Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A recharge weekend

February has flown by.  We have been in Tanzania for almost four months now.  Looking at the calendar last weekend we realized that Thursday was our wedding anniversary.  We decided that maybe we were due for a little break.  Because of our internet problems, we had planned to drive to Tanga during the week anyway.  We were given a recommendation to visit Pangani on the Indian Ocean by our friend Amanda from the states and also by some Peace Corps Volunteers who serve near Lushoto.  So, after a few phone calls and a trip to the bank for money from our savings, our plans were set.  We would leave on Thursday, travel to Tanga to buy a new modem stick, and then continue on to Pangani.
Thursday, a group of visitors arrived from the United States, so we delayed our start until after noon.  By the time we reached Tanga, it was too late to make the drive to Pangani.  So, Friday morning we continued on to Pangani.  The place we chose to stay was Mkoma Bay Tented Camping Resort.  A friend from the Peace Corps and our guide book recommended it and told that they serve “Western food”.  That was all we needed to know.  Upon arrival, we changed into bathing suits and went to the pool.  We ordered Cheeseburgers with french fries and Coke with ice.  It was wonderful!
The resort is owned and operated by an American/Danish couple.  Lisa is originally from California and met Orek when she was serving with the Peace Corps and he was with Lutheran World Relief.  They are very warm and welcoming.  They have a wonderful staff.  The accommodations were fantastic and the food was out of this world.  
Pangani is a small town where the Pangani River flows into the Indian Ocean.  Sadly, its  history goes back to the days when it served as a slave trading port.  There are some old buildings dating back to that time.  There are beach resorts north and south of the town.  Mkoma Bay Tented Camping Resort is certainly unlike any camp ground we have seen in the US.  The tents are huge and decorated with antique furniture.  They are on raised platforms with parquet flooring, thatched roofs above,  and full bathrooms attached.  Think high end “Out of Africa” tents.  
Our time there was been great.  It took a full day to finally relax.  We spent Saturday walking on the beach and swimming in the pool.  Since February is considered low season, there were only a handful of guests.  We met a couple from England and another from Denmark.  On Sunday, they had an “all you can eat” pizza lunch and many “ex-pat” people living locally came.  There were people from Denmark, Germany, Belgium, the UK, and the US.
We thank God for the opportunity to travel, relax, and meet new friends.  During the last week when we were without internet, we learned of the death of four friends.  Please pray for the families of Mike Gallo, Chuck Myers, Florence Bentzel and Dot Norris.  
God bless,
Tom and Susan

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