Sunday, March 18, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I think I took this photo of the Giraffe with my Aunt Soni’s camera. He was a great big bull that was following Musa’s car around.
He freaked me out, because Musa told us that his windscreen got those cracks in it from an angry Giraffe who head butted Musa’s car when he tried to get it off the road by beeping at it.
At one point Joshua fell and in my rush to comfort him, I slipped and fell on my bum in a puddle of water. I was almost inconsolable. Then I realized what was going on. In Tanzania, there were very few washing machines, and almost no clothes dryers. And I have already described the shower situation.
We all ran out of clean clothes before the trip was up. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Why didn’t you wash your clothes like all the other people do, by hand?” Well, you have a valid point, except that we never stayed in one spot long enough for our laundry to dry. As it was we were washing underwear and socks in the sinks at our various hotels, and wearing them slightly damp if necessary. So you knew that once your clothes got dirty, they were going to stay that way until you got home.
I had developed a dirt phobia. Once I realized that, I just kept telling myself, “its ok, you can shower when you get home; you can wash your clothes when you get home.” I made everyone wait for supper while I had a shower and changed, even though before my trip I wouldn’t have bothered. As time goes by, as I said about the water, I am remembering that I can drink water anytime I’m thirsty, and I can afford to get dirty. But boy, is it a luxury.
The boys in this picture probably gave up trying to keep clean. I think their shirts used to be white!
We don’t realize how lucky we are in our western countries. According to my travel book, which was published in 2003, only 66% of Tanzanian children attend primary school, and only 6% attend secondary schools.
I was able to visit her house, and walk the path she would have walked on the way to the hospital.
It was very moving to see the runway. It was used, I've been told, at first by Erwin Farnsworth, then by Edward Perry. After Ed left, the plane was sold, so the runway hasn't been used much, if any at all, since then.
In this picture I am shaking hands with Dr. Rocero who currently runs the mission hospital. He says the hospital is well-known throughout Tanzania for it's specialty in surgery. I also met Dr. Oster, who is from Denmark.
Dr. Rocero and his wife are good friends of Grandma’s and they both told me many stories about her.
Being with my Mom and Pops was also so nice. In the photo we are standing at the front desk of a very expensive hotel in Dar Es Salaam. ($160 US dollars a night! Thanks for letting me stay with you guys in your room, Mom and Pops!)
Musa and Winfrieda quickly became family. They were so friendly and welcoming, and told me many, many stories about my grandmother, Ethel.
You guys are the greatest. I can’t wait to see you guys again, and I look forward to spending eternity with you all in heaven.
I got Musa to try on my Aussie hat. He looks like he’d be right at home in Australia, right guys?
In the first photo, the lady sitting in the front row was THE ONLY FEMALE attending the meetings. It’s kind of disconcerting to get up and sing in front of a group composed almost entirely of men. I don’t think I have ever experienced that before. At first, this seemed shocking to me.
After traveling and seeing the women on the street, and how they lived, and how hard they worked, it’s no wonder none of the lay women had time to go to a conference about evangelism!
Taking care of children at home would also limit the things they can do and the places they can go. Despite this, the Tanzania government is providing a positive example of women in leadership positions.
According to an article on BBC news online, written on 4 January 2006, the numbers of women ministers in the government has risen from four to seven and there are 10 female deputy ministers.
The first time Musa let Randy drive, the security company called Musa and asked him, “Are you alright?” (How did they know it wasn't him in the driver's seat?) At the time Musa was in the back of his own car with all the luggage, and we wondered if they could see him somehow and thought that he was being kidnapped.
As you can see in the photo, truck drivers have a unique way of securing their vehicles too, or at least the stuff inside their vehicles. Can you see the thorn bushes straped to the back of the truck? Good luck trying to climb up and reach inside!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Up in the front, however, Musa didn’t seem to have the same backlog of bottles as the rest of us. I was shocked when I discovered why. He was throwing them out the window! How rude, it’s his own country and he is throwing rubbish out the window? When questioned about it, he told us, “Oh, no, it is no problem. Whoever finds that bottle will be so happy. They are so useful for so many different things.”
