Controlled Chaos! Tanzania 2023 Report

NOTE: I began this page while in-country on my mobile app. I am just getting back to finishing it. Either there’s too much in 15 days to know what to report, or the enemy doesn’t want you to hear about this trip! I have included a smattering of photos since I was group photographer. This makes it a longer post than usual.

We are nearing the end of our team’s time in Moshi, Tanzania. The thing we noticed first here is the way they drive compared to back in the States.

Our view of Kilimanjaro from the lodge

First, they drive on the left side of the road, thanks to their time under British rule. Second, I have not seen a stop sign, but there are strategically placed speed bumps and roundabouts. There are “tap taps,” motor bikes, people walking, buses, and vans all crisscrossing each other or passing. After a few days of riding in the vans to and from the Bible College from our lodge, it came to mind that it’s organized chaos! Note: this was in Moshi. When we traveled three hours on the way to our safari in the Terenghetti Park, we were on the main roads and this chaos was much reduced! This monument gives thanks to those who brought clean water to this area from the mountains.

This has been an excellent mission trip. Our team meshed quickly. We all have worked well together and had each other’s backs, shifting to different positions when needed. We have had Godspeed and accomplished more work in the time we had than expected.

The money we paid for this trip has been well spent. We are staying at what they call a lodge. Americans would probably call them something like duplex cabins. Hannah and I, being the only women on this team, share room 12, directly across from the pool. We each have a three-quarter bed, bedside table, and lamp. There is a shower in the bathroom and a room off the bedroom with a place for our luggage, a counter, and a wardrobe. I’m told a big reason we are at this place is because it’s one of the few lodgings that have air-conditioning! This is helpful for drying my swimsuit overnight, and it’s lovely to be able to use the nice comforters on our beds.

Our room at the Ameg Lodge in Moshi Tanzania

Hannah and her dad Brian are using the most important piece of equipment we had for building the walls. Praise God for providing the cement mixer and fuel! The photo to the right shows Brian, Pat, Mickey, and Edwin with the wheelbarrow used for mortar. Below that are Logan, Muhamed, John Wicks, Brendon, and Jerry (sorry, I’m not sure the name of the other Fundi). On the bottom right is Bill, our foreman, resting during lunch break. He eventually found he’s also allergic to the malaria meds. On the bottom left is where we ate lunch. Those water bottles hold 1.5 liters and the crew each had several of these a day! No one went hungry on this trip unless they chose to.

In this collage are the preschool children. A woman from the school has started a preschool in the church. The Muslims are bringing their children, the children are finding Jesus, then the parents are finding Jesus! Under that photo is the monument to Kilimanjaro mountains where their water comes from. Bottom left you see Logan helping Edwin. In the foreground is the wire they twisted together to go in the lintels. Top right is Brian and Jerry putting together the forms for the lintels over the windows and doors. Bottom right shows Daniel getting some shade & hydration while John and (I’m not sure) Muhamed or Jean Claude finishing consult. Notice the ladder leaning on the water tank? Oh, and the Fundis do not like to use the power tools.

This is the evening we met King Ole Kunay, king of 6 million Maasai tribe people who live in 6 different East Africa countries, and his niece Joyce. He is a medical doctor, his son is attending medical college in Moshi, and Joyce is an engineer at an organic coffee farm at the base of Kilimanjaro.

I am glad Terry and Marilyn Weaver, who were missionaries at the Kilimanjaro Bible College for twenty-five years, are here to guide us through this trip. They have been friends with Dr. Kunay for ten years, giving us this chance of a lifetime to meet him.

I’ve been dealing with a rash that’s been spreading. This evening while we were waiting for dinner, the middle photos are from the sitting area, Marilyn said this is the kind of rash she gets from the malaria medicine. She said it’s more likely if you’re allergic to antibiotics, which I am, and malaria risk is low due to the dry weather. Did I mention it’s been in the high 90s here when it’s usually in the 80s? I’m glad I brought a box of antihistamine pills that I’m taking at bedtime, and anti-itch cream I can use during the day. My young partner, Logan, also has a rash. Some of it is caused by the lumber we’re working with. Thankfully, Terry was able to get us a corticosteroid cream that’s helping. Between that, stopping the antimalarial pills, and the bedtime antihistamines, my rash is clearing up quickly and I’ve no problem sleeping! It was a pleasure eating in the open-air dining room at the Ameg Lodge. We had a delightful buffet meal each breakfast and dinner, and the servers were very helpful and friendly. Oh, Marilyn got stung by a bee at breakfast one morning. She headed right back to the kitchen to get some papaya seeds to put on it. They work miracles on bee stings!

These are photos I took around the lodge the day I left. The pots on the posts are lit each evening. It’s a mixture of lavender and citronella. You can see they line the walkways.

Last but not least, here’s a smattering of photos from the safari. Those are Maasai tribesmen with their cattle. They have abodes all the way to the edge of the park.

I encourage you to check out John Wicks, Wall Builders, or Marilyn Wilson Weaver on Facebook to see more photos and stories of this endeavor. The second team was able to erect the trusses we built, make the smaller trusses, and finish the roof before they left.