Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Snakes, travels and waiting

We had a good trip back to Kibidula from Dar es Salaam.  I say that because our bus did not have working speakers or TV so we had a nice quiet trip without being bombarded for 9 hours with loud music or strangeness of various degrees. 

After our return Doug and Joshua were headed down the road doing some work and Doug called to Joshua to stop, as he saw a very large puff adder crossing the road.  Doug had a shovel with him, so he conveniently disarmed the snake.  Here it is pictured.  It was a full three feet long.  It is the largest one I have seen yet.  They are poisonous but not aggressive.  We have been told that they are slow, and pose a treat because they can not leave the area quickly enough, often getting stepped on by animals or people.  Their only defense is a bite to the offending item that steps on them.  They eat rats, though, which scores a point in my book.   

3 Foot Puff Adder

 After our return , we were home for about two weeks doing various tasks (Tamara teaching English to the second year agricultural school students, Doug installing solar lights in some of the workers homes, working on the solar water system - a few bugs have popped up in that process, getting firewood, working in the garden, etc.)  

Then the call came that we needed to go to Iringa to make a deposit at a specific bank to pay the clearing charges for the container.  It is about 220 km to Iringa and back.  Now I had to (begrudgingly) use my drivers license.  Driving is a different world here!  The mission station needed cash from another bank, so it worked out for us to borrow a vehicle (the users are on furlough right now) and drive there and back.  Doug wanted to get his drivers license process started since we would be in Iringa, so we did that also.  We ended up spending the night in the same place I stayed when I went to get my license.  It is mostly clean and a good price for three people (equivalent to $10 US.)  We could have saved money and got one that didn't have a bathroom, but the receptionist didn't offer, and I didn't ask.  I like being able to get up and go to the bathroom without going down the hall and having to share it will everyone else on that floor.  We have done that, but it is not my preference.  And I am pretty sure that this place doesn't not have specific bathrooms separate for women and men.  YIKES.

God blessed and we were able to do our tasks safely (with much prayer.)  We picked up various items for several others here on campus while we were there also.

The container cleared for much more than we had hoped.  We are waiting to find out how much transport will be, which sounds like it will also be more expensive than expected, but God always provides.

Since Doug had his provisional license before we left Iringa, I was able to be the passenger and tried to take a few pictures to share the "flavor" of our trip.  Iringa is the regional seat, so it is the largest nearby city.  Here are some pictures.  We were on the move and I was trying to be discrete while taking them.  They could have been a lot better and clearer under better circumstance.
Downtown Iringa at the Market (sokoni)  I found grapefruit!
 I was told that there was grapefruit in Iringa a couple of weeks ago.  We saw some in Dar es Salaam while we were there, but they wanted like 2,000 TSH or more for them.  I was able to buy 4 in Iringa for only 500 TSH each and he then gave me one free!
Downtown Iringa building in progress.
 The scaffolding is always scary looking.
A congested side street in downtown Iringa.
 Trying to figure out which streets are one way, avoiding bicycles, motorcycles, carts, piles of gravel and dirt, holes, LOTS of pedestrians, sellers with merchandise all the way out in the street, not to mention cars is challenging, especially if you have another impatient vehicle behind you.
Heavy loads being transported by bikes (on our way home.)
 We see all kinds of BIG LOADS being transported in various ways, but usually I can't get a picture.  We see large loads of wood being carried on bikes, large loads of everything on people's heads, etc. 
Young children carrying heavy loads of water.
 Many of the children in Africa work very hard.  Children go to fetch water for long distances, and they start at ages much younger than Joshua.
This is a NEW daladala, loaded with people, and stuff!
This is the newest daladala I have seen!  We have seen them pack up to 40 people inside (including us) and load the back cargo "area" full.  This one is so full that they can't get the door shut, and then there are jugs tied to the outside in the back.  I saw one this trip that I would be hard-pressed to ride on.  It looked like it was falling apart - literally.

Pine forest just before getting to Kibidula

We are almost home.  This area runs through some pine forest that is cultivated for timber.  There are varying stages of trees here.  It is a very pretty site (especially after being gone for a few days!)  It means we are almost home! 

I hope my next post shows a picture of our shipping container being unloaded.  We just got word that it is now out of port, on the truck, but they need to weld it onto the trailer.  That is being held up because of POURING RAIN!  This isn't the right time of year for that.  Just another delay to help us be thankful and patient.  We had hoped it would be here tomorrow morning, but now we will have to see.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the pic of the road through the pines.