After that, we all kept our eyes peeled for little children playing by the side of the road. Whenever we saw one, we would roll down the window and throw a bottle out to them. They would come running, jabbering excitedly. (We had to be very careful and throw one for each -- if we did not, a fight would ensue. You should have seen their happy faces. So cute!
On the trip to Moro and Dar, I put suitcases in the gap between the seats so I could lay down and catch up on my sleep. That was was nice. Not so on the way to Kigoma. They were all dirt roads with bumps that could knock you out flat, if you didn’t hold on.
After a while I began to feel like an M&M in a Tupperware dish being shaken by a hungry, frustrated giant. At the end of most days all my muscles ached from bracing myself against the walls of the Cruiser. Added to that was the fear of rain. It was wet when we started, and we saw all sorts of vehicles stuck in the mud. Musa had told us stories about being stranded for weeks at a time. And we were travelling at the beginning of the wet season! Thanks for the warning Musa! I was in constant fear of getting stranded and missing my flight home.
Out of the 13 days we were there, we spent 10 of them driving ALL DAY LONG!
The roads from Arusha to Morogoro and Dar Es Salaam were in fairly good condition.
There were a few unorthodox (when seen from my perspective) road signs, and ingenious warning signs. Instead of orange triangles to warn of an upcoming accident or road obstruction, the people put down green leafy tree branches along the road. It was very effective, and we saw many accidents “advertised” in this way. (Their frequency and number was slightly upsetting to me).
Now that I have had a chance to relax and recover a bit, its time to add my own posts to this blog.
Here’s a picture of me shopping for the family in Arusha. Since my mom has chronicled the trip so well, my reflections will not be to tell the story, so to speak, but to communicate some of the things I learned while in Tanzania.
There is a photo or two for each reflection, and I have my beautiful Mom to thank for that (she is going to kill me for posting this photo of her). She is the best photographer ever. :)
Carol also took many, many great photos, but she didn’t tend to hang out the window like Mom did, so I don’t have a similar photo of her to show you. If it weren’t for those two dear ladies’ photos, the only thing I would be able to show you would be blurry grass and people with half their heads cut off.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
It seemed however, because traffic headed toward you on the right, that there would certainly be an accident because we are all used to traffic headed toward us on the left.
To pass the time we renamed overturned trucks as holy rollers.
There is new meaning to tight squeeze:
- many people in the back seat of our vehicle
- two few inches clearance between passing vehicles
- bus capacity double or triple what it should be
- passengers tightly packed inside, extra people occupying the luggage rack on top
- no more room at the side of the road while skirting around the craters of the dirt highway
- passing between a tractor-trailer and another truck stopped across from each other on a mountain hairpin curve.
We discovered that these trucks had been stuck in the middle of this road for two days after a rain storm. They were waiting for the sun to dry the road so they could continue their journey. We passed with very little room to spare -- the tight squeeze! No telling how long we would have been detained at this spot. We wondered if they would be gone by the time we returned. They were!
Sometimes it may be better to just sleep on long trips. It might be possible if you didn't have to hang on for dear life. Doubt if anyone could sleep at times such as this?
Very soon they were lined up in the front of the school. Then they sang several songs for us. The first thing we did was to personally dress them in their new "Twing Memorial School" t-shirts. After they had the t-shirts on, draw string bags of goodies and colored pencils were distributed. Then the children went to their classrooms for some more singing and personal time with our team.
While the children were in their classroom, a crowd was gathering outside of the school -- parents, interested members of the village, and a large number of children who desperately want to enroll. We learned that all of the school children are missing one or both parents. The Twing Memorial Association for Health, Evangelism, and Education Development, a Tanzanian NGO (non-governmental organization), has determined that tuition will never be charged the families of the children attending this school. It was not built for those of privilege. Calculations were quickly done to determine the per student cost of running the school -- a mere $20 US per year -- for a twelve-month school year at that! Throughout the rest of our trip this figure haunted us as we considered the purchase of treasures to take home.
To meet the demands for enrollment, Pastor Musa showed us the foundation and walls of new classrooms that are being added right now. "It will cost $15,000 more to add these rooms," he informed us. "This will give us three more classrooms and a library," he added. We met the builder for the project. "We must give him a t-shirt, too." Musa suggested.
