Saturday, June 4, 2011

First Days in Tanzania

Given the variablity of access to internet, I will journal everyday and post the days or events which seem to be most interesting.  I have arrived safe and sound in Tanzania, plus I have overcome jet lag in only one day, so I am feeling pretty good about myself. 

June 4, 2011
Today was my first full day in Tanzania, and a great one at that.  Pastor Hafermann took Professor Jennings and me with Emanuel to a Parakuyo village about an hour’s drive from the school.  Along the way, we picked up a Pastor Ulinga who went with us to visit the village, as he comes from the area.  We spent the morning and the better part of the afternoon visiting with the village men, conversing (they talked while I pretended I could understand more than the occasional familiar word).  We sat for nearly 4 hours, Professor Jennings prodded for about an hour on the history of the Parakuyo as described by Moses, a man of importance in the village and among the Parakuyo, as well as an pastor of the ELCT.  We were given the opportunity to visit the cattle heard of the village head, and view his new water project.  I had my first taste of fresh goat, twice, as well as Chai with goat milk and Tangawizi (ginger beer).  Eventually, the real purpose of our visit was reached, and about 2:30 pm the village gathered for church.  Because the “Big Man” was forced to build houses for his family instead of the promised church, the service took place beneath the shade of a nearby tree.  As it was all in Kiswahili, I understood next to nothing, but as before, I was treated as a guest and welcomed to sing, pray, and take communion with the rest.  Not long after the service was over, I was thanked for my visit, but asked to stay for an evening meal.  We had rice with more goat, which seems to have been prepared specifically for Pastor Hafermann’s visit.  Again, it was a fantastic meal.  We then returned along the rural “dirt road” to the main road and back to Morogoro.  As I said, a great day to be welcomed to Tanzania and the people of the Morogoro region.

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