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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 12 Feb 2008

Location: Kahama, Tanzania

MapFeb 12th

We woke up in the early hours to the sound of clanging as the local Muslims were summoned for prayer and soon after the chanting began. It sounds very eerie and haunting to me. Mj and I had cold showers before Wendy informed us that there was hot water in the bathroom that she used! Following our breakfast, which would always be served here by Sophia, the caretaker, our three escorts arrived. John, from WV, brought us a computer with Internet access and we were able to send a quick message home. We were all very anxious to talk to our families but had to be content with the 5-10 minutes before heading off.
Our plan for the day was to shop for the 40+ sponsored families that we would be visiting over the next several days. First we had to go to a bank to exchange our money to Tanzanian Shillings. The whole process took, as usual, longer than we expected. I was quite self-conscious walking out of there with such a big wad of money and I was sure all of the locals must know that this ‘mzungu’ would be a good one to rob. We went next door to talk to the “internet guys” about getting our satellite modem that WV was lending us, up and running. Our computer expert Wendy, was assigned to the job while MJ and I waited outside. A few of the locals motioned for us to come over and sit on the bench and we spent the next hour brushing up on our Swahili with an elderly man named Julius Ndullu who was a very entertaining character!
The whole shopping process took the better part of the day. We bought a lot of our goods in an open market full of flies and some at a few of the stores. Everyone stared us at, and we could hear the word ‘mzungu’ frequently. After unloading two truckloads of supplies, we decided to call it a day. We had bought three cold beers at the last store and were anxious to have the place to ourselves so we could drink them before they warmed up.
We compiled the gifts for our 40 families, which ended up a big job, especially working in the humidity! At the end of the night we were looking forward to finally getting on the Internet so were crushed when it only lasted long enough to send a couple notes. We don’t know when of if we will get on line here so I hope to post these while at the municipal office today.