News of the attack in Paris reached us through Tanzanian television this morning. We are all in shock, and not really sure how we should respond. We are praying for those victims who are still alive and for those who are not, we pray for their families.
Below the line is our usual update from over here… but we want you to know that even as things go on here we know there are other things going on in the world …
Today was (supposed to be) the last day of interviewing, but we may meet some more children tomorrow who were not able to come during the week. If not the local team will interview them after we have gone home.
An initial plan for today involved some of the team working in Airport, interviewing everyone who turned up there, while the rest drove from location to location looking for kids who hadn’t yet been interviewed. In the end we were assured that most would be coming to Airport so everyone settled there and enjoyed the more relaxed atmosphere.
We started the day with prayer, surrounding the Tanzanian team and lifting them up to God. They are a truly amazing bunch of people who deserve as much appreciation as we can give them and more. It was a privilege and a pleasure to lift them up to Father.
After that the day slowed a little, with children appearing in a slow and irregular trickle. We actually ate at lunchtime, which was a novelty, taking it in two shifts with half the group eating while the other half interviewed, or waited for interviewees, then switching over (apart from Matthew Jackson, our photographer for the day, who missed the call until after all the food was gone – Sorry Matt).
Halfway through the afternoon, some of the team (and quite a few of the interpreters it seemed) headed off to the feeding program in search of children to interview, but found none.
When we finally closed up shop, we’d interviewed another eighty, including several who were at university.
In some ways it was good to have a quiet day, as some of the team have been a little under the weather. Aneta stayed back at Karibuni today and spent the day relaxing and recovering from something that’s more unpleasant than serious, but perhaps best not mention any more details. Graham had a night off from blogging a couple of days ago as some short term bug ran its course, and Nancy has been fighting something as well.
It also gave some of a chance to spend a little time with some of the young children who live around the Airport church. They are quite delightful and engaging, and love having crazy wazungu (foreigners remember from an earlier blog) to investigate. They all have their individual characters from cheeky Kevin, to fiercely defensive Victor, to heart-meltingly cute Clara, and dozens of others I haven’t space to mention. We taught them games and played with them until the time came for us to head back to the Karibuni Centre.
Several of the team have had clothes made and went to collect them today (we’ll try to get you pictures on facebook if the internet plays ball). Matt J picked up his shirt (Taylor’s bill 15,000 Tanzanian shillings or about £5), Fiona two skirts (6,000 shillings each, fully lined), Nikki also had two skirts and Aneta a second dress (10,000 shillings for a dress fully lined). Farouz, one of the interpreters had a pair of shorts made out of the same material as one of Nikki’s skirts, and we’re all keen to find out if the two of them will turn up to church tomorrow in matching outfits.
It seems strange to think that we’ve been here for eight days now, that on the day after tomorrow we’ll be climbing onto a plane back to Dar, on the first leg on our journey home. There’s a timelessness to Africa which is quite relaxing, even on the busy days. It does mean that the end of our stay here has sort of crept up on us though. Tomorrow we will be packing, but until today it felt like we might be here forever.
Having said that, another week running through the same questionnaire might be just enough to tip some of us over into madness – those of us who’re not there already.