Friday, December 2, 2011

Travel to Tanga 11/30-12/2/11

On Wednesday, November 30th Godfrey, the driver who brought us here from Arusha, arrived to take us to Tanga to get our driver’s licenses and do some shopping.  When we arrived at our new home, we found that the kitchen did not have a refrigerator, stove, dishes, pots, pans or utensils.  One of the women from the home named Mayinda
has been helping us our first week here.  She has cooked our meals on a charcoal cooker located in a small building off the kitchen.  Also, since there is no water heater in the house, she has been bringing us water from the Children’s Home for our showers at night and also in the morning for us to wash up.  We are living the Tanzanian lifestyle.  Pastor Joyce said they will need to look into the shower situation.
So, we traveled to Tanga and began a three day process for driver’s licenses.  It involved a lot of waiting, delays due to power outages, the license bureau’s computer being down, and many other steps.  This morning we received our provisional licenses, but there was an eight hour wait before the process for the real license would begin.  Pastor Shemkala kindly offered to pick up our licenses next week.  He also put a good word in for us with a member of his parish who works in the Revenue office.  This probably helped to speed things up quite a bit.
In between steps for the license, we did some shopping.  Godfrey took us to a shop where appliances were sold.  We bought a small dorm sized refrigerator and a “gas cooker” which is a two burner stove that uses a propane tank.  It is similar to what we had in our trailer.  We also went to another shop and bought the things we needed for the kitchen..pots, a pan, some plastic dishes and utensils.  At a stationary store we got supplies for the classroom and some English workbooks.  All in all, we did pretty good.  
Our first night in Tanga, Pastor Shemkala came to the hostel where we were staying to greet us.  We had dinner with him and got caught up on events at Kana and St John’s.  It was a wonderful reunion.  Thursday, we went to his home for dinner and got to see his  whole family.  They have all grown over the last three years.  
When we returned home, our new housekeeper had already started.  She not only cleaned the whole house while we were away, she did laundry and even weeded the garden.  Her name is Veronica.  She could be about 20 years old and does a lot of giggling.  When I was trying to say something in Kiswahili, she took my arm and laughed saying, “You are so funny!”  I think we will do a lot of laughing together.
She made us a very good dinner of beans and rice and a vegetable stew.  We are somewhat vegetarian since we arrived here.  At the language school I had some bacon a few mornings, but since then we have only had a little chicken at one meal.  I believe with all the fruit and vegetables, we are eating healthier that before.  Also no Entemann’s is helpful for the waistline.
This afternoon, we had our first company!  Mr Mrisho Hussein stopped in to introduce himself and to invite us to his son’s graduation party tomorrow.  His son is graduating from Sekuko University.  Shortly after he arrived, the Evangelist from Irente Lutheran Church, Mr. Stephan Kipingu, also stopped by and we had tea with them.  Mr Hussein is a teacher at the Irente School for the Blind.  He was in the first graduating class from Sekuko University last year.  He is also visually challenged, but is able to read with the help of some very thick glasses.  His English is wonderful as is Evangelisti Kipingu’s.  They were here for more than an hour and a half.  Mr. Hussein also enjoyed two cups of the Starbuck’s Coffee Bishop Burkat gave us.  
We are sorry for the delay in getting any emails out over the last few days.  We took the computer with us, but forgot the power converter.  Little by little we are getting settled in and happy to be here.
We thank God for all of the help we have received from the people here, especially Godfrey who spent three days away from his wife and children to take us to Tanga.
We also that God for everyone at home for your love, support and  prayers.  We will be in touch soon.
Amani, (peace)
Susan and Tom
ps.  when we plugged the fridge in, the outlet in the kitchen does not the fridge is in the living room.  
pss.. Have you ever bought a dozen eggs and discovered that one still has a feather attached?
ppss...  There is a small lizzard/chameleon type thing in the potted plant on our mantle!


  1. I laughed out loud as I read some of your writings. What an adventure! God bless you! I can't think of any two people more flexible and able to adjust to all that you day at a time...with humor...and faith. Does it feel real yet? Or like some temporary dream? Having been there, I can place myself right there with you at Cathedral, in Tanga, at Irente. Say HI for me to Mr Vesso, Muchungaji Shemkala, and all our other friends and partners in ministry.

  2. Sounds like you guys are really getting settled in. I'd love to see pictures of your driver's licenses once you get them. And hey, don't worry about having your fridge in your living room, I have one in my bedroom in NC due to very limited space in the kitchen.

    Keep up the great work! I love hear about your adventures.