Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Travel, Dar es Salaam, Solar Pump Installed

Solar Panels in place!

There has been a lot that has happened since my last blog entry. 
Doug and Jason finished installing the solar panels for the solar water pump for the Primary School and clinic.  We are so thankful that they went up safely.  Thank you everyone for your prayers.   Fortunately I was teaching at the Primary School, so I didn't witness the placing of the panels up above Doug's head precariously.  They had to be put up this day because we had to travel to Dar es Salaam to request an extension of exemption for duty on our container since it did not arrive within 90 days of our arrival.

Our bus ride from Mafinga to Dar was interesting.  We left Kibidula at 7:45 am and arrived in our hotel between 8-9 pm.  It was a long day.  There were not seats on the bus when we climbed on, so they did a bit of rearranging and made a child share a seat with Joshua and another passenger gave her seat up for me.  Doug sat up in the front on the padded area.  I was seated by a man with a very small child.  I don't know exactly what he had been feeding her and letting her drink (soda I think.)  It was not long until her stomach decided it was not something good for her and proceeded to empty the contents back out the way it had came.  The man took the brunt of it.  Then I was wondering what would happen, and nothing did.  We just continued to ride.  Quite a while later I was moved to the very back of the bus.  Joshua was now in the middle and Doug was in the very front.  We did see over 30 elephants, over 20 giraffes, 4 zebras and a couple of impala during the ride.  That is about the opposite of the previous times we have come through Mikumi National Park.  The bus from Dar to Mafinga drives through the park area 20-30 minutes each way.  We saw all the animals during the first 10 minutes of entering that area.  Dad asked if it was a fenced in area.  No it is not.  It is just a designated area of "national park."  I think the animals are more regulated or protected there, but I don't know all the specifics.  We certainly do enjoy looking for the animals during that part of the bus ride. 
We ended up spending an entire week in Dar working to get our exemption letter from the proper government office. While we have been here, though, we have been able to make some new contacts regarding the work that we are doing and will be doing here in Tanzania.  The delays in the exemption letter turned out to be blessings.    

Dar es Salaam view over the harbor - Indian Ocean
While walking from the Revenue Authority office one day when we were told to come back later, one of the businesses that do the Zanzibar trips invited us to come into their office area and enjoy the pretty view of the ocean. They said if we ever decide to take the ferry to Zanzibar to remember them.  It is out of our budget to go, but we enjoyed the free view!  That is where I took the picture of the harbor.

Hand verses Ceiling Fan - Fan wins!

We were getting ready to head out from the hotel on Thursday and Doug was putting on his backpack.  He raised his arm over his head as he put on one of the straps and put his hand directly in the path of the big ceiling fan.  It was on a high setting and the metal blades made quick work of three fingers.  The picture here is the day after.  We were thankful that the bleeding was controllable after a few minutes.  It even cut through his fingernail.  It has been 5 days now and we praise the Lord that he has had no infection.  He neither had any pain except when they were bumped!  He did almost pass out in the pharmacy store where we went to get first aid materials after the adrenaline wore off, though. 
Fruits and Veggies for sale on the sidewalk in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam has a lot of variety available.  For the "right price" one can get things that we have not seen anywhere else in Tanzania.
We were able to buy some really nice apples, pears and even mango here.  We also found a very nice simple whole wheat bread and simple peanut butter.  We also saw some produce that I don't have a clue what I would do with them!  Some of the vendors want to be paid if I take their pictures so I don't have pictures of some of the things I would like to have shown here.  

So after making many new friends here in Dar es Salaam, getting our paperwork, making good contacts for the health work, it is time to proceed to Tanga to get the next step complete for receiving the container.  Our exemption letter that we received is only good through the end of this month, so we need to pray very much that the container will arrive in Tanga on the boat that comes on May 20th.  We were told that there is a lot of congestion in the ports and that is why our container has not arrived in Dar, yet.  So we are asking for prayers that "berth" will become available for our ship and container VERY SOON.  So after living in a hotel in Dar es Salaam for over a week, tomorrow we travel to a new place.  Hopefully we can do all the necessary paperwork and government office visits quickly and return to Kibidula, quickly.  We will see!

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