Monday, July 17, 2006

The trip to Bukumbi

The bus ride was...well.. diferent than travelling in Minnesota, that's for sure. Fortunately we were in the front seats which tend to be a bit less crowded, less warm, and less stuffy. We rode for awhile. We saw goats and cattle crossing the road, children walking the road after school in their uniforms, and many many people. There are few vehicles. After a bit the bus pulled over in an area where there were bushes on the side of the road. It was a bathroom break. Men went to one side of the bus, women to the other. I decided I didn't need to go yet. Fortunately God has blessed me with a large bladder. After about three hours we arrived in Shinyanga where we stopped to pick up more people. There was time for a bathroom break so we walked about a block to a public restroom consisting of a squatty potty in a small outhouse like building. If you are familiar with squatty potties you know that they are interesting and take a bit of skill as you squat over them while holding your dress up out of them and try to keep from splattering your legs. I never did seem to completely develop that skill the whole time I was in Tanzania. Also, it is always a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and/or wet wipes as they are rarely available.
Then back on the road, if you want to call it that, for about three more hours of dusty, bumpy riding until we reached Kahama. We saw a truck, full to overflowing, literally, with people. There were people hanging on the outside and standing on the bumper. Even Pastor Richard, from Tanzania, was surprised and concerned at how dangerously overloaded it was. When we arrived in Kahama there were several women screaming in their excitement to see white people in their town. We went into our hotel for a bit of rest, then were taken by a Land Rover to the home of a pastor there in Kahama for supper. His family was kind, the food was good and they sang several praise songs for us before returning us to the hotel.
The next morning, we were taken in the same Land Rover to the home of a man that is involved in the government as a member of Parliament. We were served a breakfast of Chipotti(sp?) which is a tortilla-like flat bread and one of Debra's favorite foods over there.
Next, into a Land Rover again for a several hour drive on what could best be called trails. There were places along it where the ruts were large enough to completely hide the Land Rover and according to the driver and Pastor Richard are completely impassable during the wet seasons. That type of travel is pretty tiring as your muscles are constantly fighting the bumps to stay upright not to mention off of your seatmate.
As we drove into the village of Bukumbi, the most amazing thing happened. Our vehicle was surrounded by villagers, running beside us, waving branches and flowers and chanting "Jesu, Jesu!" It brought tears to my eyes to see how excited the people were to see us and hear about what we wanted to tell them about. It looked like the next few days were going to be exciting and I hoped there would be much done for God.

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