Tuesday, December 28th

Tuesday,  December 28th

     Jambo! (Hello) Today we got the privilege of sleeping in until 9:30am, which was much needed! We have almost fully become accustomed to the time change and cultural differences, and spent the morning/early afternoon packing for outreach clinic and making sure everything is lined up for tomorrow. As usual, Gayle was on her A-game and on top of all the sudden changes that were coming up, like Julius unexpectedly being stuck overnight at Ngorongoro Crater due to several vehicle issues! He wasn’t able to rejoin our team until late tonight. Please continue to keep him and our team in your prayers for strength and energy for the coming days.

     As Abby and I waited for our ride to arrive as Gayle made endless calls to try figure out the situation, we enjoyed our last real afternoon at the Ahadi lodge and dipped our toes in the pool and appreciated the vegetation around us. The number of stunning trees and flowers and plants here never fails to stun me! It was a whopping UV index of 11 by 11am, so we slathered on multiple layers of sunscreen as well. The staff got a good laugh out of that!

     The nerves about outreach tomorrow started to sink in as well as we have no idea what will be coming to us. It will be Abby and I’s first exposure to many different health ailments, and we will be providing care for some of the poorest people in the area, some of who may have never even seen a white person or ever had any access to medical care. We will do the absolute best we can with every patient, but my heart already hurts for ones we may not be able to. Pray that even if we can’t heal everything about their physical, that we may be able to touch their lives with kindness and that they will feel our love for them and the Lord’s love for them, and that we will see the face of Jesus in each person that comes to us.

     Finally at 2 we left to have BBQ pork (nguruwe) at the Sarafina restaurant. They served it with chips (fresh potato fries) and sliced veggies with vinegar. It was was very delicious! We got more Swahili lessons during the meal, and learned more about their cultural traditions at restaurants. For example, they offer you a bucket and hand soap before you start the meal and you eat it all with your fingers. Then, the tip is based on the work of the chef and the whole staff is always watching your nonverbal expressions to see if you like the meal or not.

      After that, we left to go immerse ourselves in the African vegetation and sight see for a bit! We drove to Lake Duluti and met our wonderful tour guide, Anton. The phrase “kichaa kweli” (too crazy) was said many times due to the piki-piki (motorcycles) weaving around us. Abby and I have finally gotten used to driving on the left side. We also experienced a “free African massage” and “African traffic jam” on the drive down to the lake due to the very uneven and bumpy roads, and a bunch of cows being herded down the road! After we started our hike, Anton was so kind and answered our endless questions about everything, and we all fell even more in love with the plant life around us! Lake Duluti was formed a very very long time ago after volcanic activity and then an earthquake, and was at a dangerous depth of over 200 meters all around the lake! The shallowest location was 20-30 meters. The lake has strict rules about NO swimming due to the many deaths that have happened in it, as many Tanzanians never learn to swim and there is a dangerous current. An odd fact about it is that it is warmer in the mornings than in the afternoon/evenings, which is the opposite as back home! Anton wasn’t sure why that is. He pointed out several paths coming down to the lake due to poachers that illegally fish there, and told us how it was very dangerous there at night. We got a STUNNING view of Mt. Meru, and at one point we could have seen Mt. Kilimanjaro but there were too many clouds. According to Anton, Mt. Meru is a harder mountain to hike than Kili as it is a much steeper hike.

      Our first animal we have seen on our trip was a cute little lizard called a Nadimonita. The one we saw was about 6 inches long, and they grow up to be about 1 1/2 meters! The green mamba snake and baboon spiders were common in that area, and I was perfectly happy that we didn’t see any of those! We got to see so so many new kinds of trees and flowers, including; wild mangos, mangos, sausage trees, jackfruit, papaya, avocado, sycamore, mountain bamboo, banana, so many interesting kinds of vines (some with massive thorns on them), jacaranda flowers, boganvilla, wild sunflowers, Passion flowers, and Montana sunsets! Fun fact about wild mango trees- they are dangerous to eat and getting the white sap from the leaves in your eyes will cause instant blindness! Some more wildlife we saw were many kinds of fishermen birds, like the African Hammerhead (they have MASSIVE nests), the Yellow Billed Ingrid, the African Dada (only found in this area!), and several types of herons. I found this tiny white growth on one of the trees that I thought was a fungus as well, but turns out it was a tiny alive “bug” of sorts, but they only live for three days and are only found after a rain and never anytime else. Anton said they have no name for them, and they were very hard to find, so I’m happy we got to!

    I was in awe the entire time with the incredible scenery and vegetation, and the kindness of every person we saw on our hike and at the end. I love the way they continuously preserve the land there. There were no big lake houses or chopped down sections and big roads, only the tiny, rough trail around the lake. There was one resort area on one side, and even that, like everything else, was surrounded by all the natural vegetation. They have such a beautiful appreciation for their wildlife and I loved getting to experience it!

     We are now in Bomang’ombe in the Snow View Hotel and prepping for outreach tomorrow. Thank you so much to everyone supporting us to this point, and keep our team and the people we get to care for in your prayers! Pray we rely on the Lord’s strength and not our own, and for a very good night’s rest!


Alinda Brouwer