We are beginning our second week here in Tanzania. I am traveling with two men, one being Bill Reed from the Winthrop/Lamont area, who is on about his 20th Mission trip here. This is my fourth. The other man is Randy Nelson from New Hartford and this is his third trip to Africa.
The big question I suppose is WHY? Why travel almost ten thousand miles to a country many of us have never hardly even heard of. And that's a good question. Bill came here many years ago with a group of missionaries and he absolutely fell in love with the people here and he felt a deep spiritual calling to keep coming back. I was asked in 2006 to come with him and I asked my daughter to join me and before I knew it, we were on our way.
It was an experience of a lifetime. The Tanzanians are a loving people who truly want to hear more and learn more about God, their personal spiritual walk and the Holy Scriptures. We do the best we can to help.
Now, let me share some interesting things that go on over here:
1. Hand Washing. When we go into a restaraunt, (or someone's home for that matter), someone always comes over with a pitcher of warm water, soap and a basin to wash our hands. However they provide no towel. Usually in someone's home, the wife provides this service. Hmmmm...wonder if Deb.......NOPE, NOT EVEN GONNA THINK THAT WAY!
2. We met the manager of our hotel in Mwanza, who is from India. He was just married less than a year ago and he told us it was an arranged marriage by their two families. He was seven and his wife was five when the fathers arranged a deal for the two of them to be married some 25 years later. I can't imagine me a 7-year old Catholic boy becoming arranged to marry Deb, a 5-year old Methodist girl. That would have been too much for Chelsea to handle, don't you think?
3. Finally, I love the mornings here...especially that first cup of coffee. No matter where you are in the world, there is absolutely nothing like that first cup, (or second or third), of coffee in the morning. It is one of life's simple pleasures no matter where you are.
So until next time, I say "Karibu" (Welcome) and "Asante" (thank-you). Let me know how things are going in Iowa at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be blest and Deb....I am returning sooooon!!!