Crosswalks, bagels, glass buildings, huge supermarkets, TVs, actual sofas, good wifi, drinkable tap water, big streets full of cars, streets lined with huge buildings, traffic jams, street lights and more. All things that are in Dubai. Two whole months in Tanzania, with limited food options and always something that is not working. Dirt roads and trash everywhere. I was in shock the whole ride to our hotel here. I thought about how this is something that Yahya of Zanzibar or Alex of Nungwi (staff member at airbnb in Nungwi, not our Alex) would not be able to imagine. So many things are different. I couldn’t remember the last time I had eaten a bagel.

“I don’t understand how they could justify building these giant skyscrapers and huge malls when other people don’t even have clean drinking water coming out of the tap.”

-Alex Alviar

“Dubai is like an oasis in the Middle East, having comforts much like the ones we have back in Seattle.”

-Alex Alviar

It is good to not take these things for granted. We were shocked by all the luxuries that Dubai had in stock for us. It was very very interesting coming from Tanzania to Dubai, modern luxuries and all. One of the big things was that the temperature was very different. Tanzania was in the Southern hemisphere, and now we’re in the North. The closer you get to the equator, the less variety you have between the seasons. We went from Summer in Tanzania (Southern Hemisphere) to Winter in Dubai (Northern Hemishere), and it feels incredible. I had almost forgot what it felt like to be cold. And another funny thing is that Dubai is on the opposite line of longitude from Seattle, so when it’s midnight here, it’s noon there, and vice versa.

I looked at the variety the world can have. From Tanzania to Dubai. Poor to Rich. Most people in Tanzania are poor, and a very small percentage are rich. In the UAE, most people are poor, and a very very small percentage are rich, and richer than the rich in Tanzania. It is more skewed in the UAE. In Tanzania, the poor shows. In Dubai, the rich shows. And that doesn’t mean that Tanzania is a bad place. We had plenty of fun in Tanzania, even when we lived in poor conditions like in Paje.

When we went from Paje to Kendwa, we didn’t think it could get any better. Dubai is better. I actually wear a shirt and blankets to bed. It feels so good to somtimes be cold, and even wear a shirt around the house. Yesterday I shivered! I am going to enjoy our time here.

We had decided that we deserved a little spoiling with some modern comforts. We got an indulgence night. We watched a movie on our TV with popcorn, chocolate, and real ice cream. Oh how it felt good to actually be eating ice cream.

Below: Things you would never see in Tanzania