Monday, April 15, 2013

Our Saturday

A vegetable duka
     We woke up at 8:30 am Saturday morning.  We both couldn’t believe it.  We had slept for 11 hours.  The first time here in Tanzania, and first time in many years! Susan cooked a wonderful breakfast of pancakes.  We normally have them on Saturday and she cooks enough so there will be some for Sunday, since we must rise at 6:30 am for church.

     We both got ready to go to town and walked up the road to our truck.  I put the key in the ignition and, low and behold, the battery was dead.  I asked some students to help push the truck so I could jump-start it, but no luck.  We had been at the home all week and were really looking forward to our trip to town.  So we decided to walk to Lushoto.

     It only took an hour to get down to Lushoto.  The walk was actually very enjoyable.  We met so many people.  They would stop and talk with us, asking us how the children at the home were.  I would guess we probably talked with twelve people on our trek.  This is the custom here in Tanzania.

Sandals for sale
    When we arrived in town we stopped to get a soda and to rest.  After resting we walked to the post office in the northern part of town to see if any mail or packages had arrived.  Nothing for us this trip, so we decided to walk to the bakery in the southern part of town.  At the bakery we purchased fresh bread from the oven and pound cake.  The pound cake is the only form of pastry that is available here.  It is such a treat.  Most Tanzanian meals don’t include desert.  As a child growing up, our family would have pound cake and chocolate syrup for desert.  Yes, that’s right, Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, imported from South Africa.

   As we were walking back from the bakery on the side of the road, I heard people behind me so I told Susan to move to the side but keep walking.  As the people started to pass us we realized they were prisoners from the jail in town on their way to a work area.  They were walking three abreast five rows deep.  The first prisoner was carrying a machete and the one next to him had an ax.  There were two guards carrying WWII rifles on theirs shoulders.  Here we were walking with the prisoners and the only thing I could think to say to Susan was “try to blend in”, mind you they were all in orange jump suits with the word jail on their backs.  We started laughing and we couldn’t stop.  We spoke to many of the prisoners, sharing greetings.  One of the prisoners stopped and talked with a guard and ran across the road and down to a duka (outside store).  The guard kept on looking back for the prisoner, but the group was now a quarter mile away.  A few minutes later we saw the prisoner running to catch up with the group.  He had purchased vegetables for their evening meal.

   We started our trip back up the mountain, meeting people as we walked.  We had people walk with us that we had never met before and as they did, they carried our packages.  This is  also a custom here, to help the “older” people when needed.  Could you imagine allowing someone in your neighborhood to carry your packages not knowing who they were?  We arrived home safe and sound knowing that not only our neighbors are caring for us, but most of all God walks with us each and every day of our lives.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. It shows us so much about the wonderful community you are a part of. Thanks.