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What to Bring: Clothing
What to Bring: Household items
What to Bring: Medical Supplies
What to Leave at Home
What to Know: Arrival Flight
What to Know: Finances
What to Know: Guesthouse Living
What to Know: Costs
What to Know: The Arusha Hospitals
Map of Arusha
Both Selian guesthouses are located on Ilboru Road about one mile north of downtown Arusha. The
Resident’s House (Exempla House) is a 10 minute walk up Ilboru Road from the main Moshi/Nairobi road
that cuts across the top of Arusha. The Medical Student’s House is located another 4-minute walk above
Exempla House. Both are gated guesthouses with protective hedges, shading trees, yards, living rooms,
full kitchens, Western-style bathrooms, and multiple bedrooms. Both guesthouses are very comfortable
places to stay during your time in Tanzania. Karibuni! (You are very welcome!)
What to Bring: Clothing: (In Arusha temperatures never go below 50 F and rarely above 85 F)
-Strong, sturdy walking shoes: Trail shoes or light hiking shoes (brands like Merrell, Keen, Patagonia,
Vasque) perform best. Running and tennis shoes are too flimsy.
-Durable sandals with toe-bumpers like Chacos, Keens, or Tevas
-Flip-flops for around the house or at the beach
-3 to 4 pairs of lightweight cotton or nylon pants, capris, or long missionary-style skirts Shorts are not
considered appropriate attire except for tourists
-1 to 2 pairs of shorts for wearing around the house or at the beach
-Swimsuit (there is a pool at the Ilboru Safari Lodge)
-Lightweight cotton/polyester shirts that you don’t mind getting washed by hand and dried in the sun. If
you decide to donate your clothing at the end of your stay, you’ll have more room to pack gifts.
-Several short-sleeve button-down shorts or blouses for wearing to dinners, events. Think Hawaiian or
tropical shirts--although avoid the color blue (it attracts our flies)
-1 to 2 long-sleeve shirts or pull-overs for evenings (to protect against mosquitoes)
-Sweat pants or jacket for colder months (June to August)
-Lightweight rain shell or umbrella
-5 to 6 pairs of underwear, bras, and medium to thick walking/hiking socks
-Sleeping clothes or pajamas--long pants and sleeves are best to protect against mosquitoes
-Hats: baseball caps work best for walking, while sun or safari hats are better for traveling, beach
-Hiking boots, sleeping bag, backpack--only if you plan to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or Mt. Meru. Most
mountaineering gear can be rented here, but you should bring your own broken-in boots What to Bring: Household Items
-Durable 1-liter water bottle
-Lightweight backpack to carry to work
-Thin wallet or money belt
-Hand sanitizer--pocket-size is best (bring a lot)
-Anti-malaria drugs Doxycycline or malarone (NOT Lariam)
-First aid kit: Imodium, Cipro, Metronidazole, Pepto-Bismol, Benadryl, Ibuprofen, Tylenol
-Overnight duffle or backpack for weekend trips
-Canvas grocery bag(s) for hauling food back from markets or supermarkets
-Laptop computer or netbook.
-Flashlights or headlamp: headlamp best (can be used to read when electricity is out which is often)
-Travel alarm clock
-Camera, memory cards, and USB connection cable
-English-Swahili phrasebook or travel dictionary
-Bath soap & shampoo (easily bought here), mosquito repellant (at least +30% DEET), and sunscreen (at
least +30 SPF)
-iPod or music player if you want to rock out
-UK to US electric plug adapters
-UK-plug outlet surge protectors (some power-strips in the house, but best to travel with one)
-Electric chargers for camera batteries, shavers, laptops, iPods, etc - make sure they are 220-volt
-Pens, notebooks, journals
-Medical references, pocket manuals, and compendiums (nice if you can donate them at the end of your
-White coat with name tag
-Stethoscope (otoscope, ophthalmoscope optional) What to Leave at Home
-Sheets, blankets, towels, wash-clothes or any kind of bedding--all is provided
-Mosquito nets--unless you plan to do your own backcountry traveling or flying medical missions. All beds
in guesthouses and safari lodges have mosquito nets
-Cooking utensils, plates, cups, spoons, etc.
-Hair dryer, curling iron (not worth the weight)
-Clothes iron (there is one in the house)
-Desktop computers or monitors
-Water purification tablets or filters--unless you plan to camp or travel cross-country
-Shortwave radios (Internet is easier to access) Safari and Travel outside Arusha:
-Taking a weekend or longer to enjoy a safari is part of the Tanzania experience
-Most Selian volunteers don’t plan a safari trip before they arrive. Arranging a trip locally is much cheaper
than arranging from abroad. And a benefit of planning a trip here is that you can join with other
residents/medical students to share costs and have more fun.
