Volunteering in Tanzania – May 20

mountains in Tanzania
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service to others” –Mahatma Gandhi
We are finally here. Four days after leaving home, we have finally reached our destination: Pommern.

But first – we started the day in Iringa. We had a delicious Spanish omelet for breakfast before Edward took us to meet the General Secretary – our host here in Tanzania. Taylor and I gave brief introductions of ourselves and then got a very warm welcome. It is good to know we have such a welcoming host and experienced in having volunteers. After the meeting we did some window shopping in Iringa and Edward showed us through the food markets. It’s fascinating to see all the raw unprepared foods (right from farms in the surrounding area!) and kind of overwhelming to try to compare to what we have in the USA. It is easy to see how much work, effort and time goes into growing, preparing, and cooking food here – when we have so many already prepared foods easily available to buy in the U.S. But then again – in the US most people have no idea where their food comes from or how it is prepared.

After the market we had lunch, then went to pick up Mama Toni and all the purchases she made in Iringa for our next few weeks in Pommern. I had my doubts that Mohamed could fit everything in the car, but somehow he managed it! And then we were off on our journey to the village of Pommern. As we bumped along the dusty, dirt roads I couldn’t help but think how beautiful it is here – red earth, blue skies, green trees, and bright fields of yellow sunflowers – such a colorful place. Sometimes the fields of corn and the dirt roads reminded me a little bit of home, but then we would come to a village – see women carrying large loads on their heads and children playing in the dirt and I would remember what Edward said – this is a different planet. Yes, it definitely is, but I’m excited to learn about this place and these people who have been so welcoming to two strangers from far away. We are now safely in the mission house – way more room than we need for the two of us volunteers. We are sitting writing in front of a lovely fire built for us by Moses, and we can’t wait for the adventures to come!

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