Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What a week so far!

Last week after Evangelist Kipingu led morning devotions at the children’s home, he mentioned that the rainy season (called the “short rains”) would begin on Sunday the 13th.  Sunday morning was a lovely day, so we decided to walk to town after church.  While in Lushoto, the clouds moved in and by the time we were walking home the torrential rain began. 

This rainy season is called the short rains, because it rains almost every day, but only for a short time.  Often the rain falls during the night.  On Monday the rain continued on and off all day.  Our laundry hung inside the house all day, but did not dry.

Tuesday dawned with the clearest sky we have seen in a long while.  The sky was a brilliant blue.  All of the laundry went outside and Veronica added to it with the day’s wash.  By evening everything was dry.

After devotions in the morning, we got together with Mama Mdemu, Mama Mrisho, and Christian, the driver, to take a ride to the home’s shamba (farm) up in Irente Juu (Upper Irente).  Tom drove up past Irente Farm and toward the View Point.  We turned onto a narrow dirt lane, past some small houses and farm plots, until the road ended.  Tom parked and we got out to walk.  The walk through the forest was wonderful.  The shade protected us from the hot sun and there was a nice breeze.  Some men had been hired to dig the soil.  Soon the field will be planted with corn and beans.

We walked back to the car and found two goat kids enjoying the shade underneath.  With the goats safely back with their mamas, we turned around and headed back up the road.  Ahead were many boda boda’s (motorcycle taxis) bringing people to a house.  As we approached we could hear loud crying.  We stopped to see what had happened. 

The woman who lived there had just received the news of her granddaughter’s death.  With cell phones and a great community spirit here, many people came to console the family.  Some women were already beginning to prepare food for all who would arrive. 

We all walked up to the house to shake hands with each person and express our sympathy.   Frankly, this is something which feels awkward to me.  In a great time of tragedy like this, who really wants perfect strangers arriving?  But we were warmly welcomed and appreciated.

This morning, Wednesday, we awoke to find that there was no water.  Tom walked up to the home to find out if the water was still working there.  It was not, but he was able to fill some buckets from the sims tank there.  Within a few minutes, two students arrived with two more buckets full and our neighbor Zulfa brought us two more.  When I thanked them, one new student named Rita said, “No, we thank you Bibi and Babu”.

Tom’s job this morning was to take some students with lots of buckets to the next village to bring water back to the home.  With 39 children plus the students and staff, lots of water is needed for washing, cooking and laundry.  He will probably make another water-run this afternoon. 

Hopefully, the problem will be resolved before too long.  One of the things I have learned to appreciate and miss from home is tap water, something we mostly take for granted.  How wonderful to be able to enjoy a glass of water whenever you want, straight from the tap! 

On Friday this week, we are traveling to Handeni to visit with our friend Pastor Shemkala, who was previously pastor of Kana Lutheran Parish in Tanga.  His new congregation has many Masai members.  This will be our first time in the Handeni area, which is located south of Korogwe, about a four-hour drive from here.  Pastor is sending his driver for us.  We are looking forward to our time with him, his family, and his congregation.  We will return home on Sunday after church services.

We are thankful to God for all of His blessings.  The water came back by lunch and we did not lose power at the same time.

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