Scott Hanselman

Arusha Tanzania 2006 Day 3

December 5, '06 Comments [8] Posted in Africa | Musings
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I'm writing this via a CDMA 9600bps cell phone modem in Arusha, Tanzania.

It took us 3 days to get here. We went from Portland (PDX) to Seattle on Horizon Air, but apparently a plane fell off the runway and temporarily shutdown the airport for a bit, causing us to get in an hour late. Because we were late, we missed the Seattle (SEA) to Amsterdam (AMS) flight by four (4) minutes. Yes, they wouldn't open the door, and I found that a bit tacky. Consequently my wife, myself, Z and my parents (this is their first trip out of the country) had to stay at the lovely Airport Red Lion Inn for the night, wake up the next morning early and try again for the same flight, which, it so happens, we were again the last to board. It's non-trivial to travel with an infant and 400lbs of luggage (don't ask).

UPDATE:This is why I like blogging, and a good way to explain to folks why it’s such a neat aspect of my life. It’s about connecting with folks. It’s about community and sharing information. I just got this email from a reader of my blog.

Hi Scott,
I was reading your blog today and read about your troubles getting from PDX - SEA. 
I am really sorry to hear that you guys missed the flight by 4 minutes. I am a Captain
at Horizon Air and a .NET developer on the side. I was flying that day and it was a total mess in Sea-Tac. 
Here is what happened. Sea-Tac was fogged in all morning with visibilities under 1/4 of
a mile. Horizon has special approval to do very low visibility landings using a special heads-up display. This allows us to get into SEA when the visibilities are below 1/4 mile. (We can land in visibilities down to 600 feet) Anyway the airplane in question flown by a friend of mine, landed in SEA and rolled down the runway to the runway exit. The visibility at the roll out end was extreamly poor and the missed the runway turnoff and went off the runway. SEA has only 1 runway that is capable of landing aircarft in low visibility and they had to close the runway and the airport until the disabled aircraft can be removed off the runway. 
Hope you are having a wonderful time on your vacation. Looking forward to the next
Hanselminutes when you get back. Take Care.

It means a lot to me that I have readers of all backgrounds, not just massive nerds ;), and that we can use blogging as a forum to connect. Thanks for the information about the flight! We all got a kick out of it here in Arusha.

After a brisk 10 hour flight to Amsterdam, a short 4 hour layover, followed by a snappy 9 hour flight to Kilimanjaro, we boarded a caravan with our bags and drove and hour to Arusha.

Oy.

Anyway, we're all here, we're healthy (so far) and the mosquito nets cover the baby's crib quite nicely. Z is a little (+/- 11 hours) jet-lagged, as are my retiree parents, and Mo has a sore throat. My continuous glucose meter is helping me manage my blood sugar excellently and I'm wondering how I ever lived without it.

My sister-in-law works here in Arusha with the United Nations on the Rwandan War Crimes Tribunal. It's a very different town than Bulawayo. I'll hopefully have time to write up some observations on culture and language.

KiSwahili is very different from Ndebele/Zulu - it's more like Shona.

  • Mambo - hello to a peer
  • Safi - response, I'm OK
  • Chigamo - hello to an elder
  • Marahaba, ujambo - response, I'm OK
Give me a week, I'll hopefully have a lot more. Of course, we're speaking Ndebele in the house, and struggling outside, because unlike Zimbabwe, the average local here doesn't speak English.

I'll try to post some photos as I can, bandwidth allowing. We shall see. I'll get more technical posts up at the beginning of the year. We do have two podcasts in the can, and they will appear in the next few weeks. Also, I've got a new Coding4Fun article up, I'll try to post about that also - otherwise, forgive me this month of non-technical content.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006 3:57:58 PM UTC
Scott,

Hope you have fun in over seas. I am looking forward to going there next October with my family for a little excursion involving a lot of good food.

Brandon Krugman
Wednesday, December 06, 2006 5:51:18 PM UTC
Hope your trip goes well!
John Baughman
Thursday, December 07, 2006 3:27:18 AM UTC
While in Arusha, ask about a "Arusha handshake" ...
fx
Thursday, December 07, 2006 4:25:32 AM UTC
Ahh Tanzania. So close to my own country, Malawi. Wish I was there right now...not only that, its summer there too...I miss the heat (I live in arizona btw). :-)

Enjoy Tanzy Scott. Hope you have a nice time.
Sushant Bhatia
Thursday, December 07, 2006 2:47:29 PM UTC
Your lucky, I'm still waiting for my flight to get completed! I was on a Horizon flight out of Eugene (EUG) to Seattle (SEA) on Saturday morning Dec 2nd (we had already started our decent and was no more then 10 mins from landing) when the pilot came on the intercom and told us that we were being diverted to Portland (PDX) because a plane went off the runway in Seattle. By the time they got the runway open (I'm still sitting in Portland) my international flight to Korea/Philippines had already gone so I had Horizon call up Asiana Air to book me another flight but they were unsuccessful, no seats available until late next week! So I had no choice but to fly back to my starting point (Eugene) and get a new scheduled. I'm now scheduled to fly out again in the morning (Dec 8th). Anyway I missed my business meeting, financially it was big but it's all lost now.. and I missed one of my best friend's wedding.

I read what happen.. a Horizon flight with 20 on-board was coming in for a landing in the fog, they hit a runway light with one of their tires causing the tire to blowout, then they couldn't get stopped and ran off the runway. Nobody hurt, the delay was mainly to them trying to get the plane out of the mud and towed off the runway.

I don't thing Horizon cares a bit how they screwed up everybody's plans!
Friday, December 08, 2006 11:47:11 AM UTC
Ah, just across from the border from mi casa in Kenya!

BTW the hello to an elder should be Shikamoo (pronounced she - ka - moh, the moh drawn out). We also speak Kiswahili in Kenya
Friday, December 08, 2006 12:11:20 PM UTC
Rad: Marahaba! Thanks for the correction!
Scott Hanselman
Sunday, December 10, 2006 12:06:44 PM UTC
that's pretty cool how the pilot wrote to you. there's a lot of pilots who write code on the side, and vice versa.
and glad the glucometer is going well -- after the hanselminutes on diabetes-tech, feel very well informed about all this stuff.

i wish i could get a caffeine-meter, to monitor my levels throughout a marathon coding session.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.