The day of the Bajajs

Planting the seeds… the day of the Bajajs (Day 6)

We started the day with a pleasant 15 - minute walk to the Mbezi Chapel of Bible Baptist Church. Imagine my surprise when I walked up and noticed that the roofline is very similar to my church back in Winter Park, Florida! Of course, the materials are different – we have asbestos tile instead of straw, but the extremely pitched roof was very similar. Inside the similarities continued – the ceiling was open to the roof with exposed rafters. The similarity ended there - in the front left hand corner there were instruments set up – drums, guitars and a keyboard. A screen was hung from the wall at the front of the church on that side also. The seating consisted of white plastic chairs placed in rows. There was an elevated stage area for the singers and pastor.

The service began with singing – the lyrics to the songs were displayed on the screen at the front of the church. Of course everything was in Swahili, but Trish sat next to me and translated. It was surprisingly easy to sing along with the lyrics displayed on the screen – it looked like most Swahili words ended in a vowel and there don’t appear to be any silent letters, so I was able to follow along. Our choir director would be very pleased with the volume of singing and the enthusiasm of the congregants! The theme of the service was the story of the Prodigal Son. The youth group presented a play with a modern day version of the story. The primary aged children took turns reciting Bible verses they had memorized. There was a lot of singing. So I got to practice Swahili pronunciations even if I didn’t know what I was singing.

After church we walked over to Pamela’s Garden Pub for lunch. We all had delicious kebabs – a choice of either beef or chicken with either rice or potatoes. I had both meats and they were equally delicious. It looked to be a favorite expat hangout.

I then had my second ride in a Bajaj (don’t tell Ken) with Trish and her daughter. We went back to the Wycliffe compound; I changed into my flip-flops and we headed over to meet up with the guys at a local hotel on the beach.

The hotel has a water park, a go cart track and the requisite band playing in a gazebo on the beach. There was a nominal entrance fee to get into the grounds of the hotel. We walked through the open hotel lobby to the beach on the Indian Ocean. Unfortunately the beach has trash that has washed up on the shoreline, but if you stay away from the tidal area the sand is white and fine like you see in the Gulf of Mexico and the water is a beautiful shade of turquoise. It was very windy and the fishermen that were coming into shore were moving very quickly with full sails. It looked as if they were going to crash land onto the shoreline, but of course they were able to maneuver the boats so that they didn’t crash! We also watched some people try to Para board - not very successfully I’m afraid. It was just so relaxing to sit there and watch the water and listen to the waves coming and going. I can now say that I have seen the Indian Ocean from Goa, India and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania!

We took another Bajaj (don’t tell Ken!) back to the house and had left over pizzas and tostadas made with chapattis. We discussed the challenges of living in another culture, the differences between Mozambique and Tanzania and how to find Doritos in Dar that taste like they do back in the United States!

A third Bajaj (don’t tell Ken!) took us back to the compound where we were staying. I decided that I better take advantage of access to a shower with hot water while I had the chance since I didn’t know what the accommodations would be like in Kondoa. The pressure was not the best, but the water was hot – so I was happy! We had another early start in the morning – off to the airport at 5 am. It was the only flight to Dodoma for that day so we could not afford to miss it.