Monday, March 25, 2013

A Tanzanian Adventure

As most of you know we had elections here on March 4th. I am thankful that I can say so far it has been peaceful.  Thank you all for your constant thoughts and prayers throughout the process. It is still not over, though. Now there are a couple of court cases we have to get through before there is an official president.

View outside Ben and Elizabeth's house.
One fun thing that came out of the elections for me was that I got to go and visit my fellow YASCers down in Tanzania! I flew down to Dar Es Salaam and then took a long bus ride to Dodoma.  The bus had some small issues, but I eventually made it. Ben and Elizabeth picked me up and we drove out to Msalato where they live. It is about 20 minutes from Dodoma Town on what I learned is the only unpaved portion of the Arusha Highway.  It is always strange when you arrive somewhere in the dark, but I love the next morning when you get to see everything for the first time. Msalato is a really peaceful place. It is dry and rural, but the people are really friendly and welcoming. There is a wonderful community of teachers and students from all over the world. Our social calendar was extremely full while I was there. Several of the other teachers had us over for dinner. Another YASCer, Brian Orlay, also works in Dodoma for the Carpenter's Kids program.  My second night in Tanzania we went to dinner with him and a guy named Chris who is also an Episcopal missionary working with Carpenter's Kids for a few months. Brian and Chris live and work together in Dodoma town.  It was good to spend time with them and hear about their work. They also joined us on a hike up Lion Rock.  Ben and Elizabeth have a great view of Lion Rock from their house and when you climb to the top you can look out over all of Dodoma. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do so I thoroughly enjoyed that.  During the days in Dodoma I was able to go on long walks and do some work. It was a restful week with some great people.
Ben, Elizabeth, me and Brian at the top of Lion Rock.

Beach in Dar.
I was able to get a MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) flight from Dodoma to Dar on Thursday, but I was not supposed to fly back to Nairobi until Saturday so I planned to stay a couple of nights at a guest house and visit the beach for a day.  Naturally plans changed.  As I was on my way to the airport on Saturday morning I got multiple calls from people saying I should not fly back to Nairobi that day because they were finally announcing the election results and while everything had been peaceful so far there was no way to predict how people would react.  No one wanted to leave their houses that day so I ended up staying in Dar for a couple more nights and just spent some time reflecting and working at the beach.  Cannot really complain about that :)

I have been back in Kenya for about two weeks now and it has been incredibly busy, which is why it has been so long since I have posted. I will try to do better. My fellow YASCer Jared Grant is on his way here right now to visit so get excited for a post about our adventures soon.

Have a blessed Holy Week and a very happy Easter!

Asante sana!

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