DIVINE IN DAR ES SALAAM
"I flew to Tanzania last year in October to do a year abroad in Dar Es Salaam. For a long time I hardly heard anything about Corona, because there were simply no cases there. I thought it was some kind of flu and didn't look into it further.
Suddenly I noticed that people who wanted to leave the country had their flights postponed or cancelled."
"A friend paid 1600 € for the last flight, so I slowly noticed that the reactions from abroad were probably more blatant than what went on in Africa.
On March 15, I got the message that the start of the semester is postponed by 30 days."
"All of a sudden, Corona dominated all conversations, there were hardly any conversations without the topic. I was very worried about my friends in Germany because the numbers there were in completely different dimensions.
When they told me that they no longer shook hands and kept their distance from each other, I couldn't really imagine it."
"Then, on a Tuesday, the email came that I would get a flight for the following Thursday, which was organized by the Netherlands.
From Dar Es Salaam we flew via Cairo and Athens to Amsterdam, the journey took 38 hours.
Fortunately, there were instant noodles."
"There are still people who think that all this is not so bad and why we have to limit ourselves for a few percent. But these percent are people, these are people who are important to others and are needed.
Actually, it should be a matter of course that we do without certain things for these people."
"I wonder to what extent this pandemic will change our lives in the long term. I would never have imagined, for example, that it would be rude to shake someone's hand.
Apart from the social aspects, I find it very interesting how people in the healthcare system are being talked about. There, people have been complaining for a very long time that the workers are underpaid.
I’m curious whether there will be any lasting positive developments there."
"I only decided to fly back home in April. That was exactly the same day that the Tanzanian government decided to close the airport. I looked for flights, but they were all canceled.
Since there were no more commercial flights, I decided to just rely on the embassy, which had already said that there would be no return flights, since Tanzania was not a tourist hotspot."
"At the time of my departure, there were only 12 cases in Tanzania. This number lulled me into a false sense of security for a very long time, since the number of unreported cases was probably much higher. "
"I believe that as soon as this comes close to you, you would completely change your mind.
You would then do everything to make people feel better, and that includes not overburdening the healthcare system."