Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chibwa - Little Dog

Have you read or listened to the Jungle Doctor books?  There are stories about a doctor that lived and worked in Tanzania.  The audio books are GREAT!  In listening to the books, we hear many words in Swahili and also the local tribal language Gogo (or Kigogo.)  The doctor must have mainly worked with the Gogo people. 
Second stop.  Time to walk.
It was a lot of fun for us, in a way, to be in Haneti because this was Gogo territory.  Joshua remembered a few Gogo words and that made the people laugh and laugh.  To hear a white person speak Swahili is often a surprise to them.  To hear a white child do the same is a big surprise.  But to hear us say something in Gogo, that was too much for many of them.
Chibwa was the name for a little dog in one of the books (Jungle Doctor On the Hop, I think.) 

Off on the trail to find our dog
On my previous post I mentioned a little female puppy that we kept from being mishandled after church the very day after arriving.  Well, she is ours now. 
We just kept thinking about her over and over.  We started praying that if God wanted us to have her, He would make it happen.  We also asked Him to close the door if we were not to have her.
Getting her was an all day ordeal! 
The little herds-boy that had her didn't speak English, or Swahili.  We didn't see him again either.  We were told that he lived a long way away from the church.  Two Thursdays after seeing her, Emanuel (Elizabeth's husband) and two church members started off with us in Emanuel's car to find "our dog."  We had been asked if we couldn't get a different dog instead.  We were told that she was so small and thin.  There were many other dogs that would be better for us.  We told them, we really wanted this dog if possible.  We also said that if we couldn't get her, we would be willing to look at a different dog.
We set off.  On the way to the church, we saw the boy's older brother and two puppies.  They asked if either of them was the puppy.  Neither was our Chibwa.  We had only seen her once and didn't really remember too much of how she looked, but we knew those were not her.  The boy said the puppy was still at home for the day.  We drove to a hut close to a trail.  I had no idea we were getting ready to take a LONG hike on the hot dusty trails.  That is exactly what we did.  We walked and walked through the long dry trails. 
Another home on our walk to find Chibwa
We were told, "This is the place," as we came upon an area that was stacked high with a thorn-bush fence.  The people don't have normal fences.  They take cut thorn bushes and stack it high and around the area and use that as corrals.  In the middle of the thorn-bush-corral was a stick structure.  I asked if this was for animals or people.  You could see all the way through the building.  As we approached, I was told it was for people.
"Look.  You can see the beds."
Chibwa's old home
 Sure enough.  This was a home!  Wow.  This is where those boys and their parents live?  They live in the middle of a corral of animals like this.  There isn't any water nearby. 
There are beds in there. 
The dog and the boy weren't there.  The mother was there, but she was hiding under a cloth and said she was sick.  Later I was told that she was just afraid when she heard us coming and though maybe we were the government coming to take her or someone away.  (The last day of testing, the man brought his wife to the health testing.  God has a reason for all of our adventures!)
The lady hiding under a cloth.
She told us that we had to go through her husband.  We walked away and back to the road. 
off again
We went a different path and came to another set of mud huts.  There we talked with some very friendly people with a nice big boy puppy.  He "gave" us this dog. 
If we understood everything, the man with our puppy wanted this dog, but the owner wouldn't give it to him.  He said we could have him and if we wanted to trade the man for our dog, he was okay with that. 

The trade-in puppy
 Joshua and I were just hoping that we would end up with the right puppy.  Trying to explain what she looked like or what she didn't look like was challenging.

Many phone calls were made to the man on his cell phone.  He was excited about getting his longed for dog.  He was on his way.  Well, "on his way" can mean a long way off sometimes.  After waiting for maybe an hour or so, we had to leave.  Our meetings were to start in 30 minutes and we hadn't had lunch yet. 
Home decor African style while we wait
We had started this adventure at 11 am.  It was now 1:30 pm.
I was told that they would work it all out.
We had been searching for something to kill fleas.  She was covered with them when we first saw her.  We had spent time going around town looking for something.  God finally sent us to the right person who had bought some sevin dust.  She took Joshua to a place to get some.  We had it before we even knew if we would get the dog!
During our health testing time, we kept getting calls from the man.  We were busy and not able to communicate well with him. Then he was at the site, but no dog.  We tried to get him in contact with our contacts who had the other puppy.  Finally they must have gotten together.
At the very end of our health teaching time, I saw the car pull up and Emanuel and another of the guys that were searching for the dog got out.  I finished my session, and Joshua asked if he could go find the news.  I gave him permission.
He came running back saying "It's her!  It's her!  Do you want to come see her."
I ran with him and sure enough.  There she was.  And she was ours.
We just got her.  "It's her! It's her!"

The first thing I did was dust her down well to get rid of the fleas!  Then we took her back to the hostel.  WE WERE SO EXCITED!

First night with us.
The man that had the bigger puppy said they feed their dogs, but the owner of our dog didn't feed theirs.  She was a skinny thing.
Going for a walk our first full day together.
She didn't quite know what to think about drinking water out of a bowl or eating out of a bowl for that matter.  She wouldn't touch bread, rice, peanut butter or many other things we offered her.  She liked Ugali, and was always searching for some chicken poop to eat.
She did eat some avocado.
Last night I found out she likes fruit!  I wouldn't have guessed that!
She has been with us almost constantly since we got her Thursday.
Don't forget me!
When I was finishing packing Sunday morning, she climbed up on one of the bags.  That was a first.  I guess she knew something was going on, and she didn't want to be left behind.
Taking her on the bus trip from Dodoma to Iringa was interesting.  She actually did very well.  She didn't have any accidents.  People have very different attitudes towards dogs here than in the United States.  I was so thankful that the hotel didn't give us any challenges also!

