Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Tanzania 5

To visit Tanzania without going for at least one safari is probably a mistake. Penina arranged a comprehensive one for us. Early Tuesday morning Moody and Penina fetched us in a Toyota Land Cruiser. In Arusha Penina made sure we had our lunch packets, said good bye to us and without her we set out for Tarangire national park. It took a few hours to get there, but it was definitely worth the effort.

The park is not the largest but has a lot of elephants. We did not see the bigger groups, where hundreds of elephants can be together. We did however see enough. Besides that we saw cheetah and lion and a lot of other, smaller game.

A male, albino baboon.
We were, as so often, given a lot of facts around the park and the animals, by our guide. He had worked eight years and we believed him.

Before it became too late we left the park and went to the lodge, close to the Ngorongoro crater, where we were going to spend the night. Penina had done a good job. The lodge was nice and the food good.

The chef, Godbless, took me for a guided tour in the kitchen. Among some international dishes he especially pointed to a traditional Tanzanian dish, which consisted of potatoes, bananas, and carrots. All were mashed and then he added green peas and spices.

The chef and his menu,

We went to bed early as we needed to get up early for the Ngorongoro crater experience.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Tanzania 4

Monday was a day when Dag needed to work. So, graciously he arranged for us to visit Arusha. For that we needed a guide and he made contact with Penina. She lives close to Makumira and is a trained tourist guide. Perfect.

Penina is skilled at bargaining.
First stop was the market, where my wife wanted to buy some fabrics. Penina took us into the town centre, where I parked the car in something that looked like an ordered chaos. No problem! We found a parking spot and walked a few blocks through the market to a small, tiny shop with Kangas, Kitenges and lots of other stuff.

After having picked enough material the bargaining process started. We understood that the owner was slightly disappointed that Penina did not accept the higher price (or Musungu-price). Had she done that, a small portion would have slipped into her pocket. But she knew the Tanzanian price and was not satisfied until we got there.

After a few more shops, where we bought some sweet potatoes and garlic, we made our way to Shanga. This project is eight years old and gives disabled people a job opportunity. At Shanga they prefer the word
Challenged persons
I liked that. We had lunch there and also bought a few things.

They did a lot of glassblowing and painting. They also made jewellery.

This man is probably deaf. Doesn't matter when you blow glass.
Parts from an old bicycle forms the spinning wheel that this woman uses.
The painter had a back injury as a teenager and is now paralytic from the waist down.
From there Penina took us to a heritage centre. Due to lack of time we did not see the museum but made a turn in the shop and had some coffee.

Last stop before going back to Makumira was Peninas newly opened shop in a narrow street. She sells basic groceries and her cousin looks after the shop.

Me, the cousin and Penina in the shop.
Another interesting day in Tanzania came to an end. We were fascinated that this was only our fifth day in the country and we had already experienced so much.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Tanzania 3

Saturday was a lazy day. We needed that. We still managed to take a tour to Arusha and enjoy another café – Africafé.

On Sunday we went back to Arusha and attended the second service in one of the Lutheran churches. The service was in Swahili. A man, who was doing his internship in the congregation, sat next to us during the sermon and translated.

After the service a few items were sold in an auction. This is common practice. People may bring vegetables or groceries for the Sunday collection, if they don’t have money.

In the evening we were invited to another Lutheran pastor, whom I had met in Nairobi. We had a few problems in finding the way to the home of Ruth and Ezekiel. Thank you God, for the mobile phone! Especially as African sunset comes rather fast.

Again we got very nice, traditional food. And a masala tea, which was really tasty! Dag, my wife and I tried to figure out the ingredients. I said cinnamon. My wife continued with cardamom. Dag added ginger. When we read on the packet, it said:
Ingredients: Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger.
We got the tea when we arrived. At the same time their son, Samuel, five years old, came in. He went to my wife and lowered his head. After some instructions she understood that she was supposed to touch his head, to complete the greeting.

Samuel approaches my wife, who wants to shake his hand.
The correct thing, however, is to place the hand on his head.
We were also presented with gifts. My wife got a beautiful Maasai cloth. I got a belt with a proverb attached. The Maasai people tell a person to tighten his/her belt before a demanding task or challenge.

So, I will take this advice and tighten my belt, when I return to Sweden and take the next step on my life's journey.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Tanzania 2

The first day in Tanzania didn’t end with the lunch. After the lunch we packed a few things and set out to Marangu, which is a village close to Kilimanjaro. We did not see the mountain due to overcast.

Carl-Erik playing guitar, while one of the children is listening.
In the late afternoon we arrived at Kilimanjaro Children’s Home (MOKICCO) where Overa and Carl-Erik Sahlberg live. Carl-Erik has worked more than 20 years in one of the parishes in Stockholm, St. Clara. The church is located in the CBD of Stockholm, next to the railway station. The congregation has an extensive work among socially challenged people, especially in Sergels Torg (which is a famous square in Stockholm). We are very impressed by the work of that church.

When Carl-Erik retired, Overa and he decided to move to Tanzania and start the work with orphans. They don’t run a traditional orphanage. The organisation they have founded makes sure that couples or single mothers have the means needed to take on a few more children in their families. The idea is that this family becomes the home of that child, even when s/he has become an adult.

In the evening we had supper together with one of these families. Wonderful! Altogether around one hundred children have got new homes through this organisation.

Marangu Falls Kinukamori
The Friday we went for a guided tour on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. Two men showed us coffee plantations, a beautiful waterfall and also an exhibition where we could get to know the culture of one of the tribes that live around Kilimanjaro, the Chagga.

