The Gift of Presence
For nearly two weeks, those of us in the Saint Paul Area Synod have been blessed by the presence of ou[...]
This summer we look forward to welcoming 71 travelers representing more than a dozen different BKB congregations and affiliated organizations to Iringa. Many will make the trip overland from Dar es Salaam to Iringa and many, like the travelers from Easter Lutheran in Eagan, will blog about it. As we receive pictures and stories from our guests we'll be sharing them on the BKB Facebook page. If you haven't done so already, head over and 'Like' the page so that you can follow along from home too.
Day One: June 20, 2018
After a June 18th departure, two 8-hour flights, several layovers, and a 12-hour land cruiser drive, we have arrived safely to the Lutheran Center in Iringa!
As Pastor Paul told us in preparation for our trip: nothing will work out according to plan, but in the end everything will work out. Our group learned Monday morning that one of our members would be unable to travel with us due to illness and we continue to keep him in our prayers.
The journey thus far. Our first impressions of Tanzania are that it is amazingly beautiful. Randy's second impression (since he's been before) is that he sees new development going on including improvements for transportation in Dar es Salaam (bus rapid transit lanes and traffic signals). This is a great improvement in just four years.
The drive from Dar es Salaam to Iringa was long. I (Pastor Brandon) enjoyed plenty of cat naps, but I'm told that it was fun to watch the roadside markets change with each region - roasted corn, ceramic pots, pineapples, furniture, and recycled t-shirts from the US, changed to tomatoes, oranges, and bananas, and then to woven mats and baskets. We also had to pull off the road for a half hour so the Vice President could travel through.
The mountains were gorgeous but my favorite (as a farm kid) was seeing the crops change. We saw corn, potatoes, onions, sisal (used to make carpet backing), sunflowers, and I don't even know what else. There were also plenty of mama baboons carrying their babies alongside the road as we drove through the Mikumi National Park in addition to giraffes and wildebeests.
There was a persistent smell of diesel exhaust, burning grass, and cooking fires. The food and hospitality has been amazing. All in all, we made it with less travelers and later than planned. But a full stomach and place to sleep means it all worked out in the end.
Mungu akubariki (God bless you)
- Pastor Brandon, Karla, and Randy
Travelers from Easter Lutheran in Eagan