Monthly Archives: May 2013

Pictures from Tanzania

These are pictures from our May 2013 trip to Kasulu, Tanzania.

Dubai International Airport

Lake Tanganyika from
Bishop Mpango’s Home







Starting the Generator
(Normal power was down)


Elisha working with the new server


Cathy greets Jonathan and Frank


Kasulu Bible College


KBC Internet Room




New Computer Workstation


Fr. Shaw working on OATC Site
(Online Anglican Theological College)


Wireless Network Repeater


Internet Room Entrance




Road to Matyazo









Coffee in Matyazo


Musagara Church


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The TMI Entry–May 6th

Location update:  we are now in Dar es Salaam, having left Kasulu this morning for Kigoma, where we caught the flight to Dar.  It rained from most of the night last night, but this morning was beautiful and clear.  There were absolutelyIMGP4712 gorgeous views as we drove through the highlands (retracing much of Saturday’s route) before coming down into Kigoma.  We stopped at a secondary school run by the DWT were Bill gave his “blessing” on both wired and wireless plans to connect the school’s computers to the internet.  We arrived at the airport a little before 1:00 pm and said goodbye to Duadi and Efram.  We’ve all had our first real showers in over a week and are now awaiting for our take-out food to be delivered.

Why Wearing a Skirt in Western Tanzania is a Good Idea (for Women)

This is the TMI section.  Men can stop reading here.  (This is Cathy writing by the way.)

Wearing a skirt is culturally appropriate in Western Tanzania, all the best people do it.  A lot of Western/European women will wear pants, and this is perfectly acceptable,  but showing your knees is NOT acceptable.  So no shorts.  Just capris and pants.  A skirt is cooler than Capris or pants. 

I usually try to wear a very full skirt with an elastic waist.  The elastic waist is for all those large starchy meals that you will be offered.  (Don’t come to Tanzania if you want to lose weight.)  The wide skirt is to make it easier to climb in and out of Toyota Landcruisers, 4 x 4’s and other vehicles capable of off-roading.

So, culturally appropriate and cooler, BUT the real reason to wear a skirt in Western Tanzania has to do with plumbing.  It can be quite primitive.  As in a hole in the floor with a bucket of water to “flush” things down.  (Have I mentioned that a wise woman always carries a role of camping TP here?)  Don’t know about you, but I always found it awkward whenever I had a call of nature when hiking in the woods.  (TMI) So what to do?

When faced with a “water closet” as opposed to the preferred toilet,  a skirt is easily hiked up and tucked out of the way. 

And THAT is why I wear a skirt when leaving Dar es Salaam.  I REALLY much prefer toilets!

The Sky is Falling–Saturday/Sunday May 4 – 5

Today is our last full day in Kasulu.  Yesterday was a “day off” so we arranged to go to Matyazo, the first place I ever really visited in Tanzania.  It is in the mountains and absolutely beautiful.  There is also a beautiful ministry there, run by German missionaries under the auspicious of the Diocese.  They have a hospital that specializes in maternity issues and an orphanage for babies under the age of two whose mothers have died.  The hope is that after they are old enough so that they would normally be weaned and well into toddler-hood, they would be returned to their extended family.  Unfortunately, sometimes the children are abandoned by their fathers.  Bill wrote a beautiful entry and posted some lovely pictures over on the mission blog:

The country we saw going to and from Matyazo was spectacular, but very little of the road was paved.  In Tanzania they say that driving (on the mostly unpaved roads) is “dancing without music”.  After more or less 4 hours of driving on those roads, some MUCH worse than others, I was feeling distinctly jostled.

DSC00707I wrote a few days ago about the “gifts” from the tree overhanging our guest house.  Last night we were in the sitting room when it sounded like a boulder had landed on the roof.  It was after dusk, so what ever might have rolled off the roof was not easily found, even with the aid of a flashlight.DSC00706  We a similar clatter this morning and I happened to be looking out of the bathroom window to see a full sized avocado roll off the roof and across the back yard.  The first picture is of what usually hits our roof.  The second is something that I would pay $2.00 for at the supermarket back home!

We went to Marusi B for church this morning.  This is the church that we visited last Saturday that has reed mats for walls and is built in an area with a lot of standing water.  The bishop wanted to go there to encourage them and we wanted to do so also.  The visit was unannounced in that the pastor knew we were coming, but the decision to go there had only been made this week so the congregation was not really aware.

Shaw preached.  Bill and I sang and gave our testimonies.  They have two choirs that did two songs each.  Having a choir and a sound system and instruments is almost more important to these churches than having a roof.  It certainly more important than having real walls.


This little one’s mother is one of the singersDSC00726 in the “Mother’s Choir”  (there are also Moms with babies in the other choir).  I just love how she sleeps on her Mother’s back while her Mother sings and dances.

The service ended with auctioning off those gifts that folks had brought in place of money.  In addition to agricultural products, this week’s offerings included three dresses for little girls that someone had made.  Someone bought a papaya that they gave to us, which we in turn, gave to Daudi to give to the children currently at the Bible College.  When we returned to the compound the back of the car included sugarcane that someone had bought for the Bishop and a chicken that had also been given to the Bishop.  The chicken did not look very happy when we got back to the compound.

We’ve done a little packing up and some bookkeeping.  Tonight will be a final get together and tomorrow morning we drive down to Kigoma for our flight back to Dar.  It will be sad to leave our friends here, but I must admit that I am looking forward to a long hot shower instead of bucket baths and not having to deal with sleeping under a mosquito net.