On our way back to Makumira we had coffee at the famous Union Café. Excellent coffee! Later that evening we had dinner at an equally excellent restaurant close to Makumira. The monkeys in the trees and the birds in the dam did not disturb us at all.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Tanzania 1

We arrived in Tanzania late Wednesday evening. The name of the airport is Kilimanjaro, but of course we never saw the mountain.

Our colleague, Dag, met us at the airport and before we arrived at his house in Makumira, it was over midnight.

The first morning we just rested and walked on campus. It is indeed a very nice place. We saw Dag’s office, the library and the chapel (from outside) at Tumaini University Makumira.

The last evening we had a delicious dinner at Dag's place.
At noon we were invited to Mary and Msafiri Mbilo for lunch. I met Msafiri, who teaches New Testament, in Nairobi last year. He made very clear to me, that I had to come and visit him and Makumira. I am not exaggerating – his part in this visit to Tanzania is crucial. It goes without saying that the visit would have been tremendously different if Dag hadn’t been such an excellent host. His part is also vital.

I was together with both Dag and Msafiri at the bible workshop in Nairobi, so this was part of the journey we are in together.

The lunch was traditional Tanzanian food, where we had a stew with banana as well as Pillau rice. (?)

The last evening in Tanzania we also met Mary and Msafiri. They became part of a good start and a fitting end to this lovely week.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Constitution Hill

The hospital section at the Old Fort.

For the first time we visited Constitution Hill today. The old fort, where Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was an awaiting-trial prisoner in 1962. This was before the Rivonia Trial. He was kept in the hospital section, in the Old Fort itself. The Fort was for white prisoners only. As far as I understand Mandela was not sick. This was a way to keep him away from the other black prisoners.

Today The Constitutional Court of South Africa has its location on Constitution Hill. We did not take the guided tour but we were able to see some of the buildings. We also saw photos of three South Africans that we know. Of course Judge Edwin Cameron, one of the judges in the Constitutional Court.

We have met Judge Edwin Cameron several times. A role model.
We were more surprised to see Paul Mokgethi-Heath and JP Mokgethi-Heath on a poster. Impressive, I must say. There were a number of posters illustrating different kinds of human rights issues that the Constitutional Court in South Africa had ruled on. Same sex rights being one of them.
Examples of human rights.
JP is one of our colleagues at the Church of Sweden international department.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Att sluta en cirkel

Denna alba (den vita dräkten)
 fick jag ärva efter Hans Farelius,
som dog 1992.
För drygt 36 år sedan tog jag studenten. Ungefär samtidigt hade en idé slagit rot i mitt sinne. Att bli volontär för Svenska kyrkans mission (SKM) och att bli det i Tanzania. Tanken var att komma till Karagwe i nordvästra Tanzania. Där fanns Birgitta och Hans Farelius. Och det fanns behov av en volontär. Jag var fast besluten att åka till Tanzania.

Men något hände i Karagwe. Kanske var det inre stridigheter. Någon slags maktkamp. Planerna ändrades. SKM föreslog i olika omgångar Swaziland, Liberia och även Tokyo. Men det blev Sydafrika, där jag fick förmånen att vara i Kapstaden från september 1981 till september 1982. Livsavgörande. 

På hemvägen bokade jag en resa via bland annat Kenya. Min tanke var att stanna i Nairobi och ta en buss till Tanzania. Det visade sig vara lite komplicerat och minns jag rätt hade jag inte jättemycket pengar. Så jag fick låta bli. Det blev inte Tanzania på hemvägen, som jag tänkt. Det var knappt 33 år sedan.

Nu hoppas jag att det blir dags. Vi står i begrepp att lämna Sydafrika för denna gång och på väg hem ska vi tillbringa några dagar i trakten kring Kilimanjaro. Det blir ingen bestigning av toppen men kanske en dagsvandring längs sluttningarna.

Vi ska besöka en svensk kollega, som arbetar vid Tumaini University Makumira. Vi ska även träffa en annan tanzanisk kollega, som jag lärde känna i Nairobi förra året. Jag lovade honom ett besök.

Vi kommer att missa många platser i Tanzania. Till Karagwe kommer vi inte. Inte heller till Bukoba, som jag hört så mycket om. Det blir varken Dar-es-Salaam eller Zanzibar. Vi behöver denna vecka till att ställa om från vårt liv i Sydafrika till ett nytt slags liv i Sverige.

Av erfarenhet vet vi att det inte är helt enkelt att komma hem. För hemlandet har förändrats. Även vi. En vecka i Tanzania kommer att bli mycket bra.

Hans Farelius grav finns i Uganda. "A Swedish friend of Africa". Fint!

Saturday, 4 July 2015


I am always impressed, how professional the movers are.

My wife watching the movers reverse out through the gate.
There goes our belongings. See you in Sweden!

Time for some cleaning. I'll take the bathrooms! J

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Dearer than the Tutu's

Leah and Desmond Tutu celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary today. SABC sent a few minutes from St George's Cathedral in Cape Town, when they renewed their vows.

My parents-in-law have just celebrated their 60th engagement anniversary and we are looking forward to their 60th wedding anniversary later this year.

To me they are, of course, dearer. They are two of my most important role models. I will not explain why, because my father-in-law will become too proud. (In Swedish his title is: Svärfadren!)

When we move back to Sweden next week, they are one important reason. Of course we want to be closer to them.

Congratulations, my dear parents-in-law!

1955 - 2015