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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 28 Jul 2012

Location: Moshi, Tanzania


Erin left Moshi this morning to meet up with Heike in Arusha. Together they’ll travel by bus to Nairobi to catch their flight. I’m still here, trying to figure out if I can change my flights to come home early now that Peter won’t be joining me.

Today Ibrah was taking a group of three for a hike in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro to a waterfall, so I joined them for the trek. It was absolutely beautiful; a narrow path winding along the steep hills through a jungle of banana, avocado, and passion fruit trees. While we were walking, Ibrah pulled a long leaf of a plant tied it in a knot and told us how it was used by the local tribe. Apparently if you have wronged someone, you first approach the village elders to help you ask for forgiveness from the person. If you aren’t forgiven, you present the person with the knotted leaf. If they accept it from you, then that signifies that they’ve forgiven you. If they don’t, you might start to wonder if there is something wrong with them. Next you “borrow” a baby from someone and toss the baby towards them. They assume that any normal person would catch it and then you are for sure forgiven. If the person lets the baby fall, (babies being sacred,) that would mean the person is not human and you can assume that they have evil spirits in them.

When we arrived we had lunch in a little lean-to on the side of the hill near the bottom and then we walked closer to the falls. They were about eight stories high and created quite a mist. It was very chilly so we didn’t stay there long. On the drive back, the clouds surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro cleared and I got my first view of the amazing snow-covered mountain.

Tonight at Ibrah’s we were joined by three people from the organization called “Mama Hope” which is the primary supporter of Pastor James’s St Timothy’s School and Orphanage. I’m sitting in my room writing this listening to the chanting being broadcast throughout the town. It’s Ramadan now so Ibrah and his family have been fasting for the day and are now calling us to supper.