-Recommended Arusha-based safari companies include Serengeti Select, Sunny Safaris, and JM Tours.
-You can do weekend trips to local national parks like Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, and Lake Manyara
from Arusha. Serengeti National Park is a longer drive and difficult to visit in a weekend timeframe.
-Most safari companies require payment in U.S. dollars (see Finances section below)
-Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or Mt. Meru requires more advanced planning and specialized equipment. Do
research on your climb before you arrive. The Marangu Hotel is an established, well-regarded climbing
company. What to Bring: Medical Supplies
-It’s best to check with current medical volunteers to find out what is needed at the moment. Contact
Linda Jacobson for their email addresses.
-Supplies that are generally needed: LP needles (peds), sterile gloves, bed pads (chucks), bulb suctions,
sets of sheets, headlamps, small calculators, measuring tapes, “C” and “D” batteries, glucometers, and
Pharmacopia books. What to Know: Arrival Flight
-Most volunteers arrive via the 10-hour KLM flight from Amsterdam (AMS) to Kilimanjaro airport (JRO),
which lands at 9:30pm local time.
-JRO airport is located approximately 45 minutes east of Arusha on the Arusha-Moshi Road.
-If you do not have a volunteer work permit (see Visa section on the website), it’s best to get your Visa
from the Tanzanian embassy in Washington, DC prior to arriving to the country--and it can still take 1.5
hours to go through immigration, retrieve luggage, and exit JRO airport.
-Most volunteers catch the Impala Hotel shuttle bus (TSH 15,000) to downtown Arusha, where you can
be picked up by Linda Jacobson and transported to the guesthouse.
-Alternatively, you can take a taxi from JRO to Arusha (Cost: Tsh 40,000 to 50,000). A trusted and
reliable taxi driver is Abdul (firstname.lastname@example.org; +255 (0)787-667027). Note to dial mobile numbers
inside Tanzania, you need to include the (0), but not the country code. What to Know: Guesthouse Living
Both guesthouses are located on Ilboru Road about one mile north of downtown Arusha. The Resident’s
House (Exempla House) is a 10 minute walk up Ilboru Road from the main Moshi/Nairobi road that cuts
across the top of Arusha. The Medical Student’s House is located another 4-minute walk above Exempla
House. Both are gated guesthouses with protective hedges, shading trees, yards, living rooms, kitchens,
Western-style bathrooms, and multiple bedrooms. Both guesthouses are very comfortable places to stay
during your time in Tanzania. Karibuni! (You are very welcome!)
-Kitchen stove is fueled by propane gas canister (cost to replace one is Tsh 45,000)
-The hot water heater for showers is electric and should be turned on 45 minutes before showering
-Refrigerator is electric and is about ¾ size of a typical American fridge
-Boil all water before drinking to kill giardia and other pathogens. Most houses boil a large pot (3 to 4
liters) in the morning and the evening. Linda advises bringing the water to a boil for at least1minute.
-Resident’s house has a microwave and toaster; Medical student’s house has neither of those appliances
-AC power is through UK-style plugs and at 220-volts (AC power in the US/Canada is 120-volts). Most
laptops, digital camera, camcorders, electric shavers, and other travel devices are designed for both
120/220 volts. Check device specs before
-All US-plug devices will require a UK to US plug adapter, several of which are in each house. You should
bring your own if you plan to travel.
-To use a 120-volt-only device in Tanzania, you need to bring a 120/220-volt transformer. Exempla House
has several around.
-Both houses have several surge-protecting power strips (UK plug style) to protect computers and
appliances against frequent power fluctuations. Powers surges will destroy unprotected electronic devices
and Arusha has lots of power surges. Bring your own 220-volt, UK-plug-in surge protector if you plan to
travel while charging electronic equipment.
-Resident’s House (Exempla House) has wireless Internet. Type in the password once to connect.
Wireless only works when electricity is functioning. Because the Resident’s House is a local Internet hub,
the Internet often works (though the wireless doesn’t) when the power is off. In those instances, you need
to connect the Ethernet cord directly to your computer.
-Medical Student’s House is in the process of getting wireless Internet (March 2010)--but it might be best
to bring a long Ethernet cord to connect to the hub. Medical Student’s house is not an Internet hub, so
when the power goes out, so does the Internet.
-The Internet connection is fastest early in the morning and late at night--it becomes very slow during
business hours. When the connection is fast, you can conduct Skype voice calls to North America
-Both Houses employ a housekeeper who comes three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
from 10am to 3pm. The housekeeper washes dishes (it’s polite to clean most of the dishes yourselves,
and leave only that morning’s dishes for her), cleans the kitchen, washes the floors, changes the linens,
and washes the laundry. The laundry cycle takes two visits to complete, because she places the washed
laundry out to dry on Monday, and collects it and irons it on Wednesday. Ironing kills eggs laid by bot flies
in drying clothes. Laundry on the clotheslines often gets rained on, but stuff dries quickly here.