We hope she likes her new home we are taking her to today!
Chibwa (pronounced chee-bwa.)
She has adjusted to hotel life quite well.

Haneti Effort and a little dog

Most of our "team" outside the church the first Sabbath
Haneti village area
Friday, July 5th, Joshua and I said "good-bye" to Doug and got on a bus to answer the call for assistance for an evangelism effort north of Dodoma.  We had gotten an informal invitation while working in Dodoma in June.  The official letter arrived very shortly after we got home from those meetings.  There was already a conflict in schedules for us.  We were also invited to Kirando.  We prayed about it and decided to spit up our family and team and have two people in each place.
After about six hours on the bus, we met up with Elizabeth and her husband in Dodoma.  Then they drove the last 100 km as quickly as the roads would allow to arrive shortly before sunset Friday night at the hostel where we stayed.   The trip was a bit scary.  We came VERY near crashing when a huge truck came roaring around a corner on our side of the dirt road.  God was with us and Elizabeth's husband took the car down into the ditch and back out without letting us get smashed by the big truck.  It was only by God's grace we didn't get killed before the meetings ever started.
Testing blood pressures and checking BMI
The hostel was the Catholic run housing for young ladies attending the secondary school in Haneti.  The two "sisters" that ran the place were very nice and we enjoyed our time with them very much.
The two sisters and Elizabeth (our team leader.)
They told me that they had picked out the best available room for Joshua and me.  They brought us in to a large room with two single beds with unusual foam for padding.  There was a pillow for each.  There was a table and two chairs.  The room had a DC LED light.  I had been drinking lots of water and said I really needed to use the facilities, and I saw that there was one there off the room but there was no door and people were coming and going out of our room.  Oh yeah, we had no door on our room.  It was the kitchen, or pantry area also.  So they had put up two sheets to partition our sleeping area off from that busy room.  When I said I really needed the toilet, but there was no door, they showed me that there was a second one just to the right.   It had a door!
Home away from home

YES - this one has a door!

Termites working hard to repair the tunnel above the bathroom door.
Joshua was very nervous about our room in the beginning.  I wasn't nervous, but the first few days are always an adjustment.  Here we were, with people that we didn't know, in a new place, and without Doug, also.
It was a good thing that I take earplugs and eye-masks on trips.  I really needed them for this trip.

Sheet curtain/door to separate our room from the kitchen

It is the dry season in Haneti.  The dust and wind are formidable.  There is a large Mus1im population there along with the Masai people.  There is a rather large Catholic influence there also.  Water is a challenge for the people.  There are actually several water pipes where water is pumped to the site where people can get it.  At some of the locations they have to pay for it by the bucket.  There were always cows, chickens, donkeys, sheep or goats around it seemed.  I don't know if I have ever seen so many donkeys in one place before.  They are used to haul all kinds of things, but especially water.  Many people take water for granted.  Living here, one learns quickly just how important it is.
Inside the little church the last day of our meetings

Health teaching was to start the very day after arriving.  God blessed and people seemed very interested.  The church there in Haneti isn't finished yet.  There are open places for the windows and on one end of the church.  There are between 20-25 church members there.  The children had Sabbath School out under a tamarind tree.  The benches are in need of repair, also.  I was thankful for all the fresh air in the church, though.
Children's Sabbath School class under the tree
After church there was a small puppy being a bit mishandled by some children just outside the church.  We went to its rescue.  It was actually a she.  She belonged to the herds-boy that was watching the calves close by.  There were several puppies.  This little girl warmed-up to us and was following us around shortly.  Someone mentioned something about if we wanted the puppy.  The idea grew on us and we did end up getting her a few days before the meetings were over. 
First evening for teaching at the wide open area.
The main meetings started on Sunday out in a wide open place by one of the water pipes.  The dust and wind were a huge challenge especially in the beginning.  It is a big challenge trying to teach when you can't even see because of the dirt blowing in your face.  They tried to clean up the area and wet it down several times.  It got better and better.  Each time a herd of cows, sheep or goats would go by though, the dust would become a cloud around us.  Joshua and I enjoyed watching the mother goats and sheep come home each evening and the babies coming out running and crying to meet them.  I don't know of many things more cute than baby goats.
We were to do health testing from 2-3pm.  Another person was to give the "Family Life" teachings from 3-4pm.  Then I was to teach from 4-5pm.  Then the main message was to be from 5-6 pm.  After a couple of days we also started a 7-8pm session out by the village area close to the hostel with the projector after dark.  I would teach another session on health and they would follow that up with some other things. They would nail a white sheet to the outside wall of a mud brick hut.  We would hook up the generator.  Four stools would be found for us.  One was used for the projector, one for the laptop and two for out seats.  Joshua did a good job translating for me at all the meetings and many other times.
At the end of the meetings seven people followed their Lord and Savior in baptism.
God is good.

Carrying water Tanzania style

Working animals

Visiting with the local health officials and clinic

Setting up the meeting site

Main meeting time
We were asked to speak at the Haneti Secondary School and give a talk on health and to encourage the students and staff.  That was a great privilege.
Haneti Secondary School
Teaching, sharing and encouraging staff and students

The pastor of the area has already invited us to participate in another set of meetings next year.  He wanted us to go to another set in January in Dar, but our schedule is already over-booked for January.
The work is big, and the laborers are few.  We are praying that we can get some of our students do to the mobile work more and more and we can get more and more people trained.

A typical mud hut for this area.

Another type of simple house

Joshua and the big boabab

Village life around Haneti

Lots of animals at the meeting site each evening
Heavy fire wood carried by the ladies

At our health testing site
Simple pleasures

Joshua and his new little Mus1im friend

 We are thankful for all the blessing of working for our Lord, wherever that takes us.