Tuesday, August 14, 2007
"Normally I just flip through the chapters on a DVD," stated Viorel Catarama upon receiving his copy. "On this one, I had to see every minute, every second. Of course, the first part I experienced first hand. I had no idea what our team experienced after they left me in Dar es Salaam. What a trip!"
(Oh, you want a DVD? Just contact us.)
Friday, April 6, 2007
The video clips are now online. Here are the links with a brief description of each one. Those with high speed internet access will be able to view them without too much difficulty.
- Viorel Catarama conducts a commitment service before lay people are given their DVD players and New Beginnings lessons. http://twingmm.netasi.org/assets/65002
- Several lay people were concerned a woman was present for the training session (Men only usually do this type of work). Musa assured them it was okay for a woman to preach by recounting how Jesus commanded a Samaritan woman to go tell others about what He had done for her. http://twingmm.netasi.org/assets/65003
- We'll never forget the sweet sounds of the lay people singing in Swahili: http://twingmm.netasi.org/assets/64996
- Ride along with us on the bumpy, rain soaked road for just a little while. "Just a Boring Old Freeway." http://twingmm.netasi.org/assets/64994
- We brought with us a sound system so our daughter, Tammy, would sound special. The African lay people really enjoyed her singing. Needless to say, we did, too! We were glad we bought the sound system. The church's sound system had been stolen the week before. Now Musa has a system he can plug into his Land Cruiser, along with his laptop computer, and video projector. http://twingmm.netasi.org/assets/64998
- In Swahili Tammy tried to tell the children to sing faster, faster. We repeated what she had said after watching the video -- "Oh no, I didn't say that, did I?" was her response. "It means slower, slower. No wonder the children were confused." http://twingmm.netasi.org/assets/64999
- The final video here is a rather large file, but worth downloading . . . it starts out with our drive up the hill from Heri Hospital, and the response of more than 200 children who were waiting for our vehicle to arrive. http://twingmm.netasi.org/assets/65004
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.