-Both Houses also have a gardener/day-guard who works from 8am to 4pm, and a night-guard (askari)
who works from approximately 8pm to 6am.
-The Housekeeper is paid by the occupants of the house at the end of each month. In March 2010, the
payment was Tsh 15,000 per month. The day-guard and night-guard are paid by someone else.
-Every night before retiring, the occupants of each house need to brew a tall cup of tea with sugar and
milk for the night-guard, and supply him with some crackers or other snacks. Instructions on how to do
this are recorded inside each house. What to Know: Finances
-Downtown Arusha has multiple ATMs that accept bank and debit cards and allow you to withdrawal
Tanzanian shillings. Most are linked to Visa. Your ATM pin must be
a 4-digit number.
-Important: Prior to leaving the U.S. or Canada, contact your credit card companies and banks to let them
know you are traveling to Tanzania, and the dates you plan to be there. Otherwise credit and debit card
charges made in Tanzania will be automatically rejected by US banks.
-Visa is most widely accepted in Tanzania; Mastercard is sometimes accepted. AMEX and Discover are
not used here. Most businesses charge an extra 5% fee for credit cards. Note: CapitalOne doesn’t
charge a foreign currency transaction fee.
-Safe, guarded ATMs are located near the Duty Free Shop in the Arusha International Conference Center
(AICC) on Mashariki Road, at the Tembo ATM next door to the Precision Air office on Boma Rd and
Barclays Bank (main office). DO NOT USE
ATMs at unguarded locations
-Most ATMs have a limit of Tsh 400,000 (approximately $260) per withdrawal.
-Most safari companies require payment in U.S. dollars--not Tanzanian shillings. If you are planning a
safari, bring cash (not much,theft is a common problem) or use a credit card (safer).
-Budget $250-300/day for a safari. Budget $1,000 to $1,200 per person for a six-day Kilimanjaro climb. What to Know: Housing Costs
-Per-room rent at the guesthouses is $200 (Tsh 260,000) per month, pro-rated for your stay. Rent
payments are made to Linda Jacobson in $USD or Tanzanian shillings
-Housekeeping costs Tsh 15,000 per house per month, and is paid to the housekeeper on her last
workday of the month.
-Internet costs $71 per month (split between all users), and is paid in person in $USD or Tanzanian
Shillings at the beginning of each month.
-One person in each house should track and collect Internet and housekeeper payments. -What to Know: The Arusha Hospitals
-Volunteers will work at Arusha Lutheran Medical Center--also called ALMC (the new town hospital),
and/or Selian Lutheran Hospital--also called Selian.
Selian Lutheran Hospital (Seliani)
Arusha Lutheran Medical Center (ALMC)
-Most short-term (under one year) medical volunteers will work at Selian Hospital, which is located 12km northwest of the city on the Arusha/Nairobi road. You can also walk to Selian on hilly back roads--a distance of 6km (3.7 miles) that takes approximately 70 minutes. -Selian hospital serves the rural, poor Massai population outside of Arusha. Most patients don’t speak English, but bedside translations can be made through nurses, staff, and other patients. Wards include Pediatrics, Ob/Gyn, Internal Medicine, and Surgery. -Conditions at Selian reflect the challenges of practicing medicine with limited resources in the developing world. Be prepared to learn, improvise, teach, and do it all over again. -ALMC serves a mostly urban and middle-income population from inside Arusha. Wards include Pediatrics, Ob/Gyn, Internal Medicine, and a busy Surgery. -ALMC is located in downtown Arusha, about a 30-minute walk from the guesthouses on Ilboru Road. -It is usually possible to hitch a ride to Selian and ALMC when visiting doctors with cars/SUVs are living on Ilboru Road and driving to work. Check with Linda Jacobson. -For a complete history of Seliani and ALMC, check out the 2010 blog posts by Arusha-based Lutheran missionary coordinators, Bob abd JMe Lowden
-It is also possible for volunteer residents and medical students to participate in health care outside of the two main hospitals, including the Flying Medical Service and the Selian Hospice Program.
Flying Medical Service
Medical volunteers can sign up to join the crew of a small airplane to practice preventive care
over three days in remote bush locations. Contact Pat Patton to place your name on the waiting
list. Selian Hospice Program
Volunteers can sign up to participate in home-visits with Selian’s trained hospice teams. Most
hospice patients have HIV/AIDs, and hospice teams work to improve their living conditions,
access to medical treatment, and spiritual and mental well-being. Contact Paulina to join a
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