Subject: FW: RE: MY NIGHTMARE IN TANZANIA
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2009 15:04:53 -0400
From: Ray Bergen
To: Lisana Koliskowski
I am glad to be back in America after such a disastrous trip to Tanzania. The most important thing was getting back home safely and seeing my family. The only thing I can assure you is that, I will never set my foot in that country, and will advice anybody planning to visit Tanzania to refrain from doing so. The nightmare started at the airport, when my luggage checked in from Amsterdam disappeared mysteriously in Dar es Salaam. And my inquiry with the airport authorities was forwarded to the police. At the police station (Central) I was told that I could not get help unless I bribe them $500, because they needed the money for fuel and other necessary needs to investigate the theft. Supposedly the police officer did not open the case and turned me to be the criminal, constantly coming to my Hotel room, asking me for money. In short all my four year work was lost with the laptop at the Airport.
Came clearing the vehicle we were supposed to use in the research, from the agents to the customs authorities, the vehicle exceeded the actual cost. I would have paid $38,000 for a $16,000 vehicle. I could not bear being in such a corrupt country and decided to terminate my research, and left the vehicle uncleared after one month of struggle with the customs, who needed money after money and bogus letters. Supposedly these exuberant fees were not supposed to be there in the first place, because all registered NGO’s are supposed to be exempted from paying these taxes and fees, but then the deal had been cooked to rip Muzungu off. Being a Muzungu is being a cash cow in Tanzania. They don’t even fucken know that we are trying to help them. I pity the African continent and her people, I am glad they did not confuse me with Albino
Please advise any potential traveler to Tanzania to look for alternative country to visit, and if possible pass the message to the State Department as a warning to other Americans intending to visit this poor and corrupt country. I visited Botswana with my family in 2006. I tell you, could not be more satisfied with their politeness and straightforwardness, the same was in Mozambique where we received utmost hospitality.
Please, be careful and only travel to Tanzania when there is need and not to visit and do not carry any valuable. As soon as you arrive, register with the American Embassy