also very proud of their coffee.  The Arabica bean of region gets its unique flavor from the Kilimanjaro soil. 
Coffee: from the tree to the cup
Coffee: from the tree to the cup (Veronika Sieben)

Our coffee tour, naturally, started and ended with a cup of coffee.   Our guide for the day and one of the local farmers was Josepher or Jos for short.  We walked to a local coffee farm and he took us through the entire process of making cup of coffee, from picking the bean, drying it, roasting it and enjoying the delicious cup of Joe at the end. 
The entrance to our host's coffee farm
The entrance to our host's coffee farm (Veronika Sieben)

Removing the coffee beans from their husk
Removing the coffee beans from their husk (Veronika Sieben)

Jos shows us dried coffee beans after they have sat in the sun
Jos shows us dried coffee beans after they have sat in the sun (Veronika Sieben)

Our second delicious cup of coffee of the day
Our second delicious cup of coffee of the day (Veronika Sieben)

 

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