tally's photos 008

We were up at 6:30 this morning in order to be ready to leave for a Roman Catholic service four miles from where we live. We didn’t know but suspected that we would be going via Dala-Dala, a small van similar to the first Volkswagen buses, but not as large and also in very poor repair.

After walking about a mile we hopped onto a packed Dala-Dala and bounced along the dirt road until we got to the church. Sonorous music came from inside and soon we were seated among 5 to 6 hundred Africans listening to a service in Kiswahili. Funny how we couldn’t even say the Nicene Creed in English. We needed the BCP. We were allowed to take communion “provided our hearts were right.” We were comfortable with the liturgy and felt quite at home.

We assumed that we would return to Msalato after the service but our friends then wanted to know if we were willing to walk into Dodoma town. I think they worried about me, a bibi, (grandmother) not knowing that I walk 4 to 5 miles everyday with James and Jessie and her dogs. They didn’t accept or understand that we have been into town many times. It seemed they wanted to be our guides and take us sightseeing (oh, what sights) in Dodoma Town.

We finally told them that we needed to get back to do some preparation for tomorrow’s classes. Again we climbed aboard a Dala-Dala along with 24 anothers packed in like sardines in a tin can. Jessie and I shared a seat with half of my bohiney hanging off the seat and with my arms hanging onto Jessie as our driver navigated the potholes in the road. Don Schulte advised me on my first journey to South Africa to take in the sights, the smells, and the entire landscape. We certainly had that opportunity today. We took our friends to a new cafe for lunch and ordered chopped eggs not knowing what in the world chopped eggs were. ‘Twas a hard boiled egg wrapped in a thin shell of meat??? and dipped in what looked like a coconut shell, or whatever and then fried. Actually they were pretty tasty.

Our hosts wanted to continue to “take us on the town” all on foot. As the afternoon wore on we insisted that we needed to get back to Msalato to work on tomorrow’s lessons. At 3:30 we arrived home and all we could think about was a bucket bath! The power went off just as Jessie began to cook dinner. Believe me, that’s Africa.

I wish you could have seen me standing by the Dodoma Road alone while Jessie went to look for the man who was to take us to the church. I was the only mzungu (white person) on the planet. All in all it was a happy day but let me reassure sure you that living and working in a totally different culture is a challenge. Remember what FDR said? “Eleanor hates war, I hate war, Falla hates war, but we love the smell of gunpowder?” Jessie and I love the challenge.