Friday, March 23, 2012

The Singida Safari.

 In Swahili, the language of Tanzania, the word “safari” means a journey. Whenever you go somewhere in Tanzania you are going on a safari. 

While in English the word evokes high adventure and embarking on a journey into the wilderness, that is not strictly the case. However, in my experience any “safari” in Tanzania is full of adventure.

Last weekend we travelled down to Singida, a town about 350 km south west of Arusha. It was a great trip and we enjoyed worshiping with the brethren there very much.

We left on Friday morning at about 8.00 am, Anne, Katy and myself. We drove through town and out into the open country. This is the road to the famous National parks where the big game is. Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Tarangeri. Not that we had time to visit them but we passed a lot of the safari vehicles that were ferrying tourists to these places.

The road was pretty good, but then we hit a 60km stretch where they were remaking the road and it got really rough, it ended up taking us 2 hours just to do this part. We made it ok though and after a picnic lunch we arrived in Singida town.

Samuel was waiting for us at the hotel and after getting settled in and a quick clean up to remove the road grime we headed out to his mother’s village to see some of the brethren. Samuel has started two congregations in this area, one in the village about 45 minutes drive out of town and another in the town itself.  We had a good time with his family and then headed back to the hotel to rest up for a busy Saturday.

It was fairly clear to all of us that Samuel was not well, so I decided that the first order of business in the morning was to get him to a doctor and get some medication into him.  We were just turning into the hospital, having slowed down and indicated to turn right and the truck was hit by a motor cycle (they are called piki pikis here because of the noise they make). Passengers hit my fender with his knee, fortunately we were right outside the hospital so he was taken in there while I waited for the police to come along.  We were met eventually by 2 very nice officers who suggested if I was to help the patient a little, out of compassion, with his medical bills then everything would work out fine.  Of course I was more than willing to assist the poor guy – he was not in the wrong, so after the obligatory haggling we came up with a reasonable amount that all were happy with.

The scene of the accident

After having to wait so long to get this done, the line at the hospital was so long that Samuel did not want to go, he wanted us to get to visit the brethren.  Anne was enrolled to try and work out what might be wrong with him and together with a local chemist they worked out what he might need. It must have worked because he started looking a lot better in a couple of hours.

We headed out to the village in the afternoon and we had a great study there until late. The quality of the questions was great and I was very encouraged by their desire to learn the biblical truths. Arrangements we made for Sunday and we said good bye to them all until the morning.
After our study

We had a wonderful service in the village. The brethren meet in a school room which is light and roomy. I was pleased with the number of people who attended and their participation in each part of the worship. Samuel got me to teach and lead around the Lord’s table, which of course I was very happy to do. After the service they wanted us to come with them to Samuel’s mother’s house where they presented Anne with a present of a pumpkin – Samuel had found out how much we like pumpkins and how many things Anne can do with them.
The brethren on Sunday

Unfortunately we had to leave right away in order to get back to Arusha as Anne and I had to travel to Nairobi the next day. So we said warm farewells and then hit the road. We all had a lovely weekend with a group of wonderful Christians.

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