- Arrival in Nairobi, Kenya (2 days by air)
- Travel to Arusha, Tanzania (5 hours)
- Back to Border between Tanzania & Kenya to retrieve our stuff(3 hours)
- Return to Arusha with our stuff (3 hours)
- Arusha to Morogoro (7 or 8 hours, including three traffic stops and final ticket received by the van driver)
- Morogoro to Dar Es Salaam (3 hours)
- Dar Es Salaam to Arusha (8 plus hours)
- Arusha to Kasula and Twing Memorial School at Heri Mission Hospital (two days)
- Return to Arusha (two days)
- National Park to photograph animals (three hours)
- Return to Nairobi to catch plane to London (5 hours)
"I’ve been Everywhere" has new meaning when you consider the type of roads we’ve traveled . . . newly paved, paved and acceptable, wholly paved, half paved, newly constructed wider road, heavily traveled rut filled wider road, road with ruts a car could disappear in, slippery red roads with deep ruts, sand-filled roads, rain soaked sand-filled roads, cow trails, roads less traveled through the woods, and roads defying the definition of what a road should be.
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Tammy's music added a special dimension to the training program. Living in Australia for the last two years we've missed her, Luke, and the boys terribly. How mature she has become, not only in her personality, but in her voice. She sang like an angel, with so much grace and confidence. It was obvious the audience enjoyed her song service and special numbers.
Had never seen Viorel Catarama before an audience. He's traveled all over the world doing evangelism with his family. His presentations were equally as awesome. And, Pastor Musa Mitekaro, wow, what a presentation! It is obvious that this man, one of Mama Twing's children, was meant to be a pastor. He's won thousands since he was a mere teenager. Just this past six months he has baptized more than 4,000. He was powerful in his presentations on getting people to a decision and preparing them for baptism.
The commitment ceremony capped off our presentations. We are anxious to hear how these laymen and pastors, all 300 of them will use their new tools. They'll have some challenges, such as re-charging the battery. Most of them do not have electricity in their homes. They'll grab power from vehicles they travel in . . . government offices, just everywhere they can!
All the while presentations were being made, work was happening in the back room. We had to assemble all the parts of the DVD players, the cords, batteries, etc. as they had been disassembled to pack them in suitcases and foot lockers, equalizing volume and weight to minimize the number of pieces we brought on the plane.
Also, the copy work had not been done before our presentations, so a fair amount of collating had to be done. It was hot in the back hallway where this work was being done. There were no fans. We thought we would die, but the work got done. The conference president worked along side of us through part of the work. There wasn't a dry spot on his shirt after a few minutes of gathering things together.
Hang on . . . laymen in Tanania have some new tools. They now know how to use them. It will be exciting to receive reports from this field. BTW, did I mention that many of them, too, traveled for days to get to the training session.
When Dr. Twing died in 1972 I was overcome with grief. There was no funeral, just the words of his death delivered to me on my birthday. For years I caught glimpses of him in various people -- his characteristic walk, his hair, other very obvious features. Every time I saw his car, a blue VW rabbit, I was sure he would appear, that he did not die in Africa. Finally the reality set in and life went on. Now with my husband Randy (who owns the registration number of Dr. Twing's airplane), the granddaughter he never met, and Mama Twing's African children, I see his resting place. It was difficult to hold back the tears. Oh for that day when we will all be reunited!
As mentioned, we had trouble at the border. Finally we ended up paying duty on our DVD players, a fee we should not have had to pay. Viorel and I waited in the car while the Africans took care of the negotiations. It took a whole day. While we were there we photographed African life at the border. Here you see technology is coming to Africa in the way of cell phones. Even the Maasai had them!
"Had your driver offered $100 we would have waved you by," the duty officer explained. Negotiations after that point consumed an entire day. Even to involvement of supervisory staff. After a rate was determined the payoff of various people along the process didn't stop. Graft and corruption are the way of life in every level of government. Needless to say, there were prayers of rejoicing when our goods were finally received.
Arriving late in the evening with everything in Arusha, our team worked several hours to reduce the number of containers so we could take them and ourselves to Morogoro another day's travel. We had a 20 passenger hotel van from Nairobi to Arusha, a 10 passenger van and Toyota Land Cruiser from Arusha to Morogoro.