Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Africa #1

Kris, I have been trying to do this, but do not know how much people want to know. Am starting with day one.
We arrived in Dar es Salaam at 8:00 PM and were met by Pastor Mwenebalongo and two other people. Pastor Mwene is a Congolese Free Methodist Pastor who has permission to work and live in Tanzania. Outside of the camps.
The very first thing I noticed when I stepped from the climate controlled airplane was the nearly oppressive heat.
The customs agent, I think, was trying to prove his importance. When we told him what was in our luggage, he wanted documents to show that we were truly taking things to the refugees, saying he did not know that we were not going to sell everything on the black market. He eventually insisted that we open our suitcases. Pastor Msoshi put his up first and the agent pawed through them finding nothing but used clothing that they had packed to take to their grandchildren. After going through just one suitcase and finding nothing of value, he waved us on. Fortunately he did not go through my suitcase because I had about 50 pairs of brand new shoes that had been donated to us in mine.
As soon as we got through the customs, we were immediately approached by porters. With the bags we brought we needed them. We paid two porters $5.00 each American. I think that was actually a pretty good tip.
As we got situated and were loading our luggage into the cab, I breathed in the aroma of Jasmine. What a sweet fragrance. To my overly stimulated and tired body it was as if God was saying to me. "Be still and know I am here." I was immediately calmed.
It is dark, very dark outside. There does not seem to be many street lights. There are people everywhere. Walking or hanging around in groups. We even passed two men sitting on the curb with their feet in the road. I thought the driver was going to run them over. They did too, because they jerked their feet back pretty quickly.
When we approached the Catholic Mission that we will be staying at for the remainder of the week,The driver flashed his lights at the gate. An uniformed gaurd opened the gate for us. I noticed he was armed.
I have a very clean comfortable room. No air conditioning, but there is a ceiling fan. I tied the curtains into a knot so I could get more air into the room.
I actually slept quite well, considering I was not at home. I was wakened at 5:00 AM by the Muslim call to prayer. I would hear it several times a day, but could always count on it to wake me every morning.


Pastor Msoshi and Rebeka at the Catholic Mission


Julie said...

I am looking forward to hearing all the updates...your room looks really nice!!!! We went to Egypt (on the Africa side) and it was incredible hot too

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, Evy. So keep writing. We want to hear more--and also your feelings about your experiences.

By the way, aren't those papayas?

Therese said...

The country is so beautiful! I can't wait to hear more!

Gramma 2 Many said...

Sue, Yep, they are. Thanks.

Bird, Frizzy and Our Little Yaya said...

So love reading about your trip! Keep it coming.

Kris said...

All of it. We want all of it. You were not sent so far to see so much just to keep it to yourself. Besides, if you internalize, that's not good for you!

Karin @ 6ByHisDesign said...

have to be back to read better...gotta go purge the toyroom while the wildthings are at school...


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