Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Photos from Singida

We did a lot of this - waiting in line for fuel! For some reason there was no diesel in Singida for sale (there was only a little petrol). Each fuel station was either completely closed or had lines of traffic waiting to see if they would sell any fuel. Oh, by the way, the tanker 2 ahead of me was not delivering fuel, its tank was empty too!

Sister Dorcas from the Singida congregation, with her daughters. We had a very good study with these people on Friday.

Marabou and the moon
These Marabou storks are huge birds and about 20 of them hand out at the Catholic Guest House where I was staying.  Have a look at this link to find out more about them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marabou_Stork
We traveled out to Nkalakala village to study with some of Samuel's family. As there was too many people to fit into the house we had our study sitting under a tree. They really appreciated the tracks we left with them

Time for a Photo!

People here LOVE to have their photo taken and when they are able to see the results strength away often hilarity follows. Here is the family gathered in front of their house. (Samuel/s mother is in the purple in the middle and Samuel and his brother are standing right behind her.)

The country side around Nkalakala village. Note the road!

Sunday after services at Malade. For those interested you can see Yohana 4:24 (John 4:24) and "roho na kweli", "spirit and truth". I think my Swahili is improving (a very little)
Samuel Nandi and myself.

On the way home from Singida

Monday, October 29, 2012

The road home to Arusha

So, the trip to Singida was quite a success. I was very happy to be able to spend time with the brethren there and Samuel and I had lots of studies. We studied with some of the members in Singida town, we studied with the members in Malade village and we studied with several non-members. 

On of these was an older man who claimed to have started the Pentecostal church in Malade. After two days of studies he said he, and his congregation, wanted to worship with us. Well on Sunday, it seemed that he did not have as much sway with his members as  he thought. He worshipped with us and told me he really liked it. 

We also went out to visit some if Samuel's family about 60 kms from Malade. We had a very good study with them and they have invited us back any time. I think we could have a little congregation there soon. 

Well better get going, I stopped at a little restaurant on the way back to Arusha for a coke. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Serengeti Safari Part 2

On of the aspects of traveling in Africa is that you are never alone. Not matter where you stop, even in the middle of a very dry flat plain, someone will come up to you and this time we were not to be disappointed. 

While we were stopped in the middle of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to fix the radiator, a little Maasia boy came up and kept asking me for some water. To be honest, I was not sure that I had enough water for us and the truck, so I put him off while I worked. But once the radiator was full and not leaking I gave him a small bottle of water. As soon as he got this he started asking for food (he did not drink the water, so he couldn't have been too thirsty). I am sure that if we had given him food he would have had more demands. 

  So on we went. I was a bit worried, we had a long way to go still, but it should have been ok. However, when I checked again under the bonnet, we then had a BAD leak. I was able to stem the flow with a pair of pliers, and I guess we still had enough "stop Leak" in the radiator to do its job and we once again the radiator was holding water.

I had to make a tough decision though, and I decided that it was best to turn back. Things were going wrong with the truck and I was not comfortable carrying on. We had a LONG way to go still and we then had to return on the same road. So we turned around, feeling a bit defeated.

Everything behaved itself on the way back to the gate. We stopped at a few of the view points and enjoyed the wonderful views. We made it back to Arusha without any further mishaps, which was great.
Ngorongoro Crater

We did stop to get some fresh bananas from Charles' children and to get him some charcoal.

While we did not achieve what we set out to do, it still was a good trip and we are planning on doing it another time soon and this time getting there.

Serengeti Safari Part 1

On Tuesday we had another adventure that reminds us we are in Africa. 

I was heading out of town for a few days to study with some people in the Serengeti area. I had taken the truck into the mechanic to fix some problems, including a leaking radiator. So, I got it back Sunday afternoon all nicely services and noticed that the radiator was leaking. I took it back on Monday (delaying our departure till Tuesday) and it was a small fix and all seemed good.

Looking down the Great Rift Valley at Lake Manyara
So I let home at 6.00am and picked up my traveling companion for this trip, Charles and we headed out of town. I was really looking forward to this trip as we were passing Lake Manyara National Park and rising out of the Great Rift Valley.
Charles and myself with Lake Manyara behind
We then had to travel through the Ngorongoro Crater and then into Serengeti National Park. I had been through this area with Don and Barb Davis, but this was the first time I was going to be driving it myself.

The road to Ngorongoro is a good sealed road and we made it to the gate in good time. I knew that we had to pay to go through the park, so Charles and I got out and filled out the paper work needed. In Tanzania you get to know that they LOVE paper - the more paper the better! The price of just driving through was Tsh 95,000! ($60). I knew it would be the same to get through Serengeti and then I would have to pay the same to get back - over $200 in park fees, just to drive through! That is the price of business here in Tanzania and you have to understand that the National parks are a major asset here in Tanzania, with about 1/3 of the country being given over to parks and reserves.
As we drove out of the gate we started to climb the crater. (we were not going down into it - that's another $200!) Here the road was good and VERY scenic. While we were not there to view the sights, we got wonderful glimpses of the crater as we passed through.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is vast and abuts up to Serengeti. As you leave the creator it starts to get very arid and you pass through Maasai villages. The Maasai live in  the Conservation Area along side the wildlife - a unique coexistence.

We started to see some wildlife and the road started to get really rough! About 2 hours from the gate the truck suddenly stopped! I got out and found that the corrugations had shaken the battery terminal off (although that should not stop a diesel) but the big worry was the coolant leaking out of the radiator! 

Fortunately I had some radiator "stop leak". I poured that it, added some water and that seemed to do the job.

Continued in Part 2

R & R

Things have been pretty quiet from me lately - it is not that things have not been happening, I guess the reason is that I have been run down a lot.

All that was fixed a couple of days ago when Anne organised 2 nights away at a new lodge near to Arusha. We stayed at Dashir Lodge, being built by a wonderful Canadian couple, Darrel and Shirley Peters. They have done a wonderful job in making a very comfortable and beautiful place to stay and relax. There are views from the front door of Mt. Kilimanjaro (when it is not hiding behind the clouds) and then off the the left Mt Meru looms - a great location.

Have a look at their web site at: http://www.dashirlodge.com/

So, we are back refreshed and ready to go.