This will be the last posting from Iringa. Today we have our final meeting with the parish council and a celebration with the congregation. Tomorrow we will be off to Ruaha Animal Park.
What will we remember most of Iringa? We met some delightful people and were welcomed with sincerity and smiles. There is so much joy here. With limited resources, the Iringians eek out a meager existence but they are a prayerful, joyful people with a ready smile and karibu (welcome.)
We will remember driving on the other side of the road, bumps, bumps and more bumps; rocky, unpaved roads and traffic patterns that would drive Americans crazy. Did you hear us mention traffic lights? There are none, just lots of bumps, bumps and more bumps.
We will remember the foods we sampled: samosas, ugali, spaghetti with tuna, pilaou, African sausages, kitimoto, chapatti, hot milk & coffee, homemade jellies and jams, thim, warm smoothies and milkshakes, egg pancakes, kuku (chicken). So many new flavors.
We will remember the children, their singing and dancing and smiles.
Kwaheri, Iringa, we will not forget you!
When you travel through the Iringa area, there is no doubt that the people have little in ways of material possessions. You see small houses, some even without windows. The children don’t have game boys or 12 speed bicycles. So many adults don’t have vehicles, though there are lots of motorcycles, but so many take the buses, small vans that cram 20 people in, or gutas, the three wheel motorcycles. Jobs are not plentiful so they must be very ingenious in ways to grow food, sell items, create items to eek out a meager existence. But what they have in spades is heart and soul. When you meet someone here, they shake your hand. And while they continue to hold your hand, you have a complete, heartfelt conversation. They want to know about you and how you are doing. They stay connected to you. Women will walk hand in hand. Men will walk hand in hand. Their smiles are full and genuine and they are very quick to laugh. There are so many things I will remember, but I will be most grateful for meeting these amazing individuals. We can’t wait to show you some of the small videos we have taken of their mass, their children at school, etc. We hope you are looking forward to meeting these people through these videos too.
I am most impressed by the sincerity and openness of the Tanzanian people. The children, especially those at the orphanage, are very special. Their laughter and playfulness is worth the trip. Despite the poor living conditions, the people are always smiling and laughing. Their personalities are amazing. Their religious devotion is a tribute to both their leaders and their culture. Children value their education and it was amazing how politically astute they were.