Report from Africa (Days 1-2)
I flew from RDU to Atlanta to Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania, all in just over 25 hours. I think I got two or three hours of sleep.
Jenny and Desiree picked me up with her landlord, Tara, driving. Had a simple supper on the patio of Jenny’s apartment and then to bed.
We had only two days in Moshi, where Jenny lives, so we’ve packed it in these first two days: to Kiwakkuki, the AIDS and HIV organization (check out their website, which Jenny has redesigned: www.kiwakkuki.org); to Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC), where our good friend Nathan Thielman has done so much good work on infectious disease research; to the International School of Moshi, a boarding school with a very good reputation: to Jenny’s friend Sinead, who has started this amazing business employing about 20 Tanzanian women to make the most wonderful handbags, which she sells in the US and brings profits back to the women (bought Des one, which she loves--see the picture of Des with Mama Abel, who made hers!); to the fabric shops and a tailor to have African dresses made for friends back home (see picture of Des in one of them); to dinner with many of Jenny’s expat friends (other volunteers, KCMC empoyees, some Norwegian nurses doing training in Tanzania) at the Watering Hole, where we sat after dinner at an outside theater and watched (mirabile dictu) The A-Team; out to a the rural areas around Moshi, where we saw a coffee farm and a terminus of the Kilimanjaro treks (with hundreds of porters and hikers who had just finished; to Amani, the orphanage outside of Moshi.
Am sending this post from an internet cafe in Moshi. Tonight (Friday), we host a dinner at the Lutheran Conference Center for lots of Jenny’s friends, before we head off for two days on safari into the Ngorangora Crater.
We are healthy. Maybe a little tired. Amazed by this strange place and its generous people. Thankful to be with Jenny and to see how God has blessed her time, protected her, helped her learn enough Swahili to get around well among the many who don’t speak English.